Monday, May 10, 2010

Cement Birdbath Tutorial : Made with Skunk Cabbage

When I told my Mom and my Mother In Law that their Mother's Day gifts were made out of cement and skunk cabbage, they both had the same quizzical look.

A friend of mine had shared the "recipe" for making these beautiful bird baths, and the kids and I made them for the grandmothers.  
 
The technique is called "sandcasting". Here's what you'll need:

Sand, trash bags, a mixing container, cement (the non-rocky kind, preferably quick-dry), rubber gloves,a large leaf, such as skunk cabbage,  paint and sealer are optional.

First, lay out your plastic bag as a work surface.  You'll want to do this in a flat area, preferably outside. Keep in mind that you'll need to leave it there for a bit while the cement cures, so don't make it on the same table where you expect to eat dinner in an hour.

Mound the sand in a general leaf shape, with a higher mound near the largest part of the leaf.  Make it a shallowish and natural shape. Your goal here is to provide a surface to support the cement while it is drying. 

Next, layer another trash bag over the cement. (Make sure there are no seams).  Then lay your large leaf over the sand form upside down. Now, mix the cement with your hands, using the rubber gloves.  I got the "just add water" quick dry cement. You'll want the cement to be the consistency of cake batter.  Start smoothing a thin layer of cement over the leaf, then, layer the cement on until the whole leaf is covered by at least 1/2 an inch of cement. Take the cement right up to the edges of the leaf.  If you'd like, use something flat, like the bottom a bucket, to make a flat spot on the top of the cement (this will later serve as a flat spot for resting your birdbath). 



When the cement is dry, flip your creation, peel the leaf out of the cement.  You'll be left with this beautiful, natural leaf shape that will hold just enough water for a bird to splash around in.

If you'd like, you can paint your leaf with acrylic paints, and seal it with cement protectant.

I'm participating in:




DIY Day @ ASPTL

27 comments:

marzipanmom said...

Wow! These are beautiful! I forwarded it to my MIL for a possible flip flop camp craft idea...

Jennifer Juniper said...

I can't believe how beautiful this turned out! I will need a hands on tutorial for this one.

marzipanmom said...

Yes! Perhaps a soul sisters craft idea hmmm?

Marie-Louise said...

You have no idea how hard I've been trying to find a 'how-to' on working with cement! Thanks so much for this - loving the end result.

PS for those interested in wacky cement sculptures, google "the Owl House South Africa"... (And no, that's not a link to my site - the woman's long dead, but I love what she created!)

Wendy said...

This is SO COOL! Definitely on my list of things to make!

the treat girl said...

OMG!!!!!!!! Soooooo cooooool!!! Yep, I concur with Ms. Juniper....I need a real-life lesson!!

Life in Rehab said...

This is one of the coolest Ideas I've ever seen! Very well done, and a great tutorial.

Kara @ Craftastical! said...

That looks amazing!! So sculptural. Stopping by from Sumo's Sweet Stuff.

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

What a great project! Yours turned out wonderful. I have had this on my to do list for years and everytime I see one I resolve to finally make one. Gotta do it! Yours look so good!

Haupi said...

Whoa! Now this is creative! I love it - great job. New follower here from the Monday blog hop. Hope you come visit and follow my blog too. I love having new blogging buddies. Thanks!

Haupi
http://hauplight.blogspot.com/

the momma (aka Shannon) said...

This is really pretty. I would love to give it a try! Thanks so much for the idea!

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

I love it, and the idea! I'd love it if you'd link up to my topsy turvy link party tomorrow! http://imtopsyturvy.com

MessyMissy said...

That is SUCH a great idea. I love the way it turned out....and, that you didn't paint it....that grey looks fantastic.

Jacqueline said...

So professional looking, this is amazing. So nice to meet you.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Beautiful! I'm definitely saving this in my project file. Great job!

Moogie said...

I'm a new follower. http://moogieland.blogspot.com/

Linda said...

I love all the texture on this. I have used old baskets and such to make pots, but this is lovely!

Tere said...

This is way cool! I love it! Thanks for sharing at It's Party Time Thursday at PonyTails&FishScales!

dogsmom said...

These have been all the rage at fall crafts shows around here for a few years. Prices ranging from $5 to $100 and colors/finishes all across the rainbow. Of course DH kept saying we were not paying all that money for THIS - but I did manage to convince him one reasonably priced leaf was easier than making my own.
After seeing this, I do want to try it.

Lisa said...

That is GORGEOUS! I love it! I see those at craft fairs for so much money, but I had no idea how to make my own. Very pretty!

Annie Louise said...

Wonderful. This is the coolest birdbath. Great Job!
Jeanette

Denise Marie said...

love it!! What a great craft for the kids. I'd love my boys to make these for our moms out of the large leaves of our volunteer pumpkins. lol

★All Thingz Related★ said...

I totally LOVE this! Thanks for joining us for another great Anything Related! ~Bridgette

★All Thingz Related★ said...

We featured this as one of Our Favorite Thingz this week! Check it out on our sidebar!
http://allthingzrelated.blogspot.com/

Lori said...

This is so cute..

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday at Life As Lori!

Julie said...

I made one of these last year with a rhubarb leaf and to finish off the edges I used a few rocks and agates. I wish I had your tute when I did this, would of been a lot easier. I think I'll try another one your way.
I'm your newest follower last Welcome Wednesday. Better late then never, right?
Take care and God Bless!!!

Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk said...

Hi Joy! I wanted to let you know that I have featured your project on my blog for my post on last month's bookmarked projects. Wonderful creativity.