How to Make a Garden Mosaic Stepping Stone
Stepping stones are creative art projects that give a flower garden a special, personalized touch. Using mosaic glass pieces to decorate the stones makes it a fun and easy project to make on your own or with kids. You can find mosaic stepping stone kits in craft stores or you can use existing supplies from home.
These decorative garden stones make great gifts for anyone with a garden. Since children love to give gifts they make, mosaic stepping stones are excellent Mother's Day, birthday and Christmas presents.
Instructions for Making a Garden Stepping Stone
Decide the shape of the stepping stone. At craft stores, there are many plastic molds to choose from. You can select a frog, butterfly, heart or just a simple round mold. Be sure to save the plastic mold after you use it so you can use it again in the future.
Gather your supplies. In addition to the plastic mold, you will need a small bag of concrete, an old bucket, water (access to a hose or a laundry room sink is a good idea), concrete spreader, waterproof adhesive, sandpaper and mosaic tiles. If you wish to have colored concrete instead of the basic white, you will need to add a little acrylic or latex paint. With the exception of mosaic glass tiles and pieces, most of these items can be purchased at your local hardware store. Some craft stores will sell mosaic pieces, but you can also buy them on eBay or online stores.
Mix the concrete. Using an old bucket, mix the powder concrete mix with water. You can follow the recommended proportions on the concrete bag. Using warm water will cause the concrete to set faster, which is advisable in the winter, but if making this in the warmer months, use cold water to slow the set. Keep stirring until you have the consistency of peanut butter. Avoid a soupy mix; it will take longer to set and it will be less durable in cold temperatures. Add a few drops at a time of your selected paint color to mix into the concrete until you have achieved your desired color.
Pour the concrete into the mold. Do not let the concrete sit in the bucket very long--you have relatively short window before the concrete begins to harden. Slowly pour the concrete into the mold. When it gets about halfway to the top, stop pouring and spread the concrete smoothly to eliminate air bubbles. Then pour more concrete until you reach the top of the mold.
Smooth concrete. Use a square trowel, a mason's trowel or even a flat piece of wood to eliminate all air bubbles and smooth the top. You can let your child make a handprint or footprint in the concrete and sign their name with a stick. When the project is complete, you will always have their footprint and signature on the back.
Allow concrete to cure. Curing means maintaining proper moisture and temperature while the mold sets. Since it is a small mold and not a large slab of concrete, this will be done in 24 hours.
Remove from mold. Once set, turn mold over onto table covered in newspaper and gently shake the form out of the plastic mold. Now you are ready for the fun creative part!
Trace or draw a design. If you are using a plain mold and want to draw your own design, it works well to cut out a pattern first and then trace it.
Decorate with glass mosaic pieces. Use a waterproof and weatherproof adhesive to glue the glass pieces to the concrete to achieve your design. Allow glue to completely dry.
Apply grout in between the glass pieces. Using ready-made grout is the easiest route. Smooth over mosaic pieces using a paper towel or wax paper. Try to wipe off as much excess as you can. Wait about 15 minutes then use a damp sponge or rag and wipe the mosaic pieces clean.
If desired, sand the stone to make it smooth. You can also choose to leave the grouted part rough for a less refined look.
Mosaic Stepping Stones Make Beautiful Garden Art
Viola! Take your masterpiece out to the garden and find a place for it to be seen and enjoyed. You will enjoy it for years to come.