In Loving Memory - Garden Memorial Stones




Introduction: In Loving Memory - Garden Memorial Stones

About: I am 51 and hail from sunny Southern California but originate from back east. I am a Web Designer by trade and own a small Web Design Service and a few online stores around the net and enjoy meeting folks...

For Fathers Day I thought I would share what Hubby and I do to honor our Fathers on this day since both our Dads have passed away.

A few years ago we planted trees to honor our Dads since my Dad was a farmer replenishing what he had taken from nature was just a given. Hubby's Dad was in the military and a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and every year since Hubby was a boy he and his Dad would always plant a tree.

This year we decided that we wanted to have Memorial Stones under those trees that we planted in their Memory so I began the first Memorial Stone and I thought that maybe others whose loved ones have also passed away might want to do something similar.

Our theme is Let The Stars Guide Them Home

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Step 1: Materials

Since Hubby's Dad was in the military I knew I wanted something blue and I chose blue glow in the dark stars on a background of charcoal (the stone)

I made the stone with these materials:

A Hex Shaped Mold
7 lbs. Dry Cement Mix, fine grade
Charcoal Cement Colorant
8 Glow In Dark Glass Stars (blue)
Plastic Raised Letter Stencils
Iridescent Glitter
A Bucket
A Wooden Spoon
A Board to hold the Mold
A Stencil
A Flathead Screwdriver

Step 2: Prepare Your Template

First prepare your template. Lay out pieces of heavy paper and place your mold on top. Remove the stencil and tape the papers together. Because I would be laying this on a wet surface I used a card stock paper for extra durability. Trace around the bottom of the mold.

Cut out the pattern piece and lay it in the mold. If it does not lay flat trim any areas away needed to make the pattern fit the mold.

Here I traced an inner portion 1 3/4 inches in where my main design area would be, using the outer area for placement of the glow in the dark stars. Next I decided what I wanted to put in the main design area and drew guide and placement lines for my lettering.

Step 3: Prepare Your Medium

As you can see I messed up in one spot so I covered the area with masking tape and redid the lines. Then I cut away the areas where the glow in the dark stars would go leaving just enough of the pattern piece to touch the outer edges and keep my pattern centered.

Now it is time to make the cement medium for my stone. You do not want to make this in advance as the pattern can be time consuming and the mix sets up fairly fast.

Mix the Colorant Agent well with the dry cement mixture. Since this is a Memorial Stone I am using a charcoal colorant.

Step 4: Mix and Spread the Medium

You want your medium to be very stiff when you insert your lettering so I used 1 3/4 cups of water instead of 2 1/4 the medium calls for then added it to the mold.

Instead of being able to smooth the medium once the project is done it has to be smoothed first since you won't be able to bounce the board or smooth it once the lettering is in place. I used a wide spackle spatula first then covered it with waxed paper and finished the job with a fondant smoother using an ironing type motion.

Once you are satisfied with how smooth the top is you are ready to begin decorating.

Step 5: Decorate

Lay the pattern piece gently on top and place your border decorations in the cut out areas.

Lift the pattern off and press your outer decorations firmly into the medium until it is level with the surface.

Step 6: Add the Lettering

Cut away the top portion of your pattern to the first line of where your lettering will go and press in your desired words.

Continue repeating these two steps until you have all your lettering and any other design objects you want to add in place.

The image below shows how my Memorial Stone came out when I was finished with the pattern.

Now it needs to sit for 24 hours in the mold to dry and cure. The stone is very fragile at his phase and needs to be moved on the board to a place where it can sit undisturbed for twenty four hours.

Step 7: Unmold the Stone

Unmold the stone by gently lifting it from under the mold, do not lift it by the sides.

Flip it over onto the board with one hand on top. Gently lift the mold off of your stone.

Using a flat head screwdriver trim and clean any rough edges.

Wash the stone off with dish soap and water then polish up the stars with Windex.

Step 8: The Finished Product

You should wait one week before placing the stone outside as it finishes drying and curing. Keep a wet paper towel over it for a few days to give the stone added strength.

This stone was laid at the base of the tree we planted for Hubby's Dad on Father's Day.

This photo below shows how it looks at night. The stars glow for about 6 hours after sundown.

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    56 Discussions

    This is such a wonderful idea! I lost my 37 year old daughter to brain cancer last July and I am having her husband's birthday party in our backyard next month. This would make a great surprise for him, as well as a lasting memorial to her for all of us. Thank you so much.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    My Grandmother passed away in January, and I was unable to go home for her funeral. I have been feeling the need to 'tend' some small spot of earth in her memory. This is perfect. I plan to plant a lilac bush for her, and will put a stone such as this beneath it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I really enjoy your entries DebH, it's easy to see that you work very hard making your crafts.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Fantastic. I've been trying to think of how to honor my parents. I'm going to try this. (I saw your memorial stones, not knowing it was the inst'ble of someone to whom I already subscribe. Of course I would like it!)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Good to hear Lor, you will enjoy this project, I sure did


    10 years ago on Introduction

    what a nice thing to make. i am going to show my granddaughter this. we could make one for her mother


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That would be great Kim, also it might be theraputic


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Deb...these are great!! You are so talented!!!