The Green Desk
Imprinting Concrete with Natural Objects
How can I create impressions in concrete using leaves or other natural objects?
Here are some simple steps
- Collect leaves that are heavily textured with strong vein patterns. The more flexible/pliable the better. Until leaves are used, keep them in a baggie with water to keep them moist and pliable.
- Place the flattened leaves onto the surface of the wet/uncured concrete.
- Use a trowel to gently press the leaves into the concrete.
- Remove leaves after approximately 45 min. or leave them in place until they deteriorate.
- Select leaves from trees or plants growing in or that will be planted in the outdoor learning environment.
- Go for a walk in the neighborhood, nearby park or other natural space with the children to collect leaves.
- Evergreen leaves (i.e. cedar) make an interesting, but deeper, imprint.
- Other natural objects, such as berries, small cones, feathers and shells, could also be used to make imprints.
- Rubber stamps are available, but natural materials are more meaningful, authentic, and less expensive.
- Make stepping stones to practice mixing concrete (follow the instructions on the bag) and making imprints with a half bag of concrete.