Recently, I purchased some stepping stone molds to make a walkway in the garden. I really like the art entailed in the stepping stones, and the idea came to me to make a display piece which would incorporate a painted, detailed stepping stone as one of the side panels of the planter. This instuctable shows how to do it!
Step 1: Materials Used
1. Ready mix concrete, one 60lb. bag will make six stepping stones.
2. Some plywood, 3/8 inch minimum thickness. I needed four pieces, 12 inches x 14 inches long, for the sides, and one piece for the bottom. It is cut to fit by placing piece of plywood over opening, and marking where needed. This assures a tight fit.
3. "Siding" material for the planter sides...I made mine out of re-used fence boards. This means no finishing needed as it gives a rustic appearance.
4. Screws to hold it all together, specifically, 1 x 1/4in and, 1 x 5/8 in drywall screws.
5. Liquid Nails or other suitable adhesive.
6. Asphalt emulsion to line planter with.
7. Black plastic, as a trash bag, to use as an insert to prevent water damage to wood parts.
8. Stepping stone mold...If interested, ask and I wil give source.
Step 2: First, Pour Stepping Stone
Since stepping stones should cure for a few days before using them, that should be the first step. Using standard techniques for mixing and pouring ready made concrete, the mold is filled with the concrete mix and allowed to sit for 24 hours, minimum.
Step 3: Make Planter Body
To make the planter, I used the plywood shown above, and cut fence boards to use as siding material and support pieces to which side pieces are screwed. I cut four sides, 12 x 14 inches. These form a simple box which is built according to the pictures. Add a bottom piece, cut from the same plywood. Just lay a piece down on the opening and mark lines to cut to fit. Drill 4 or 5 1/2 inch holes in this piece so water drains out the bottom. Yes, it will rot out in a few years, but I have had them last for up to 10 years.
Step 4: Attach "Siding Material" to Box Built in Previous Step
Pretty much self explanatory, used fence boards are "pre-seasoned" and add a distinct flavor to the planter box. I laid all pieces out, and tried them for fit. Fill in pieces were cut with a table saw.
Step 5: Make Top Lip of Planter
To enhance the appearance and shape of the planter, I constructed the top lip out of boards cut to size on the table saw. I also used the cut off miter saw to cut these pieces to a 45 degree angle to make a tight fit.
Step 6: Paint Stepping Stone
First, I used a spray paint primer/sealer for indoor/outdoor projects...Krylon makes one! Product #51315. Then, I painted the stepping stone with acrylic craft paint. Regular type paint is used, and when sealed with polyurethane, can last several years.
Step 7: Seal Inside of Planter
Using the asphalt emulsion, coat the interior walls of the planter and let dry. To this dry coat, smooth in a black plastic garbage bag and spread it around as much as possible. Don't forget to make a few holes in the bottom of bag so water drains and does not pool. Adding planter mix at this point is an option to help in holding bag in place.
Step 8: Install Stepping Stone
Place painted stepping stone in place on the side chosen. Use liquid nails or another suitable adhesive to secure stone to side wall of planter. I left one frame piece unattached until this step. Screw in place after installing stepping stone.
Step 9: Place Planter in Garden or Spot of Choice
If not done, fill planter with potting mix/potting soil and plant your choice of plants: I want to use a perennial, such as Martha Washington geraniums, purple fountain grass, a good aloe or agave, etc. Enjoy!