We wanted to make stepping stones for our garden for a while now. Last week, we finally did it! It was so much fun and really easy to do! We are so pleased with the results, and happy to have made stepping stones that really show off our different personalities. 🙂
Used Materials and Tutorial:
You need: concrete, plastic bowls, glass pebbles (available here*), toothpicks, bucket, trowel
To make our stepping stones we used ordinary concrete. Just one of those big bags you can buy in a hardware store. You can start to work with it as soon as you mix it with some water.
There are many types of concrete available. You should use one that contains very fine materials such as sand. Our concrete was a little too gritty, but it worked out well enough in the end.
Add a little water to the concrete and mix it thoroughly with with a trowel. We always made small portions, and experimented with the amount of water. If you add a little more water, the mixture is easier to work with and you get nicer results.
To decorate our stepping stones, we used small pebbles, glas stones and shells. Broken tiles or mosaic pieces would look great too.
Your molds should be made of a material that doesn’t stick to the dried stepping stones. I saw tutorials that used cardboard boxes or cake pans. We wanted to make a lot of stones at once, so I bought some disposable plastic soup bowls. I really like the round shape, and the size is ideal!
Fill your bowls to the brim with the concrete. The fun can get quite messy, so we protected our lawn with plastic sheeting and our hands with rubber gloves. That turned out to be a really good idea in the end! 🙂
To get rid of the air bubbles make a lot of little holes with a toothpick.
Smooth out the surface with a spatula or a trowel. Alternatively you could shake your mold gently, or tap it to the ground a few times. In the picture above you can see that the mixture is a little too dry. If that is the case, just toss it in your mixing bucket again and add more water to it.
We loved the decorating part! Just place your pebbles, shells or whatever on the wet concrete and gently push them in. They should be halfway covered in concrete. Otherwise the pebbles will fall off once the concrete has dried.
You could do all sorts of patterns. Just be creative and have fun with it. You’ll get the best results if you leave a little space between the pebbles. Also don’t place them too close to the edge of the stepping stone.
Alternatively you could put your decorative pieces on the bottom of the molds and pour the concrete mixture over it.
I made some stepping stones myself and decorated on of them with a big B. – of course 🙂 I used a little wooden spit to draw the B. Water will fill the crack and you should re-draw your letter an hour later. Just push the fine sand gently down in the cracks.
You don’t have to hurry with the decorating part. You can manipulate the concrete for a few hours. (Except you use quick drying concrete.) Your stepping stones will take about 2 days to dry. Pour a little water over them from time to time, to help with the curing process.
After one day you can ease the stepping stones from the molds. Now is the perfect time to clean the little pebbles and glass stones with a wet towel. Unwanted residue or smudges should come easily at that stage.
The kids made beautiful patterns and pictures, and I acted out my love for spiral shapes. After 2 days, the stepping stones were ready and we put them in the ground.
If you have found the perfect place for your stepping stones, dig a little hole the size of your stone. Place your stepping stone inside, so that they are not raised above ground level. Otherwise you could easily trip over them, or the stones could break if you step on the edge.
We framed one of our flowerbeds with the stepping stones. 🙂
Magical Touch: If you want, you can decorate your stepping stones with protective symbols, or put an amulet, a talisman, a personal object or even herbs inside the concrete. I like the idea of something special being encased in the stepping stones – possibly for eternity. 🙂
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