Enchanted Mommy

Cute Cement Stepping Stone

My mom has been making some adjustments to her garden lately.  She asked us to make a hand or foot print stepping stone for each of her grandchildren to put in her garden.

These turned out so cute that I had to post about them!  They are relatively simple to make and are really sturdy.

The final product already out in the garden

You can buy the kit at Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics.  It will come with everything you need except the bucket to mix it in.

All you do is mix the cement with 3 cups of water and stir it up.  Then, pour it into the mold from you kit and wait about 30 minutes.  Then you can decorate with the rocks, letter prints, or anything you want.

Mixing the cement

I made three of these (one for each of my boys) and learned a few tricks as I went.

First, after you have let it sit for 30 minutes, if you can see water pooled on the top you need to soak it up with a paper towel and wait another 15 minutes before trying to make a mold of your hand or anything else.  If you dont wait, the hand print will fill with the water and you will have to make your print all over again.

Decorating the stone

Second, don’t put your stone in the sun to dry.  Leave it somewhere it can sit for at least 48hrs at room temperature.  You want it to dry slowly.  If it dries too fast it will crack.

Finally, once it is done and has dried for at least 48 hrs you can clean it off (I used an old toothbrush to polish it up) and take it out of its mold.

Let it dry for 48hrs at room temperature. Do not move it while it is drying!

My mom's stone garden from her grandchildren. She actually has 14 grandkids and is still waiting on some to finish up their stones.

14 Comments

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  2. Kareena

    Jun 04, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Hi. I was wondering if you could put up some instructions for those of us overseas who do not have the stores you mentioned with the kit? Maybe as easy as buying some quick set cement in a pizza box to set?

    Reply

    • Jamie Hinckley

      Jun 05, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      I am not sure a pizza box would work. You have to be able to drop it out once it is dry so it may not slip out of the cardboard easily. You could try looking at any hardware store for a square or rectangular metal or plastic tray to use. It might be easier to try to buy it online and have it shipped to you. Here is a link to one on Amazone that is very similar to the kit I used. http://www.amazon.com/Milestones-Kids-Step-Stone-Kit/dp/B00000IS31/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1370452211&sr=8-22&keywords=cement+stepping+stones

      Beyond that you just mix the cement up in a bucket (it is a powder mix that you add water too), let it sit for a 30 min to an hour an soak up an water on the top, then add your design. Don’t let it dry in the sunlight or it will dry to quickly and crack. The slower it dries the sturdier it is.

      Reply

    • SUZAN

      Jul 08, 2013 at 9:33 am

      disposable pie pans work really good. that’s what we use, they peel right off the cement.

      Reply

      • Jamie Hinckley

        Jul 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        Nice thinking! That does sound perfect! Thanks for commenting!

        Reply

      • mary

        Jan 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

        if a disposable pie pan works wouldn’t any shape of disposable pans work I found disposable cake pans at the fire lake grocery store in the $1.00 store part square , rectangle , circle.

        Reply

    • Kim T.

      Sep 08, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Pizza box probably wouldn’t work,for a couple reasons.First,the water needs to stay mixed with the cement in order for it to cure correctly,using cardboard would draw the water out of the concrete & into the paper of the box,causing the concrete to cure incorrectly & probably crumble,and/or be unstable….and second….cause the box to fall apart & most likely stick to the project itself,making it hard to un-mold. You’d end up with pieces of the cardboard permanently embedded in the project.

      Reply

    • Jason J.

      Feb 01, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      you CAN use a pizza box. On the outside, line it with duct tape for strength and on the inside, line it with wax paper. The duct tape will secure the cardboard from falling apart. The wax paper on the inside will keep the card board from absorbing all the water as well as keep it from drying to the card board.

