As we had grass growing, and only garden/flower bed space to walk through, the kids got in the habit of walking through the garden areas. We got our wood chips put down, and they still did this! It has been killing their feet. I wanted to make some homemade stepping stones and found a great tutorial. I have some solid measurements for you to help follow along. After we made these we saw they actually make kits to do this, but I love the idea of totally personalizing it. It wasn’t very much money (dollar store is the best) and so fun to throw this kind of a project together as a family.
*Fast Drying Cement Bag (Make sure it’s fast drying. We found our bag for less than $10 at a big hardware store)
*Container for mixing Cement (we used an old ice cream container, it blew away from the picture and I realized it too late, lol)
*Tool for mixing cement and water together
*Empty Soup (type) Can
*Pastry Brush (if using oil)
*Liquid Measuring Cup
*8 inch or 10 inch round plastic flower dish/pie plate (I found mine at the dollar store in the gardening section. They came in packs of 4.)
*Stones/Gems for decoration (I also found these at the dollar store.)
Brush your mold with oil, or you can try spraying it with cooking spray. I didn’t use cooking spray, so I’m not positive it’ll work. I don’t know why it wouldn’t though. This step is super important, so don’t skip it!!
Mix your cement and water. Since we’re using fast drying cement, it’s probably better to make enough to fill one container at a time.
Mix 3 cans (3/4 full-ish) with about 1 cup of water.
*As a side note, we live in Utah, and it is dry here … so if you live in a humid climate it may be slightly different.
To test if it’s too soupy or too thick, shake your container to level the top out. If you’re still seeing a lot of chunks, add a little water at a time. If it’s super super smooth and runny it’s too soupy. Here is the perfect consistency we came up with (using the above measurements).
This is the only picture I got of any of the kids decorating. We let each of the kids make their own. Like I mentioned, I was keeping other little fingers out of others projects. This one was WAY too chunky and we actually let her do another one because this one will hurt to walk on, lol.
Our first two tries. It obviously took a little bit to figure out the right amount of water vs cement.
Decorate!! Place the stones in and squish them down slightly so they will be flush on top. Make sure they are in there well enough so they won’t fall out later too. However, don’t push too hard, or they’ll be sunken down into the stone. Also, watch for any stones that may have sharp edges, those won’t feel great to step on.
Time to let them sit and dry. With the fast drying, you can read the bag for how long it takes to dry. It could be as little as 2 hours, but to be safe we waited over night. They slide right out of the mold. I was a bit worried, but we had no problems with any of ours.
We made enough that long legs could reach just right.
Medium legs could reach if balanced just right.
Little legs couldn’t quite reach from step to step. I guess we’ll just have to make more. 🙂
In the end, we made 8 stepping stones, that were 8 inches. We used about half of a 50 lb bag of cement. If you were only using 8 inch molds, you could probably get 16 molds. If you’re using 10 inch, I’d guess you’d get about 12.
**If you’re wanting to do hand prints instead of rocks/gems, you’ll want it on the thicker side. You’ll need to play with the consistency to get the hand print to stay.
Where would you put hand made stepping stones in your yard?
**This post was originally featured on One Artsy Mama. I have changed the content slightly to post it on my own website.