Let's Make a Birdbath! Tutorial

We had an impromptu meeting of the Sistas earlier last month after we all saw Joy blog about her Cement Birdbath. One of us learns how to make stuff out of cement without the rest of us? Oh no you didn't!

Marzipan and I marched ourselves right over there and soon found ourselves up to our wrists in wet cement. Ahhh, friendship...

You wouldn't want to be left out, would you? I thought not. Let's gather our supplies:

Leaf-Shaped Cement Birdbath

A bag of Mortar/Stucco Mix
(a smooth, non-gravely quick drying concrete)
A bag of sand
Disposable plastic tablecloth
Garbage bags
Large container to mix concrete
(we used a kitty litter box)
Plastic gloves
A big leaf
(skunk cabbage works nicely)

You can see we raided Marzipan's rhubarb patch for our leaves, but any large leaf will work.

We began with the sand. We poured piles of play sand onto garbage bags we cut open like this:

Then we patted them into a rough leaf shape. Make it mounded in the center so it will hold water, like this:

Then we covered the sand with a piece of our disposable plastic table cloth (they sell these at the dollar store, you know.) like this:

Next, we pulled out our trusty kitty litter box and began to mix our concrete (you could use a aluminum roasting pan, or a Rubbermaid bin, or even a bucket.)

There is no science to this, just pour in some concrete then add some water. Mix it with your hands (please wear gloves!) until it's the consistency of brownie batter and smooth. (The consistency was cause for much discussion as we tried to determine a batter that resembled it. We finally settled on brownie batter.)

If it's too thin add more concrete, too thick add more water. Easy peasy.

Place your leaf onto the plastic covered sand and begin to cover with the wet concrete mix. Pat it and mold it into place. Don't let the edges get too thin, keep everything about 1/2 - 1 inch thick all around.

See us patting and molding? See how Joy's hubs is totally cool with us doing this on the patio? Mine? Not so much. I'll make more of these in my kids' sandbox.

Let dry overnight. This is a particularly antsy time for me as I'm all about immediate gratification....yawn...fidget...squirm...zzzzzzz...

Flip it over and peel the leaf away. Ideally, you will flip it and wait for the leaf to dry so it pulls away easily, but we all know I didn't do that. I peeled and picked and struggled with it for about an hour. It would have pulled right off had I waited.

See all the veins and leafiness? See all the details? Put it in your garden filled with water or just let it sit there looking all leafy, just waiting to catch a neighbor's eye. Once they see it you can puff up your chest and announce "I made it!"

You can paint it and seal it with concrete sealer if you want to. I might paint mine next week, if I do, I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

See you tomorrow for Tutorial Tuesday your chance to link up with a cool tutorial for fun and prizes! So meet me back here and you can "Teach me Stuff"!



  1. Now look how sweet that is! And about the patio...it required some scrubbing the next day...a sand box is a WAY better place to do this project!


  3. i've been spying around my house(and the neighbor's) for a leaf big enough!! they're not quite the size i want them yet...maybe another week or two....then, i'm SO doing this!! lol

  4. I love it!!! I will keep my eyes open for a large leaf! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  5. This is beautiful! Looks fairly easy too (except the waiting part) - maybe I'll give one a try this summer! Thanks for sharing the idea and instructions...

  6. Those are awesome! Now to find a leaf big enough...'cause I'm pretty sure we have concrete in the garage.

  7. I love this! It turned out so great and will look great outside!

  8. Great idea! It turned out so awesome!

  9. I just saw this in a magazine called Backyard Projects about three weeks ago and have wanted to do it! You just saved me $10 from buying it!!!


  10. You are way too creative. That is beyond awesome!

  11. This is a great and fun idea! Looking for a leaf that's big enough now :).

  12. I so want to do one of these and mt mom has gigantic cabbage leaves - must get some from her and get started~!

  13. Incredible job! High five! The boyfriend and I are renovating his house, which includes some yard work - and I have just the place for these!

    Did you make the dress this weekend? I made one yesterday and I'm quite pleased with the result. I ended up altering it quite a bit, so it doesn't look much like the inspiration. Oh well, that's the creative process right? I'll post it Wednesday!

  14. How cool! Endless possibilities with that!! Great job!

  15. OMG I WANT one! We've been looking for a nice birdbath, but it would be even better if I just made one. I love the leaf pattern too. Thank you, Soul Sistas, for helping me beautify my new backyard. You girls rock!

  16. Wow! My friend Shelley and I are hoping to make these this weekend with Rhubarb leaves! Thank you so much for an easy to follow tutorial!


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