Making Stepping Stones
This is an activity that is tons of fun and a great avenue for creativity, but adult supervision is definitely needed.
- molds - pizza boxes, cake pans, etc.
- concrete (fast setting)
- face masks
- release spray, or automotive oil
- stirring utensils / trowel, paint stick
- decorations for design (see below)
- one inch hard cloth (wire screen) optional
- metal file
For the mold use something that will be at least two inches deep for the strength of the concrete. A plastic, store bought form is good, but cake tins or pizza boxes will do just as well.
Prepare the mold: After deciding on a mold, prepare it with a release material. Coat the inside. Plain automobile oil, corn oil, a baking spray, all will work nicely.
Mixing the concrete takes muscles and fast action. Be sure to cover your face with a construction mask or a cowboy handkerchief mask. That will be fun for the children.
Follow directions on the fast setting concrete. The consistency should be a bit like biscuit dough.
When pouring in the mold, pour half full and then layer in some hard cloth or wire metal screening for strength.
Then continue to fill to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch from the top of the mold.
Tapping the mold while pouring will help to level the stepping stone and bring up any air spaces. Then tap for about five minutes to eliminate bubbles.
Designing the stepping stone
The fun begins: Place items in the concrete in a pattern. This is only limited by anyone's imagination. Items that can be used are plastic bottle tops, seashells, pieces of tile, marbles, booster (campaign) buttons, hand prints, leaf prints, even pressing in a cookie mold for a pattern. It is important to keep in mind to work rather quickly and to press in the objects far enough so they do not become tripping obstacles later on.
If water accumulates on the top it can be blotted off.
Place in a semi-sunny place to completely dry in 24 hours.
Pop out of the mold. If there are rough edges just use a metal file to smooth off.
Counter sink the stepping stones a bit in the designated path.
Enjoy and admire.