How to Make Steppingstones
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.
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Carefully turn over your mold, and gently pop out the stone. If you're using a cardboard box, tear away the cardboard.
- Choose a workspace where your molds won't have to be moved for 24 hours. When we moved filled molds before they were completely "set," we found that we'd broken the suction and that decorative items popped out and cracks formed around the edges of the stone.
- Wear gloves when you're mixing and use craft sticks to embed the items in the mortar. Thin medical-supply gloves offered protection without getting in the way.
- Smooth the top of your stone all the way to the edge of the mold. If the concrete is a little higher around the edges, it's likely to chip or crumble off when you remove the stone from the mold.
- If you're using concrete stain (we tried brown, yellow and black), add the stain to the water before you add the mortar mix.
- For added durability, you can embed a layer of thin mesh (like window-screen material or chicken wire) in the middle of the steppingstone. Fill the mold halfway, add the screen and then fill to the top.
- To lay several steppingstones in a row, follow Paul James' advice from Gardening by the Yard: Walk across the area where the stone will be laid and mark with chalk or flour where your feet fall. You'll notice that the marks won't be one after another in a straight line; they'll create a sort of natural zigzag.
Photos by David Luttrell
Transform an ordinary rock into a colorful work of art that labels your plants and accents a garden bed.