      Reply

  3. Kim T.

    Sep 08, 2013 at 2:21 am

    You can use an empty plastic butter/margerine tub or any type of plastic container really.The ones that Hillshire Farms or Oscar Mayer pre-sliced lunch meat comes in (for smaller projects)..or old baking pans (9X12 work well)…not the really shallow ones due to the fact that if you make your project too thin it’ll snap & crack easily. Another way to make a mold is to use a pile of damp sand lined with saran wrap.This is best done outdoors.Make a pile of sand several inches thick,,dig or carve out your desired shape,line with plastic,(making sure plastic is smooth or it’ll show permanent wrinkles in the finished project)…spray with non stick cooking spray & add your wet cement.Let dry & pop out your stone.VIOLA!! A birdbath/feeder can be made by using a large hosta leaf pressed into the pile of moist sand as a liner.Make sure you press the leaf down into the sand to gain the leaf shape,making it a bit concave so it holds water or bird feed. Keep in mind,the finer the sand,the smoother the finished texture of your surface. When using the sand method ,try to make sure you’re going to have a few non rainy days so your project will have time to set & dry. Once your project starts to set up a bit,you can add colored glass,stones and/or other decorations that will dry right into your “stone”,This would also be the time to draw details onto the surface,like veins in the leaves,or a smiling face if you’re making a sun or moon (circle with face) that are so popular & seen hanging on shed walls,the side of the house & in gardens. These sell for alot of money at antique & “junk” shops around our area. If you’re feeling adventurous,you can add color to your creations by adding color to your concrete mix.Most hardware and home improvement stores carry a dry powdered pigment specifically for cement,concrete block etc..that can be mixed into your concrete when you add the water,or you can add water & mix it to a paint consistency to be brushed on like paint/stain after the project is dry..or you can just spray paint the entire thing when dry. I prefer the stain mixed right into the wet cement as it gives a more saturated,uniform color overall. If you plan on hanging the project,make sure you put the hanging wire or screws in before the cement dries. I use a piece of old wire coat hanger cut & bent into a loop & stick it into the partially set,still wet cement. This works great if you use a recycled plastic container as your mold as you can push the wire thru the bottom of the plastic bowl,into the wet mix…(making sure the wire is long enough to go thru the mold & into the cement mix a ways,but not so long as to poke all the way thru your creation & stick out the front side).The wire gets held in place by the stiff plastic of the mold… when dry, just cut a slit in the plastic…starting from one edge going towards the center where the hanger is poking thru,turn the bowl and start at the opposite edge going towards the hanger again,cut right up to the metal .The plastic will fall into 2 pieces & the project will have popped out. Sounds far more difficult than it is really. I have a smiling gold moon,(spray painted after it was pulled out of the sand mold), a smiling terra cotta sun i used the plastic container method for,& many other things i made using these & other methods that are hanging up , decorating my tool shed end wall that i’ve gotten many comments & compliments on.

    Reply

  4. Kimbo

    Jan 26, 2014 at 2:53 am

    another way of making sure that they will come out of the mold easily is to give it a good coat of some non stick spray that is used for baking. Like spray and cook. I use almost anything as a mold for cement bowls and vases for the garden by using a non stick spray. Just comes right on out!

    Reply

  5. Mel

    Feb 02, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Are we taking into account that cement is extremely alkaline and causes skin burns? If you don’t believe me you can look it up. I work in an ER and I’ve seen it enough times.
    Is this really a safe thing to be doing with little ones? Or is it a cement alternative?

    Reply

    • Jamie Hinckley

      Feb 03, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Its technically called “cement stone plaster mix” and comes in a kit for kids (ages 3 and up) at all craft stores. Parental supervision is definitely needed though.

      Reply

  6. Annette

    Feb 02, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    you can pick up cheap molds at Hobby Lobby $9.99 and with a 40% off coupon comes to over just $6 – and they are reusable over and over again.

    another trick that I’ve learned over the years – use cooking oil on your mold – all over bottom & sides and the stone will slip out easily without any problems – I cover the stone with old newspapers then turn it over onto the paper that way it doesn’t chip right away

    you also have to really press the stones, beads, glass, whatever into the cement or they will pop out when the cement is fully dried – another tip I’ve learned over the years

    I actually do mine upside down cause I used stained glass and pattern but these are always interesting as well and I have several of these in my yard

    Reply

  7. zahira

    Feb 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I am based in New Zealand. Would I be able to get this kit from Mitre 10 or Bunnings warehouse?
    Regards
    Zahira

    Reply

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