Stepping stones are most commonly used in gardens and pathways adorned with beautiful flowers. The stepping stone provides a path from one destination to another without walking on and eventually killing the grass. Almost any shape and size stone can be created. Each one can be uniquely decorated to match the owner's personal style or to match the aesthetics of the garden. Various household and recycled items can make excellent stepping stone moulds.
Cover the desired workspace with a dust sheet, old sheet or table cloth. The best scenario is to work outside on a warm, clear day.
Determine the type of stone you wish to place on your path. The size of the desired stone will determine the type of mould that is used. A variety of items can be used as a mould such as cake pans, card board boxes, plastic plant trays and custom-built wooden forms. If multiple stones of the same size are needed it is not recommended to use a card board box. The cardboard will need to be removed by cutting and tearing it away from the dried stone. Plastic and metal items can be reused to make multiple stones.
Coat the plastic and metal moulds with a generous amount of petroleum jelly or cooking spray.
Prepare the concrete mix according to specific manufacturer's directions.
Pour a layer of the concrete mix into the mould. Cover the bottom of the mould and stop. If you wish to add any rocks, jewels or other embellishments around the sides of the stone, place a row of them into the sides of the pan. The concrete mixture will hold them in place. Pour another layer of concrete mix into the mould and repeat with the jewels until the mould has been filled halfway.
Measure and cut a piece of wire mesh with a pair of wire cutters. Cut the mesh 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) smaller than the size of the mould. The mesh should not been seen through the sides of the stone. Placing the mesh in the centre of the stone will reinforce the piece.
Pour the rest of the concrete mix into the mould until it reaches the top. Continue placing a layer at a time if jewels or other embellishments are used.
Scrape the top of the mould using a scraping board, ruler, or other flat item equal in stability. The item used should be longer than the diameter of the mould. Rest it on the top of the mould and scrape the excess concrete off the top to create a flat, smooth surface. Allow the mould to rest undisturbed for 1 hour. The concrete will begin setting, but will not be solid.
Design the stone by placing glass, rocks, jewels, hand prints, writing in the concrete or other desired designs directly into the concrete. Remove any items from the concrete that are not going to be permanent. Allow the mould to rest undisturbed for three days. This will provide enough time for the concrete to finish curing and will result in a solid stone.
Remove the stone from the mould by turning it upside down. It should fall out; if not, tap the sides of the mould until it does.
Place the stone on a hard, flat surface for an additional week to ensure that the stone has completely cured.
Apply a coat of concrete sealer to the stone. Allow this to dry for approximately one hour before placing outside. The sealer will protect the stone from water and the sun's rays.
Things you need
- Dust sheet
- Cake pan, cardboard box, plastic plant tray
- Petroleum jelly, cooking spray
- Concrete mix
- Wire mesh
- Wire cutters
- Ruler, scrap wood, other flat item.
- Jewels, rocks, glass, other decorative items