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Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Concrete Elephant Ear Bird Bath

My inspiration ...
Debbie at Dewdrop Gardens made this really cute and unusual concrete bird bath with a Hosta leaf impression and I just had to try it. I had everything I needed except the big Hosta leaf. I even went to the Nursery to look for a Hosta plant, but all the leaves were too little ... then I saw this Elephant Ear plant ...
 ... oh yes, my sister-in-law has Elephant Ear plants and is always cutting the big leaves. Solution !! ... so when we took her home from Church on Sunday, we cut two leaves ... one for me and one for her.

Little did I know that my first attempt would fail and I would need the two leaves just for me.
The trouble with this is that we did not let it cure long enough and I did not use enough cement and it was too thin and broke when we took it out of the mold.



My clay saucer was 18" ... I put a layer of course sand and small rocks around the outside edge. (this picture is the first attempt ... did not use the rocks on the second one.)...

This course sand was left over from laying patio bricks a couple years ago.  Then I heaped fine grain play sand in the middle until I thought it would be the right curve and depth for a bird bath and made it real smooth. (This half of a sack of play sand had been sitting around for years, so it needed to be used).  We did have to buy one sack of Quikrete concrete mix. We mixed up about one-half sack. Mr. Z. thought it was the one without the course sand ... NOT ... but it worked out okay. I pressed the leaf securely against the sand and heaped a bunch of cement mix on the leaf covering the the entire leaf and out to the edge of the clay saucer. After a good thick layer, I laid some chicken down for strength and covered with more cement mix until all was used and the saucer was full. (I had just a tiny bit left) ... tapered the sides and flattened the top so it would sit flat on something. I was planning to sit it on a tree stump.

I let the cement cure for several days ... sprinkle with water to keep the top from curing too quick. Do this several times a day. Mine was pretty thick, so I let it cure for four or five days ... (didn't have time to un-mold it anyway) ... just kept sprinkling it several times a day. 
 

Then today was the reveal ... I was excited ... Mr. Z. cleaned up the edges a little and loosened it from the saucer.  When we turned it over ... sand spilled everywhere ... but the mold looked really good.  I was very happy.
We cleaned it up by removing the loose sand and what was remaining of the leaf. I am thinking I will try to stain the leaf green to make it stand out better but the design of the leaf molded really well.
 
I just happened to have an old stand made with re-bar that fit perfectly. I placed in among my plants near the patio and it looks just great. I think the birds found it right away and took their bath as water was splashed all around.  I like the raw sandy cement look around the sides.


This Sunday I got another Elephant Ear leaf and I will make one this week for my Sister-in-Law. She will be so excited. She is legally blind, but she will be able to feel the leaf and be very happy. 

Such a fun project to do ... made me happy ... made the birds, squirrels, and wild deer happy. 

What fun DIY project have you completed lately? 

Thanks for the visit ... hope you visit often.
Love your comments.  

Sharing with:  Savvy Southern Style

Caps Creations

Debbiedoo'sNewbie Grads

9 comments:

  1. This is a really cool idea! I have never worked with concrete before and this looks really cool. Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer

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  2. As always Audrey you invent the most amazing projects. I love the very smooth cement leaf with the rough rim. Useful, unique, great texture too.
    Joy

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  3. Seriously now you can do mason work! WOW this is so cute Audrey. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hi Audrey! Your birdbath turned out great! I'm so glad you tried it and are enjoying the results. Love the stand you have it on...looks like they were made to go together!
    Thanks for the shout-out, too.
    Debbie :)

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  5. I happened to come across your blog and found it to be very nice and creative, so I decided to become a follower :) I love what you did to make this birdbath...it's incredibly stunning!

    Blessings to you,
    Stephanie

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  6. This turned out sooo great. I just love it and I know it must be adorable, nestled in with your plants. You did good, girlfriend. :)OOO, and so did MR.Z.

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  7. That turned out really good. What a neat idea! My "lately" projects have not been near so clever as yours...just painting furniture, frames etc to take over to F'burg to our booth the next time I go. - Revis

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  8. This is a great project and turned out beautifully. Great use of nature.

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  9. Love how this turned out. Very creative birdbath. Visiting from Debbiedoo's

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