Decorating Your Garden Using Stepping Stones


Decorative Garden Stepping Stone

What purpose do garden stepping stones really serve?

  1. They act as a bridge through your lawn, so the grass doesn't get trampled under your feet.
  2. They can be placed around any garden area heavy with mulch, or dirt, to keep your feet from getting dirty.
  3. They can be installed purely for decorative purpose near some flower beds or in the lawn

What's getting popular nowadays is the practice of self-made decorative garden stepping stones at home. Using marbles, stained glass, mosaic pieces and paintings, the stones are made to look like art pieces and serve as items of decoration rather than the original purpose of a bridge.

This article is about how to make different types of decorative garden stepping stones. You don't need to spend a lot, just use your creativity and resourcefulness to create a work of art by using the odds and ends around the house. Let's get started.

How to make a garden stepping stone

The best place to start is with the basics. Let's understand how a basic garden stepping stone is made before moving on to decorating it.

The procedure is quite simple, it's almost like baking a cake. All you need is

  1. A plastic mold or a cake pan
  2. Cement
  3. Grease

You can buy a packet of concrete mix or cement mix from any home-craft store, try buying the smooth variety (a little more expensive but easy to mix).

Prepare the concrete mix

Mixing up the concrete is similar to making a batter just that you will be using a bucket for this purpose. All you need to do is follow the exact instructions printed on the package to get the consistency of the mix just right. You should use rubber gloves while mixing the concrete else it can cause blisters on your hand.

The final product should neither be too runny nor too hard. Mixing actually is the tough part after that it's a cinch.

Pour the mix into a mold

You can use any mold of your choice as long it allows at least 2 inches of depth and 14 inches of width (minimum). Plastic molds of various shapes are available at craft stores for this very purpose. You can also use some old cake pans lying around the house.

Just line up the interior of the mold with a thin layer of grease. Pour in the concrete mix carefully and evenly, don't fill it to the brim though (leave a 1/2 inch gap). Tap around the sides to the mold to remove any air bubbles trapped inside.

Let the mix dry up

Usually it takes 2 to 3 days for a mix to become bone dry. You can just tilt the mold and tap at the bottom for the concrete to pop out. Your stepping stone is ready to be installed. Don't walk on it for a week so that it has time to cure in the weather.

Decorating the garden stepping stone


Painted Stepping Stone

A drab basic looking stone does not add to the personality of your garden, so it make's sense to give it a personal touch. Basically there are three known ways of decorating the stone.

  1. Embedding prints
  2. Painting (using oil paints)
  3. Embedding decorative items like marbles & stained glass

Note: When the concrete mix has been poured into the mold, it should be left to dry a bit for a period of 60-70 minutes. Only then it's ready to be embedded.

You can use all the three methods to come up with a really unique bit of art. Let's now take up each of these methods briefly.

Embedding prints

Your kids would love to offer their generous services for this process. Just ask them to place their little hands or feet on top of the concrete mix (once it has been allowed to dry for 60 minutes in the mold). You can then draw a star around the imprint using a pencil on the concrete.

Painting

You don't really have to be good at painting to paint a stone. Just let your imagination run wild. You should paint a stepping stone once its bone dry. Use some oil paints for this purpose as they tend to stay longer. You can buy the oil paints at any craft store. So if you are looking for some decoration ideas on how to make garden stepping stones, a scenic painting might be your solution.

Embedding decorative items

Colored marbles, beads, shells, bangles, stained glass, colored mosaic pieces, well almost anything which is flat or round and looks decorative can be used to create artistic stepping stones.

Just use your creativity to come up with some kind of a unique design. Embedded these items once the concrete mix has dried for 60 minutes in the mold else they will just drown in the mix.

Continue reading part 2 of this article: Garden Stepping Stones - Part 2