Garden Stepping Stones
Pave the way to your garden retreat
Stepping stones are so tantalizing - they form a path that can lead anywhere. Depending on the stones that are laid out, you can imagine that all sorts of magic take place on and at the end of that path, especially if you have a few statues keeping guard over your garden's passageways.
Decorative stepping stones don't only provide a different element to your garden; they also add some more color and texture to an already delightful place to be.
There's a massive selection of stepping stones that can add to your garden decor. If you think your stepping stones are too pretty to be stepped on, other uses include:
- Wall hangings
- Gravestones for a loved pet
- An interesting way to display your house number or family name
- A garden marker (e.g. Vegetables, Herbs, Roses, etc)
Some garden suppliers sell stepping stones as tabletops or wall hangings and provide table bases or special racks to properly install them. The stones are made of every material you can think of, including plaster, resin, concrete, stone, slate, bronze, brass, terra cotta, even glass. If you're going to actually use the stones as stepping stones, make sure to choose a hardy material that's easy to clean. Any decoration on the stone should be carefully protected and waterproofed so not to ruin it. Many people have interesting paths leading to their ponds or fountains, and you can even get stepping stones that glow in the dark to pick out your path even at night.
Stepping stones make a great housewarming gift for a new gardener, and can be customized and decorated to whatever whim you have. They also make a fun and cheap craft idea for children.
How to make your own stepping stone
Materials you will need:
- Mold - an old margarine tub or cake pan will do
- Decorations like gems, stones, feathers, key chains, anything special that you want to include, and poster paint to decorate the stone afterwards
- Protective wear and newspaper - concrete is messy
- An old mixing spoon and measuring cup to measure what you will need for the concrete
- Concrete dye - if you want your stone to be a different color
- Start by putting on protective clothing and covering your work surface with newspaper.
- Prepare your mold by spreading a layer of petroleum jelly or cooking spray inside it. If you are using a special stepping stone mold, follow the directions on the package.
- Mix up your concrete following the instructions on the bag. If you don't have any instructions to follow, mix to the consistency you want. The cement should be no softer or thicker than soft cookie dough.
- Fill your mold to the thickness that you want your stone to be. If you like, use a small piece of screen or hardware cloth in the center of your stone to make it stronger.
- Tap the mold to get all air bubbles out. Let the cement sit for about 20 minutes, then add your decorations. The cement must dry for two to three days, undisturbed.
- Once the stone is completely dry, gently pop it out of the mold. It should come out easily. Now you can finish decorating the stone by painting it. Seal it with a water sealant after the paint is dry, if your stone is going to be outside.
- Put it in your garden or hang it on your wall and enjoy!