Step Nine (This is the Exciting Part)
After drying for two days, uncover the mold. Gently pull on the edges of the plastic lining to lift the bowl out of the dirt. Peel off the plastic. It should come away from the bowl easily.
Set the bowl on a flat surface and gently peel the leaf/leaves off. You may need to use a toothpick or a thin flat screwdriver to lift an edge or to gently scoop some remnants of leaf out of the folds and crevices. If some pieces are stubborn they should come off with the spray from a hose/nozzle and a scrub with an old toothbrush.
Stand back and admire!
Step Ten (Cure Bowl)
Dampen the bowl with water, cover with plastic and leave to cure for a couple of days, checking and dampening each day. Remove the plastic and allow the bowl to dry for another two or more days.
Step Eleven (Finish)
Painting your leaf is optional. You may prefer to leave it as is, especially if you have coloured the concrete. I chose to paint one and colour the concrete of the other.
If you decide to paint your leaf impression, here is one way to do it. Dilute a couple of tablespoons of paint (outdoor craft paint — see the supply list) with water to make a “wash”. Spread the wash over the leaf impression with a brush and quickly wiped the paint off of the high points leaving paint largely in the low points, such as the veins. (Use warm water and a rag for this.) Let the paint dry for a day and then (if you wish) diluted another colour of paint and sponge it sparingly onto the higher points of the imprint. This will give some dimension to the imprint. Let it all sit in the sun for a few days to fade a bit.
Seal the bowl by spraying it with sealant (see the supply list). This is a good idea if you plan to use your bowl for a birdbath or downspout splash pad. If it will be displayed in a more protected way, sealing may not be necessary.
Use your leaf impression bowl proudly in your garden! You made it!
Why not try your hand at a few different looks? The bowls make great gifts for gardening friends, too!