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A Step-By-Step Guide to Homemade Stepping Stones
Stepping stones can be used for many different things. A common use for them is around the house and the yard to make your home have a more artistic, sanctuary-like feel. It gives your living space a unique and special signature. Whether you’re using your stepping stone mold to create a walkway to the front of your house from the driveway or a decorative stepping stone path around your garden, this article will discuss the steps involved in creating your own unique stepping stones and all the different uses that stepping stone mold offers.
First, you’ll want to decide what you want to use your stepping stone mold for before you get started. The mold can be used for more than just simply pathways. You can use your personalized stepping stones to create a fence around your garden to add a dramatic look to it. It really just depends on what you want to use them for.
If you wish to start from scratch, here are some of the materials you’re going to need to craft your stepping stones: bag of quick-setting concrete, bucket for mixing,
water, shovel or hoe, container for use as a mold (at least 2" tall), coins, leaves, broken tile or other hard items for decoration, old spoon. Keep in mind that no matter what size you want your stepping stones to be, they must be at least 2 inches thick. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your work area is protected by plastic wrap or newspaper as to avoid a mess.
Some tips for creating your stepping stones before you begin:
-Don’t work outside; the wind will dry the stone faster and is not recommended.
-Don’t make your stone on the carpet; the cement will be very difficult to get out.
First off you’ll want to mix the mold in the bucket you’ve prepared following the manufacturer’s instructions closely; making sure that the mold has the consistency of peanut butter. One 60-pound bag makes about 10 stones. You can also purchase stepping stone concrete at craft and garden stores.
Secondly, you’re going to pour the mixed up concrete into the mold. To make getting the finished stone of the mold easier, you may want to spray around the top of the mold with non-stick cooking spray. Make sure to pat down flat the mixture and also the outside of the mold to get out air bubbles. When the cement mix is too dry, the stepping stone can crack, the surface can crack when decorating, and the surface can dry uneven and grainy. Even if the cement mix seems dry, continue to mix until all cement is completely mixed. Then, if it is too thick, add water only 1 tablespoon at a time and mix completely.
Leave the mold to sit for a few minutes before you put any decorations on it. If you so choose, you can put on such things as coins, leaves, or pieces of broken tile. Be sure to wear safety glasses when breaking up the tile with a hammer. If you do choose to put in the tiles, press them into the surface of the concrete. If you make a mistake, you can just take it out, smooth over the mold with a spoon, and lay the tile down again. You may also want to write or draw imprints in the stone for special designs that make your stepping stone even more unique. If details in the drawing begin to fade, wait 3-5 minutes then retrace.
Now the stone needs to sit for a good two or three days undisturbed. After the two to three day period is up you can remove the stone by simply popping it out of the mold. A good tip is to leave your stone untouched for another week or so before putting them outside or stepping on them. They should also never be raised more than ½ inches above the ground to prevent breaking.
About the Author: Scott Byers is the owner of Stepping Stone Info, a complete stepping stone resource with articles on stepping stones and directions on how to make them.