Introduction: Leaf Casting
This fun activity will compliment your garden in anyway. I used this for a. 4-H project in my local county fair. You can turn this into an ornamental lawn piece or a birdbath, the options are endless. This whole project lasts about lasts about a week.
Step 1: Mounding
First you need to make a mound if sand or soft dirt outside or inside. Put the cut upside down (make sure the leaf is upside down) leaf on the mound of sand to shape the leaf to the mound. If you want to make a birdbath or bowl then have a hump on the middle. Mainly big leaves work best like rhubarb, hollyhock, or elephant ear.
Step 2: Saran Wrapping
After you are pleased with your mound and shape of leaf take the leaf off and Saran Wrap on and around the sand. This makes more traction for your leaf to sit on. Put the leaf back on the mound with the Saran Wrap on the mound .
Step 3: Putting on the Concrete
Once you are done with putting the leaf on with the mound of sand and Saran Wrap, you need to put quick-Crete on the outside of the leaf. Notice how in the picture the leaf is facing down. Regular concrete makes it too rough and is eat to thick. When you put on the quick-Crete to the leaf make sure you get it all over and make the edges very thick but not overloaded. Now we wait for 3-days for it to dry and mound.
Step 4: Washing
After you have waited 3 days for the leaf to mound and dry, you need to lift the leaf off from the mound very gently. You will notice how the leaf will still have green bits of the leaf on there. If you can peel them off great, but if you can't then find a high power Jose and work away with it until all the leaf remains are gone. Now we have to wait 2 days to make sure the leaf is used to it new "body."
Step 5: Spray Painting
This is the best part. After you have let it sit for another two days. You can start spray painting it. The options are endless. Just simply find a base color, most are dark like gray or purple, then find maybe three or four colors that go good together. After that you are finished!!
Step 6: Examples
Here are just a few samples I made and saw other people do. The first one is gold, orange, and green with a maroon base. The second one is green, copper, orange, and red with a black base color. The third one is red and gold with a red base color. The fourth is maroon, gold, and green with a gray base color.