Friday, March 4, 2011

Homemade Stepping Stones

Something fun to do in the Spring/Summer is make steeping stones for your garden.  You can make them to match your style, put the names of your children in them or write a Bible verse in them.  I made some a couple of years ago with foot prints and hand prints. I made one for each kid.  They were lots of fun and a great way to remember just how small their fingers and toes were when they were that little. 

What you need:
  • Something to make a mold.  You can use an aluminum cake/pie pan.  A plastic planter saucer, or you can buy fancy molds from your local craft store.  I opted to just do the cheap thing and use a round cake pan (disposable).  You will need one for each mold. 
  • Concrete.  You can use a quick setting concrete like Quickkrete.  It costs only about a $2.12 per bag and one bag should be enough for several stepping stones.  Or you can get a special stepping stone mix at a local craft store, but they usually cost more and only give you enough concrete to make one stone.  Once again, I go the more inexpensive route. =)
  • Embellishments:  Buttons, marbles, glass globs, hair berets,broken tiles, craft paint, magnetic letters...I even used fake pearls from one of the girl's favorite princess necklaces that broke.  It was a great way to keep something we really liked without the added clutter of a broken play necklace laying around.  Be could use just about anything.
  • Imprinting items: Cookie cutters, toy soldiers,sea shells ...if you use your child's feet or hands be sure to wash them as soon as you are done. 
  • Newspaper or an old shower curtain liner to work on.
  • Pam, or a non-stick cooking spray
  • An old bucket or something in which to mix your concrete
  • Lots of water (I made mine outside and I used the garden hose)
  • Be sure you use things that you can throw away...or keep for making more stepping stones later.
  • Read the back of your mix.  It will tell you everything you need in case I've forgotten something.
  • Put your news paper or drop cloth down before you start (I do it outside)
  • Be sure to spray your mold with cooking spray before you start. 
  • Poor the water in a little at a time...follow the directions on the bag.
  • Add water a little at a time.  If you add too much it will take too long to dry. If you don't add enough it will crack.  Once again, just follow the directions on the mix.
  • Your stone should be at LEAST 2 inches deep.  
  • Shake and bounce mix around to make it settle...kinda like you might do your cake batter before baking to remove air bubbles.
  • Then decorate.  Use marbles to write your child's name.  Get an imprint of his/her foot and paint it after it dries. 
  • If you make a mistake you should be able to remove things and smooth the concrete out then return your decorations to the right place and try again.  You can add a tiny bit of water to smooth it all out and make it right again.  DON'T over do it on the water.  Your concrete will be runny and not work.
  • Place your completed stone in a location where you can leave it alone and not touch it for two or three days.  It will break if you move it before it's dry.
  • After it's dry you can add it to your garden or walk way.  Be sure it doesn't stick up enough for anyone to trip on (if it's in a place where people will walk) We don't need anyone falling for our masterpieces!  
It's a lot of work, but it's fun and totally worth it.  Think of all the memories you will save in the stone (kinda like scrap booking in concrete) and the memories you will make as you form and decorate your stone.   Have fun!!


  1. hey. just stopped over to read about the herbs and natural remedies. i'll be following your journey in that area for sure!
    just had a hint for this project, though. i did prints with craft clay (on sale!) with my kids when Mikalah was a baby. i was a little paranoid about getting the clay stuck on little fingers and toes so i used a piece of plastic wrap over the clay before they put their extremities in it. it left a slightly wrinkled look in the clay but that seemed to smooth out as it dried. so... just a thought if you ever do it again (or especially with very small children)

  2. Thank you, Tascha. That's a great idea. I will have to try that.

  3. what a wonderful idea, going to do it with the grandkids when it warms up a little, they will love it and so will I. Thanks Angela, I love this blog!
    Betty Horton