I remember (vaguely) the days before I had three children, when I would enjoy creating things to hang, dangle and decorate my home with. I still love the satisfaction of making something from scratch, but time isn’t always on my side. Especially child-free time! I try to make a conscious effort to still create things (for my own sanity!), but things my children can join me in making are always a bonus. This month, I bring you my first attempt at a video tutorial (please ignore squealing children in background, stains on my playroom floor and amateur film-making!) to share with you how to make pretty stepping stones with an embedded mosaic design. These look so cool in your garden or yard – make a path, spread them out amongst the veggie garden, lay them within your paving, use them as pot-plant holders. Make your outdoor space personal, colorful and fun! (great gift idea for family/friends too!)…
I hope you enjoy watching – I’m such a visual learner that seeing rather than reading makes so much more sense to me! Let us know what you think! And please find the written instructions for the project below – for your reference (or just in case my Australian accent + newborn-baby-mama-brain doesn’t quite make sense to you!).
Stepping Stone Instructions
Bag of sand/cement (available from home depot or hardware store)
Broken tiles (tile shops will often give rejects away)
Clear contact paper
Bucket and stick for stirring cement mix
Old frying pan (one that you won’t use for cooking!)
Pen and scissors
Choose a design (see ideas below) and choose appropriate color tiles for design. Layering the tile between two pieces of cloth, give the tile a good bang with the hammer to break it into smaller pieces.
Choose pieces you like the shape of and lay your design out on the floor.
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Trace the bottom of the pan onto the contact paper and cut out the shape. Peel backing off and carefully lay the sticky side down onto your tile design. Press each tile piece to ensure it holds to the contact.
Carefully lift the contact and your tile design up off the floor and place it upside down into the pan (so the back of the tiles are showing).
In an old bucket, mix up some cement – you want it to be the consistency of a cake batter – slightly on the runny side. Immediately pour the mixture over into the pan – filling it to whichever thickness of stepping stone you desire! Leave to set.
At least 24 (and preferably 48+) hours later, lay and old towel or blanket onto the floor to ‘bang’ your stepping stone out of the pan. A few good whacks of the upside down pan should do it!
Peel the contact paper off your stepping stone. You may have excess cement on some of the design – scrape it off with an old knife or stick – or rub it with a rag/scourer to reveal the whole piece of tile. Place it in the garden and enjoy! (or get to work on the next one…!)
*obviously working on several at a time is more time-efficient! Hunt around at garage sales or thrift stores to get a small collection of pans/pots to use – I have even had success in a square Tupperware container, so think creatively and use what you can!
(these are some my 7 year old and I came up with while brainstorming!)
Bunch of grapes (with ‘fairy stones’ as grapes)
Ice cream cone
Different letters of the alphabet to spell out a word (when lined up with other stepping stones)