Concrete Bird Bath from a Rhubarb mold

My mom is very creative, you know. I thought I’d post some action shots of my mom being creative in her beloved garden in July.

Tutorial time! I took a series of photos to show you how to make your own bird bath with concrete using a big leaf (this is rabarber, in English rhubarb!) as the mold for casting the concrete.

1. Form the rhubarb leaf as a bowl.

2. Spread cooking oil on the leaf.

3. Mix the concrete.

4. Add the concrete on top of the leaf…

…lots of concrete if it’s a big leaf.

Let dry a couple of days under a tarpaulin (that is a new word for me, means presenning!). And then:


5. Put it in a flower bed or corner of your garden and fill it with water and let the birdies have a nice bath! Way to go ma!

And while mom made a bird bath I was working with wood by the saw table.
I was sawing small pieces of wood to make a base for gluing unmounted stamps on. Plus I took garden pictures, here are some of my dad’s gold fishes:

and the pound it with all the water lilies:

Dad made the pound a couple of years ago. It is sooo nice. I guess I got my creative roots from both sides of the family. Where did you get yours?

Check out Studio Friday for more roots.

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38 Responses to Concrete Bird Bath from a Rhubarb mold

  1. myra says:

    Wow! That’s so cool and so is your Mom!

  2. P says:

    Det blev ju superl?ckert! Jag fattade inte att ni h?llt p? s?d?r.

  3. amy says:

    That is such a cool bird bath. I could see the kiddos getting involved in a project like this. As for me, my creative roots come from both sides of the family tree.

  4. super cool!
    thanks for sharing the photos,tutorial and your roots!

  5. Lilli says:

    Good for you ladies! You are very industrious :)

  6. Max says:

    What a creative mom, that is such a good idea. I recently started experimenting making little mosaic things with concrete and it really is a versatile and cheap material. The bird bath is so inspiring – thanks to your mom for the idea and you for the tutorial!

  7. laura dodson says:

    Wowzers. That is one aweseom bird bath! And a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Lilie says:

    Neat your creative roots and a tutorial at the same time!!

  9. Linda says:

    J?ss – s? kreative – og dyktige – dere er !!!

  10. Such a cool idea! Way to go Mom and Dad and Hanna!

  11. fabulous idea, it turned out great! These would look great as stepping stones too, if you made them flat! What a creative family!

  12. MissMemphis says:

    Love the birdbath. Very cool. (Pretty backyard, too!).

  13. naomi says:

    Very Cool! What a creative mom and daughter team.

  14. mary ann says:

    how wonderful to see the creative process in “action”…how wicked cool of your mom & you!

  15. Jo says:

    That’s just so wonderful to see :)

  16. Anke says:

    OH, what a great idea and so much fun! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures in action! You can defintely see were your creative roots come from!

  17. Ouissi says:

    This is fabulous…great set of pictures…definitely a creative family

    Ouissi x

  18. Regina says:

    I have the rubarb leaf and the dry cement ready. My husband is playing Playstation so I am off to find a son to help me. This is a great idea, thanks for sharing! I will be sure to post a pic when we finish!

  19. Julia says:

    What a good idea!!! I’think I ask my HB to help me when I try this :):)

  20. Hulda says:

    Flotte bilder! det ser ut til at b?de moren og faren din er kreative mennesker. Jeg tror nok at jeg ogs? har f?tt mine kreative evner fra begge sider av familien, men antakelig mest fra morsiden. Morfaren min var fantastisk b?de til ? male, bygge ting, snekre, osv.

  21. What a brilliant idea!!!! I must try it as soon as it cools down alittle!!! Your mom is a genius, and so is her daughter! :)

  22. Elena says:

    Vilket vackert f?gelbad! Och, det ser inte helt om?jligt ut att g?ra.

  23. weirdbunny says:

    Look at you and your mother doing such wonderful things! I love the water lillies in the pond.

  24. mamma says:

    J?ttefina bilder, kul att de har gett s? mycket inspiration till andra. Vi ?r ett bra team Hanna. Jag ?r inte tr?tt p? allt pysslande med dig, du f?r snart komma tillbaka, det ?r s? roligt n?r du ?r h?r.
    kram fr?n mamma

  25. Tango says:

    Very Nice! If you like playing with concrete & such, you might enjoy my new website…

    Take a peek.

  26. Lynne says:

    Marvelous – made three so far and am in th process of doing a base for one of them. Have you ever made a frog pond? If so anything you could share as to how to go about it would be so appreciated.

    Thand you


  27. Joy says:

    what kind of concrete did you use?

  28. Genesis says:

    Excellent idea. I will have to try that once I have my garden planted. I think I would put another leaf on the outside, so the bottom has the same texture.

  29. Donna says:

    That looks wonderful. What is the recipe for the cement mix. I tried to make one once and the cement broke around the edges.

  30. Gina says:

    I love this idea, I’m going to show it to my hubby. He’s already made a ‘dry’ pond with slate chips and lily pads he made from sheet metal.

  31. Amy says:

    That is too cool! I love this kind of idea. I’d love to make one for my garden.

  32. Sally says:

    Thanks so much for the great idea and encouragment!
    My first attempt came out GREAT!!! My family was so impressed.

    I had no idea that Quikcrete came in so many varities. The one I picked was chunkier than I would have liked but still came out great. The concrete dye looks really nice but it’s a lot thicker than I imagined. I would have stirred it in with the water a lot better at first and in a bigger container. It got very messy. Gloves are a must for my next one. It really really dries out your skin. I even put on moisturerizer before and after, and it still dried my hands to the point of peeling on my palms the next day.

    Any helpful hints on how to clean up the rough edges? Hammer, dremmel, leave it? I want my parrot to be able to enjoy it but I don’t want him to cut his feet.

    Thanks so much for the great idea. Now my options are only limited be my imagination.

  33. Sally says:

    I forgot to mention that I used cooking oil spray to spray the leaf and it worked great. My leaf turned out more shallow than I wanted it because of my patting the cement to make it firm and eliminate air pockets. Keep that in mind when you make your mound, that it will flatten a little with all of your patting and shaping.

  34. Carla says:

    Hi, I am wondering… Is the lime in the concrete bads for the birds? A few years ago I made a concrete pond and in doing the research I found out that the lime in the concrete is toxic to the fish.
    I want to make one of these bird baths but anyone know if it is toxic to the birds and if so, can I paint it, or is paint toxic?
    Thank, Carla

  35. Sally says:

    My birdbath had a white film whenever the water evaporated, and my husband said it was the lime leaching out of the concrete. I bought a concrete sealer which should stop the leaching. You can also use polyurethene, but the concrete sealer leaves a more natural look. I just put it on today, so I’ll let y’all know how it works when I fill it again.

  36. Patty says:

    I made one of these also, only used a sunflower leaf. I painted it green, going darker in the veins of the leaf, then sprayed 2 coats of polyurthane. It is very pretty, gave it to me sister-in-law for her birthday. I have molded many more of the same leaves, before they dried up & died. I would like to have suggestions from anyone about how to make a permanant mold from some other substance. My family wants to me to try to sell some of these. Any ideas? Thanks. Patty

  37. Valerie says:

    I made one of these leaves this winter while in Florida…I made it with a huge elephant ear leaf. I used quik-crete, but the one without stones. My leaf came out great. Definitely seal it or paint it with non-toxic paint. I plant to make more with different leaves and try the garden stone…LOVE IT!

  38. SHIRL says:

    I have used the rhubarb leaf, makes a nice bird bath or stepping stone. Try using a large hosta leaf, this leaves a nice pattern in your bird bath.

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