DIY Stepping Stones With the Kids

DIY Stepping Stones With the Kids

Make a craft with your kids that can last a lifetime with these easy tips.


By: Ruth Soukup

Few DIY projects are as practical, useful and kid-friendly as handmade garden stepping stones. Even better, they are also incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. Give them as gifts or keep them as a permanent — and beautiful — record of your kids’ tiny hands and feet. (After all, they only stay small for a little while.)

Supplies Needed

  • Plastic stepping stone mould: You can find this in a wide variety of shapes at any craft supply store or online for less than $5. In a pinch, try using a disposable saucer for a large planter, an old cake pan or even an old cereal box. You will need one mould for each child.
  • Quick-setting concrete: The most cost-effective option (by far) is to purchase a standard 100-kilogram bag of quick-set concrete for about $4 at your local hardware or home improvement supply store. This size bag will make between six and 10 stones, depending on the size of your mould. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to make only one stone, you can purchase a 4-kilogram box of stepping stone mix from the craft supply store for around $5.
  • Embellishments: Depending on your child’s age and ability, use stones, mosaic tiles or glass beads. (See additional ideas below.)
  • Old bucket
  • Old spoon or paint mixer
  • Non-stick cooking spray or petroleum jelly
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old newspaper or drop cloth

Creative Embellishment Ideas

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  • Use vintage game pieces and small toys such as dice, dominos, marbles, Army men, or old board game place markers to create a colourful playtime-themed stone.
  • Collect a variety of colourful soda bottle caps, and use them to create a rainbow pattern in the concrete.
  • Use game tiles to spell a name, short quote or other sentiment.
  • Create a yin-yang pattern using small smooth river rocks in contrasting light and dark colors.
  • Smash up a few colourful mismatched dishes or decorative tiles, then create an interesting mosaic from the pieces.
  • Design flowers and dragonflies from pieces of colourful sea glass or glass beads.
  • Create your own rock “footprints” within the concrete by placing five small round stones above a large oval stone.

Basic Directions

  1. This is definitely a project that is best done outdoors. Protect your deck, driveway or lawn from stray lumps of concrete by spreading old newspaper or a thick drop cloth over a large work area. Be sure also to dress your kids in their oldest, most beat-up play clothes, just in case.
  2. Fill mould with a heaping pile of concrete mix to determine how much you will need to mix. Pour the concrete mix into your bucket.
  3. Coat mould with cooking spray or petroleum jelly to prevent the concrete from sticking after it dries.
  4. Mix water into concrete mix, a small amount at a time, until it resembles the consistency of sour cream or very thick cake batter.
  5. Spoon or pour your mixed concrete into the mould and spread it smooth. If your mould is sturdy enough, carefully lift the stone and tap it gently a few times (as you would a cake) to help smooth the surface and release any hidden air bubbles. Your stone is now ready to decorate!
  6. Let your kids personalize the surface of their stone with handprints, their names or various other embellishments. Kids 4 years old and up should be able to handle this step of the project without too much assistance from you. Wet concrete is surprisingly easy to work with, and any “mistakes” can be easily corrected and re-worked.
  7. Once your child is satisfied with his or her creation, let the stone dry in a safe, covered spot overnight. Once the stone is completely dry, carefully pop it out of the mould and let it cure another five to seven days before using it as a stepping stone.

What better way to create an object with true meaning than to have your kids do it with you?



A mother of two, Ruth is the writer behind the popular Living Well Spending Less — a blog about the adventure of finding the good life on a budget. She covers cooking, entertaining, crafting, DIY projects, couponing and creative homemaking.

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debzy

debzy

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what a great idea and wonderful gift giving idea

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