Garden Art forum: Quick, Easy and Cheap Stepping Stone Tutorial

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Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
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Robynznest
Aug 8, 2011 7:41 PM CST
This is a pretty easy project to do for your garden. Supplies you need are Quickrete Mortar Mix 10 lb. bag $2-3 at Lowes
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Water, moulds/molds, pail or bucket to mix in, a large spoon or paint stick to mix with and Pam or any cheap spray on cooking spray.

My moulds/molds are some that I have bought, but I always go back to the bakery cartons that you get when you buy cakes, cookies, pies at the store.

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First I clean all the molds and make sure they are dry, then I spray them making sure I get all the little nooks and crannies. Set them on a flat surface like a level table or the garage floor. Be sure to put newspaper down if you are afraid of getting cement on your table.

Now comes the fun part, I pour half the bag in my bucket and start adding water. The package directions call for 1 pint of water for every 10lbs of mix. I'm using half so I will start with just over a half pint of water. The reason I want to use more water than it calls for is because I am not going to use it for a mortar in between bricks which needs to be really thick, I want to pour it into the molds, I want the consistancy of a brownie batter.

Pour into your molds. If you are going to add glass, tiles or pebbles this is the time to do it. I like to have my design laid out ahead of time so all I have to do is transfer it over.

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Let dry 24 hours before you remove the stones from the molds. Let cure for another day before putting outside. If you are going to paint it, I recommend you let it cure for a week. Spray it with a clear spray paint first then paint, I use a veriaty of paints including exterior, and acrylic. When you've finished painting be sure to put a couple of coats of the clear on again.

The reason I recommend waiting a week to paint is because it is still curing and changing. Your paint will either crack or stretch and peel up.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
[Last edited by Robynznest - Aug 8, 2011 7:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Becky (Boo)
Phoenix, AZ 85022
finding joy one day at a time!
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Boopaints
Aug 8, 2011 7:54 PM CST

Moderator

These are great, Robin!!! And they look like fun too. Hurray!
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Name: Sally
Wesley Chapel. FL (Zone 9a)
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Sossman
Aug 8, 2011 7:57 PM CST
Awesome!!! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
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Robynznest
Aug 8, 2011 8:21 PM CST
Thanks, another storm coming in so I'm off till tomorrow, I hope.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Aug 9, 2011 3:59 AM CST
Nice work, Robin. Thumbs up
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Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Aug 13, 2011 8:59 PM CST
Got to try these...you make it look so easy!
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
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Samigal
Aug 13, 2011 10:21 PM CST
I seem to make every project I do a difficult job. Sure do like the easy stepping stones, always was going to try it and now I really think I can do it. Thanks for the instructions, Robin. Group hug
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Aug 15, 2011 6:36 AM CST

Moderator

Robin, do you put mesh or wire or anything in the cement mix so when you step on them they won't crack?
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Aug 15, 2011 6:39 AM CST
Good question. Big Grin
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
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Robynznest
Aug 15, 2011 2:38 PM CST
Thanks everyone.

No I don't put anything in them. I found it got to be too difficult to try and cover up or I had to make them thicker than I wanted which made them too heavy. Most people won't step on them anyway if they are decorated. I found they thought they would ruin the paint job or the stones. I use them all the time and have not had any break. (knock on wood) The resin ones from the store breaks real easy the concrete is not as easy. if you make it to thin then they might break. I like the to be at least an inch thick.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Aug 15, 2011 3:23 PM CST
I really like this idea for gifts. And for myself too. Wouldn't take too long to create a personalized gift stepping stone. Big Grin
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Aug 15, 2011 3:42 PM CST
Great Lesson Robin.... Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
Orchids Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Region: Missouri Plumerias
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Robynznest
Aug 15, 2011 4:00 PM CST
Thank you, this is very quick and easy and you add your own designs. Just think a Christmas present that is heavy and if it is wrapped up no one would be able to guess what it is.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Pegi Putnam
Norwalk, Ca. zone 10b
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Samigal
Aug 15, 2011 4:58 PM CST
I have some pans I got at the thrift store a couple years ago just for making my own stepping stones. I have too many things going on in my head, have to finish one project before starting another.
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
Orchids Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Region: Missouri Plumerias
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Robynznest
Aug 15, 2011 5:25 PM CST
The thing with these is you mix and pour in the morning and do other stuff all day long and then remove the stones the next day. Let them sit as long as you want before painting, But at least the stones are made for when you are ready to paint and if you decorate with glass, pebbles etc. They are done when you remove them. Easy peasy.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Aug 16, 2011 6:44 AM CST
These days, I really appreciate easy peasy. Hurray!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
Orchids Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Region: Missouri Plumerias
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Robynznest
Aug 16, 2011 8:50 AM CST
Me too, time wise especially.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Sheila_FW
Aug 16, 2011 10:05 AM CST
Robyn....do you have a picture of a finished stone with the glass beads? I am seeing that they will all be flat on top, right? Is there any way to get stones on the other side to show?...guess I am saying where you can keep the edge detail.
Name: Robin
Pittsburg, MO
Charter ATP Member I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Art Birds
Orchids Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Region: Missouri Plumerias
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Robynznest
Aug 16, 2011 10:10 AM CST
I'll get a pic but they really look like the above pictures. I have not tried putting any on the bottom or the sides. It might be possible.
Save the planet, it's the only one with chocolate.
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Butterflies Garden Art
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Sheila_FW
Aug 16, 2011 10:17 AM CST
TY Robyn!

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