This summer you could be 'stepping out' on your own original works of art. Use these instructions to create one-of-a-kind stepping stones for your garden or yard.Bett McLean
As you're roaming your garden or yard, imagine following a path of decorated stones to your favorite bench or coming upon a stone surprise tucked in a wildflower patch. Our do-it-yourself steppingstones can be as simple or elaborate, as practical or whimsical as you wish — and they can be created in a few hours. This year, instead of stepping in the mud to avoid trampling your basil, you could be standing on an original work of art.
Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of your plastic plant tray or reinforce your pizza box with tape.
Plan your design using a paper template. (Mortar hardens quickly, so it's important to plan first, and mix and pour second.)
Mix the mortar with water until it's the consistency of thick frosting. We found it best to start with water and pour in the mortar a cup at a time, stirring as you go (wear protective eyewear and a paper mask so you don't inhale the concrete dust).
Pour the mortar into your mold. Use your gloved hands to knead the mix until there are no bubbles. Smooth the top with a trowel. The surface should give but shouldn't be runny.
Embed your decorative items. Start with the border (where the mix dries fastest) and move to the middle. You should feel the mixture sort of "grabbing" your items as you press them in with your gloved hand or a craft stick. Don't push too hard, but do make sure they're actually stuck to the surface. If your decorations sink below the surface, your mixture is too wet. Start over again.
Let your stone dry in a protected area. Most quick-drying mixtures set in a couple of hours, but we left all of our stones overnight just to be safe.
Carefully turn over your mold, and gently pop out the stone. If you're using a cardboard box, tear away the cardboard.