So why shouldn't we decorate these personal, sometimes private places as we do those same places in our homes to suit our liking?
I enjoy making stepping stones for my garden and have done many different styles from animals, to glow in the dark and even Memorial Stones for loved ones and pets. They are as useful as they are decorative and not too hard to make.
They do require o few days to make because of drying times but otherwise its a project you can involve the whole family, including kids around 6 years old and up.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Cement Mix (I used 7 lbs. for this project)
Cement Colorant, optional
Mosaic Bits or Broken Glass Pieces
Stirring Sticks or an old wooden spoon
Paper (disposable bowl)
Flat Head Screwdriver
Rubber Gloves if using a colorant
Eye Protection (Because of Dust)
Breathing Protection (Because of Dust)
Step 2: Color Your Medium
Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture in a disposable bowl to use later for grouting.
Note: 1/4 cup is usually plenty unless you will be grouting large spaces.
Step 3: Mix Your Medium
Place your mold on a board large enough to hold the entire mold securely and scoop up some of the mix then slap it into the mold with enough force to fill the intricate design area.
Step 4: Filling the Mold -1
Note: You need to bounce the board many times as the mixture is very thick.
Step 5: Filling the Mold - 2
Move the mold still on the board to an area where it can sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 days.
After a few hours when the cement has begun to set up take a small craft stick and drag it across the surface to remove uneven lumpy spots on the bottom that will cause your stone to sit unevenly when it is done.
Clean up the rim again if necessary.
Step 6: Unmolding Your Garden Stone
Starting at the edges gently lift around the mold and let it pop loose until the entire mold is released.
Brush away any loose material with your hand and give your stone a few hours of open air drying and curing time for the area that was at the bottom of the mold.
Notice the darker areas that are dry to the touch but not quite all the way dry.
Step 7: Trim and Clean
Step 8: Prepare Your Garden Stone for Decorating
Leave about 1/8 inch space between pieces to leave room for the grout that will be used to keep them permanently in place.
Step 9: Decorating Your Garden Stone - 1
Give the glue time to set up, 30 minutes or so and you are ready to begin grouting around the Mosaic pieces.
Step 10: Grouting Your Garden Stone
Using a gloved hand press the grout into the tiled area pressing it firmly into the openings. Dont be concerned about getting it on the Mosaic pieces; we will clean it up later. I also grouted around the eyes.
Step 11: Cleaning Your Garden Stone
Note: Rinse your sponge outside using the spigot, you dont want to put cement down your inside drains.
Set the stone aside again and allow the grout to dry over night.
When the stone is completely dry wash it with a little dish soap and water to get the remaining haze off the Mosaic pieces on your stone.
Step 12: Add Some Personal Touches
Step 13: The Finished Product
Note: You should let your garden stone set at least one week to cure and firm up in a place where no weight will be placed on it.