Gather all your supplies and follow these step-by-step directions and learn how to make your own garden stepping stones.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Stepping Stones
- The first thing you should do is to protect your work surface and yourself. Lay down some newspaper, plastic sheeting, or an old tablecloth or shower curtain. Weather permitting, you can make these outside! Always wear eye protection and rubber gloves. An old, long sleeve shirt and sweatpants would also be a great idea.
- Set your mold on your work surface. If you are using a special stepping stone mold follow any directions that came with it. I used clear, plastic planter saucers as-is, and they worked perfectly! If you are brave enough to try a cake pan or other household item, you should try coating them with a liberal layer of cooking spray or petroleum jelly.
- Now, you are ready to mix up the concrete. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the bag of concrete you are using. I used a bag of Quikrete, which really had no specific directions. I discovered that a mixture of 5 parts concrete to 1 part water worked well. Your mixture will vary depending on what kind of concrete you use, but the wet mixture should have the consistency of thick brownie batter.
- Once your concrete is mixed, you can start spooning it into the mold. Fill the mold about half full and smooth it down. Lay your cut piece of screening or hardware cloth into the mold and then finish scooping the cement into the mold until full.
- Gently tap around the outside of your mold to help remove any air bubbles and also to help even out the top. Now leave your stepping stone alone to set up for 30 to 60 minutes before you add any embellishments or decorations - this is especially important if you are making hand prints or other prints in the cement.
- Once the cement has been given some time to set up, you can start decorating it. If you make a mistake, you can simply remove the items, flatten out the top with the side of a craft stick or spoon, tap the sides to smooth, and start over again!
- Your stepping stone must now sit for 2 - 3 days without being disturbed - do not move it. Once it is dry, you can gently pop it out of the mold. Voila!
- Now, you can finish decorating it if you are planning on doing any painting. You can seal the top of your stepping stone with a clear acrylic sealer if you paint it.
- I would suggest letting your stepping stone sit for another week before putting it outside. When you place the stones outside they should not be raised above ground more than about 1/2-inch so people don't trip on them and also so the stone doesn't break.