Stepping stones can be a beautiful addition to any garden and you can also have fun and bring out your creative side by making your own. For all those who love the idea of making their own here are some handy hints and tips on how to make stepping stones of your very own.
To begin with, the size and style of stepping stone is down to personal preference and there are many and to be honest this is the hardest factor of making the stones.
Once you have decided on the style that would suit your garden then you are ready to begin, you should find an area you can work in without being disturbed and as making stepping stones can be a little messy have some old sheets or newspaper to hand so you can cover the surface. Wearing protective old clothing and protecting your eyes is essential as the mix can splash and once you have gathered together all this you are then ready to start.
Starting to Make your Stepping Stones
The easiest type of stepping stone is the plain round one and you do not need to buy a special mold. All you need is a plastic planter saucer; this is what you stand your plant pots on in your home and catches the water.
Now is the time to get messy, mixing up the concrete, you have to take your time with this as this is the base for your stone and you do not want it to crack. The easiest way to buy the concrete is to use the ready mixed which can be bought in any DIY store, however you can mix it yourself if you wish to be brave, whichever type you choose to use it should have the consistency of cookie dough.
Once mixed it is time to start filling your mold for your stepping stones, you can either slowly pour your concrete into the mold or spoon it in, if using a specialist mold that has a pattern then you will have to make sure that you get the mixture into all the nooks and crannies and also get the air bubbles out.
The easiest way to get rid of air bubbles is to gently give the mold a little shake every now and again and push the mixture down with the flat of the spoon. When the mold is full give it a tap all around the sides and also smooth the top of the stone with the back of the spoon.
Embellishing Stepping Stones Ideas
Plain stepping stones need a little embellishment, while the planter makes an excellent mold very cheaply the top will of course be flat and here is where you can add embellishments. However before adding them you should leave the mix to cure a little, around 30 minutes should be enough. A simple embellishment but very effective are hand prints in the cement, however this is only one and you are only limited by your imagination.
When it comes to embellishments you have the choice of printing designs into the concrete or embedding items into the concrete. Excellent ideas that you can use include
• Collecting leaves and pressing them into the concrete to make patterns then removing them which can be very effective
• Using a popsicle stick to draw abstract patterns, write names or even poetry
• Cookie cutters of various sizes which can be used to push into the concrete to make patterns and then remove them
• Pressing shells, stones and pieces of driftwood into the cement
• Breaking up ceramic tiles and making a mosaic pattern in the concrete
• Any item which means something special to you pressed into the lead stepping stone
Finishing the Process of Making your Stepping Stones
Once you have completed your stone to your liking you have to leave it for around 3 days to completely set, after this time you should be able to just pop it out of the mold. Now is the time to paint it the colour of your choice and when done you need to seal the top of the stepping stone with an acrylic sealer and having done so leave it to one side for about a week before finally placing it in your garden.