I belong to the most wonderful art group that meets about every two weeks for two of my favorite pastimes, a potluck breakfast followed by a creative art project. Our last project, a leaf basin, was so much fun yet simple to do that I thought I’d pass along the steps. Although this was new to us, all our leaf basins were stunning. This would make a fun gift for a gardener friend, a teacher or a gift for your own gardens… nestled on the ground among the ferns.
Sandbox sand, slightly damp
Small bag of Quikrete
Large leaves with good veins and ribs (banana, hosta, elephant ear, rhubarb)
Lay the plywood on the two sawhorses out of direct sun. Line with the plastic tarp. Mound up damp sand on the tarp in a dome. Lay the leaves over the sand and smooth out wrinkles.
With gloves on, mix the Quikrete and water with your hands to the consistency of a brownie mix, making sure all lumps are out of the mixture. It may look too dry, but pat the mixture several times. If the surface begins to shimmer with moisture, the Quikrete is ready. If not, add a bit more water and so on.
Mold the mixture about an inch and a half thick over the leaf, starting at the top and not extending too much over the edge of the leaf. Smooth out the surface and allow to dry for 24 hours. We sanded and cleaned up rough areas. Our leaf creations were then colored with acrylics and sealed.
With the small amount of Quikrete mixture left over, we made other forms of garden art. Using pieces of pine cone for the ears, we fashioned a family of mice for our gardens.