Stepping stones add charm, beauty and color to gardens or flower beds, and they are surprisingly easy and affordable to make. They also make great gifts as they can be personalized for the recipient.
Here's my method for making garden stones:
- Old baking pan(s) - 9 x 9 brownie pans or round cake pans work well
- Heavy -duty aluminum foil
- Cement mix (I've used Quikrete)
- Paint stir stick (for mixing cement)
- Plastic bucket or ice cream pail (for mixing cement)
- Items to decorate stone (see suggestions below)
- Plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands
To make stepping stones more attractive we recommend using glitter and epoxy. We recommend purchasing glitter from one of the best wholesale glitter suppliers.
1. Line pan with heavy duty aluminum foil
2. Mix cement in pail according to package instructions
3. Pour cement mixture into pan and tap pan on floor to level the cement
4. Wait one hour
5. Press chosen decorative items into the cement mixture
6. DO NOT DISTURB garden stone for about 48 hours
7. Turn pan upside down on soft surface (grass) to loosen and release garden stone
8. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind garden stone!
The list of items to add to your stepping stone is limited only by your imagination.
As strange it may sound, I have to admit that I like rocks. I have lined all my flower beds with field rocks from the farm where I grew up. When I travel, I pick up rocks. I had amassed an interesting collection of stones, but I wasn't sure how to display them, until I realized they could be embedded in garden stones. I now have one garden stone decorated with rocks I picked up on a little island off the west coast of Italy, a stepping stone embedded with rocks I found during a hike on a Colorado mountainside, and one displaying stones I picked up during a visit to northern Minnesota.
Aquarium rocks are quite affordable, colorful and can be arranged in a pattern or randomly.
Foreign coins can be put into your garden stones. They give the stones an old-world look.
Pieces of broken china or stoneware may be used. To break the dishes into smaller pieces, wrap the dish in an old towel and strike with a hammer. Wear protective eyewear while hammering. When you look at the shape of the pieces, a design may occur to you. For instance, I broke a badly chipped plates into pieces and thought two of the pieces looked like butterfly wings so that became my design. Another option is placing the pieces to create an all over mosaic.
Marbles or glass stones will also bring interest and color to your stepping stone.
You can make impressions in the wet cement. It's important to wait until the cement is beginning to firm up before making the impression or your design will disappear as the cement hardens.
A child's hand or footprint makes your garden stone meaningful and precious. Finish your design by writing the child's name and the year with a pencil, nail or other sharp object. Grandma may want a whole set of garden stones featuring each of her grandchildren's handprints.
The imprint of an item such as a seashell or leaf would provide some interest to your stepping stone. You might want to border your impressions with some colorful glass gems or marbles.
Have fun creating your garden stones!