How to Make Personalized Stepping Stones for Your Garden
Homemade stepping stones on a walkway or path are a great way to personalize your garden. Not only are they interesting hardscape elements to have around the garden, but they also make great gifts and keepsakes for family and friends. Make one of these stepping stones and use a child’s handprints or footprints or mementos to make them extra special.
While you do have the option of purchasing a kit, you can save a lot of money by picking up your own supplies. In fact, you can make a whole set of DIY stepping stones for the cost of a single kit. Basically, stepping stones are made by mixing concrete, decorating it, pouring it into a mold, and allowing it to dry. What could be simpler?
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Paint mixer
- Rubber gloves
- Drop cloth
- Quick-setting concrete or “stepping stone” concrete
- Nonstick spray or petroleum jelly
- Embellishments such as broken bits of pottery, marbles, small toys, tiles or dice from board games, dried flowers or plant matter, sea glass, sparkles, etc.
Tips for Materials
- You can purchase a plastic stepping stone mold at a craft shop; if you like unusual shapes such as hexagons, that’s a great idea. But if you’re going for something simpler such as a rectangle, square, or circle, there are cheaper mold options. Old cake tins or baking tins work well, and even a cereal box is great for one-time use.
- If you’re creating a set of stones for a large garden, your best bet is to go to your local home supply shop for a 4 or 8-pound bag of quick-setting concrete. If you’re just making a few small stepping stones, you’ll find “stepping stone concrete” at your craft store.
- Prepare Crafting Area and MoldsStart by putting newspaper and/or a drop cloth on the ground. Ideally, you’ll make your stepping stones outdoors because it can get messy. Line your mold or molds with cooking spray or petroleum jelly.
- Add Concrete to MoldMix up your concrete according to instructions on the bag. Pour the concrete mix into mold or molds.
- Add EmbellishmentsAdd embellishments to the top of the concrete. In addition to adding objects to the mold, you may also want to create concrete “casts” (impressions of objects that are then removed from the concrete). One option is to wait until the concrete starts to set, and then have children make hand and/or footprints in the drying concrete. Other interesting impressions can be made with leaves, shells, and other natural objects.
- Let the Concrete DryAllow your stepping stone to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours. Remove from the mold and place it in your garden!