Damson Cottage Garden

Make a Leaf Bird Bath

As part of my quest to encourage more wildlife into the garden I made this leaf bird bath out of concrete. It can be placed on a pedestal for a traditional looking birdbath, or directly onto the ground. It was so fun to make. Don’t be put off by the concrete part – Anyone who has been a mud pie maker as a child could do it!

How to make a concrete leaf bird bath

My homemade concrete leaf bird bath

I checked the RSPB website to make sure using concrete as a material for a birdbath was safe for birds. Their website suggests concrete to make a bird bath so this reassured me that I wasn’t going to harm the birds. This is how I made it.

I bought a bag of cement powder and selected my leaf. Rhubarb leaves were the obvious choice for me as they are the largest leaves in our garden. They also have wonderful thick veins which make a great pattern. If you can’t get your hands on rhubarb leaves you can use any large leaf with thick veins. You could even try several cabbage leaves arranged in a pattern.

Our chosen rhubarb leaf

Sarah holding our chosen rhubarb leaf

Make a mound of soil to place the leaf on, this will help to support the weight of the concrete. It also helps create a bowl shape in the finished bird bath.

The leaf on the mound of soil, ready for the concrete to be put on

The leaf on the mound of soil, ready for the concrete

Make sure the leaf is veins side (underside) up. Mix the cement powder with water and sand until it resembled a sloppyish paste.

Concrete bird bath

Mixing the cement into cow pat consistency

Use a trowel to splodge it onto your leaf. Make sure it is at least 3 inches thick in the middle and 2 inches thick throughout so the concrete will not crack. I did not completely cover my leaf – I left about an inch all the way round free of concrete. This makes the edges look better.

Put the cement onto the leaf and leave an inch around the edge uncovered

Put the concrete onto the leaf and leave an inch around the edge uncovered

Leave the concrete to dry for at least 48 hours. When you are certain it is dry turn the whole thing over and peel off the leaf. The small bits that were left behind came off easily when they dried in the sun. You can spray cooking oil on the leaf before you pour on the concrete to help with this but I didn’t find it necessary.

Peel the leaf off the concrete

Peel the leaf off the concrete

Concrete is very porous and water will sink into it. I treated it with this sealant.

How to make a bird bath

I used Thompson’s water seal to make my bird bath water proof

Leave the sealant to dry for at least 24 hours then you are done! You can paint the leaf in any colour you like or keep it as it is.

How to make a bird bath

Done!

How to make a concrete leaf bird bath

Its really fun to make and I think it looks great. I would definitely recommend having a go, Jane

 

One Response to Make a Leaf Bird Bath

  1. Maria Waddington says:

    I love this bird bath, I will have to make this.
    Steve and Marion passed your blog on to me and I am so glad. It’s delightful.

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