How to Make Elephant Ear Leaf Castings

Overview

The scientific name for the perennial elephant ear plant is Colocasia esculenta. Elephant ear leaves are often said to resemble the ear of a real elephant. They are large in size, heart-shaped and grow in warm climates. According to Gardens and Crafts, elephant ear leaves are great for using to make a leaf casting. The leaf casting can be set in a garden for decoration, or to hold water for birds to drink out of. Making an elephant ear leaf casting isn't hard, as long as you take it one step at at time.

Step 1

Put an apron on to protect your clothes, and wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin. Concrete can burn skin when it is wet.

Step 2

Examine an elephant ear leaf plant to find the best leaf to use in your casting. You want one with defined veins. It should also be free of disease, insect bites or tears.

Step 3

Fill the bottom layer of a large box with sand. Then moisten the sand with a little water. The sand should stick together without being soaked. The sand pile should be a little larger than your elephant ear leaf. Finish this step by laying a sheet of plastic wrap over your wet sand.

Step 4

Set your leaf on the plastic wrap that is over top of the sand. You want the vein side to be facing up, because you are going to pour concrete over the veins.

Step 5

Place some concrete mix in a bucket and begin adding water to it slowly. Gardens and Crafts recommends stopping when your concrete mix becomes like a brownie mix.

Step 6

Place a spoonful of concrete in the center of the leaf. Add more concrete a little at a time until you have covered the entire leaf. The concrete should be an inch think in the middle and half an inch think on the ends. Pat down when you are done to remove any potential air bubbles.

Step 7

Cover your elephant ear leaf casting with plastic for 48 hours. This will protect the casting as it hardens.

Step 8

Remove the plastic and flip your leaf casting over. Peel the elephant ear leaf off the casting to review the results.

Step 9

Paint your leaf casting three days later with shades of green paint. Wait for the paint to dry and then seal it with a concrete sealant. When the sealant drys, you will be able to display the elephant ear casting in your garden.

Tips and Warnings

  • If your elephant ear leaf casting has too many air bubbles, it won't hold water well.

Things You'll Need

  • Apron
  • Plastic gloves
  • Elephant ear leaf
  • Large box
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Concrete mix
  • Green paint
  • Paint brush
  • Concrete sealant

References

  • Gardens and Crafts: Leaf Castings

Who Can Help

  • Garden Adventures: Elephant Ear Image
Keywords: elephant ear leaf, leaf casting, leaf imprinting

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.