Thank you for all of your kind comments on the July 4th Marquee sign. It was a huge hit at the family cabin. As you can see from the photos below, the marquee was gorgeous both during the day and evening!
Sigh, the July 4th holiday is over but we look forward to the end of summer and new projects!
A few weeks ago, the Blue Hairs and Daughter were able to gather for a craft day. The gals worked on two different projects. We’ll reveal the other project next week but for today, we want to highlight a new DIY project that solves a garden design dilemma.
Everyone has these not-so-pretty drainage spout catchalls. Yes, they are functional but the design is just blah. There just has to be a better solution!
Luckily for us, Georgia’s sister, Aunt Linda, had the perfect solution for both form and function. During her last visit, she taught Georgia how to create these wonderful garden accessories: Concrete Garden Leaves. Aren’t they adorable?
So the Blue Hairs and Daughter set out to create a few concrete leaves. But the Blue Hairs were a little skeptical about how these leaves would function under a drainage spout. We’ll show the final results in a bit but for now, here is our tutorial:
You’ll need the following supplies:
Large leaves – We used large Hosta leaves
Quikrete (10lb bag)
Tarp or cover
First, you’ll need to prep your work space because this project is a little messy! We covered our work table with a sturdy tarp as well as the floor beneath us. We worked outside near our water hose for easy accessibility and cleanup.
Once you have your work space prepared, you’ll need to decided on leaf form. You can have a curved form or a flat stepping stone style. We completed both styles but Daughter set out to complete two large curved leaves to replace the ugly drain.
For a curved leaf, you’ll need to create a small mound with the play sand. The depth and height of the mound will determine the curvature of your final leaf. The width of the sand mound should be the same or a little wider than your live leaf.
If you decide to create a flat stepping stone, you can spread a thin layer (about an inch thick) of even sand. The concrete will not stick to the sand and will provide a clean canvas. You’ll use the same steps listed below but without the sand mound.
To create the concrete mixture, you’ll want to follow the directions on the Quikrete package. Mix a small amount in an old or disposal bucket and mix a little at a time so you do not waste an entire bag of concrete. We also mixed about 1/2 cup of Acrylic Fortifier to help prevent cracking during colder months. Georgia advised that the concrete to water ratio should create a mixture that resembled a ‘peanut butter’ texture. Yea, we are fancy like that.
Once you have your sand mound and your small concrete mixture, place your leaf with face down, with the large veins pointing to the sky.
With your work gloves on, slowly pour your concrete mixture over the leaf, evenly spreading and forming around the leaf.
Work the concrete around the leaf until you get the desired thickness. You’ll need to trim the edges with an old knife or use your hands to create a thick edge.
Allow the leaf to dry for 24 hours before removing. You’ll need to peel the leaf away from the concrete but it should lift from the sand with ease. Finished!
Daughter created two large leaves and then placed them under the drain spout. They worked perfectly and they add so much character to her back yard. Now, she’ll need to create several more for the other 6 spouts!
The stepping stones also turned out nicely!
One of the Blue Hairs was so inspired by this technique that she has an entire huge project to complete for her backyard. She has a grand scheme and we can’t wait to help and then show our readers!
~georgia & daughter