Father’s Day is just around the corner, and while I love to help my own kidlets put together a little something for my hubby, I can’t forget our own fathers – our kids’ grandfathers. Enter this beautiful handmade stepping stone.
Grandpas (or Papas or Grandads, etc) are such wonderful and dear people. In our case, my daughters have a Grandpa who works very hard on his garden. And while he spends so much time keeping up his flowers and shrubs, he spends even more time helping his grandchildren to thrive.
I have a fondness for garden art, and was sure that Grandpa would love a little stepping stone “thank you note” from his grandchildren to be placed in the garden. “Thank you for helping us grow” – like flowers… (and sometimes like weeds)… the kids are growing right before our eyes.
Supplies needed to make your own DIY stepping stone:
- Inspiration Stepping Stone Kit (comes with concrete stamps)
- A piece of plywood or something firm to place mold on
When you open the stepping stone kit, you will find a variety of glass shapes, just waiting for your creative eye. Take this time to map out an idea of what you want to see on your stone. You don’t want to be “winging it” in wet concrete.
Or well, I didn’t want to be!
Follow the directions on the stepping stone kit to make the concrete. I’ve found that it takes very small additions of water to reach the right consistency. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the concrete goes from chunky to almost-too-wet. Stir and be patient. The concrete won’t harden up on you that quickly, so don’t rush this stage.
Pour the concrete into the mold (and it will NOT look this smooth when you pour it in… it will be the consistency of the picture above), and then gently vibrate the edges of the mold to remove any bubbles or lumps. Again, this is about patience. Don’t slam the sides – you’ll end up with more bubbles and an uneven surface.
Also, you’ll see that I’m doing this work on a piece of plywood; I’ll explain more about that later in the post.
Once you have a smooth work surface, press the glass into the concrete until it is flush. Don’t stress about getting concrete on the glass – it will wipe off easily in about 12 hours. Be sure to leave ample room for your stamped saying.
And then you wait.
Before you can stamp into the stone, you have to be able to put a toothpick into the mixture (near a corner, or somewhere else inconspicuous) and have it leave a dry hole (that doesn’t fill with concrete or water). The directions said it would be about a half hour.
It took me nearly an hour and twenty minutes before my concrete was ready. This was probably due to our damp weather or the fact that I might have had too much water in my mixture. So again, trust your gut and take your time. Stamping into too-wet concrete will just make a big undefined mess.
The stone was ready. And I started stamping.
This is why I suggest a piece of plywood or another firm and portable surface under the form. This way, you can move the stone to a safe place to cure. If you’re doing this outside and it starts to rain… you’d better get your stone out of there! I brought my stone into the house and let it cure quietly in the corner.
It was such a well-behaved little craft.
After 12 hours, give the glass a good wipe down. The concrete splatters should easily come off. Leave the stepping stone to cure for another 12 hours.
And once the 12 hours has gone by, you can remove the cured form and admire your work.
I love that this saying has multiple meanings in the garden – not only is Grandpa helping his flowers to grow, but he’s also helping his grandchildren to be great little people as well.
More Project Ideas
Tara is the creator, writer, and flurry of chaos behind her blog, Suburble. Her blog focuses on making a home (emphasis on “making!”), but not forgetting to have a laugh in the process. Her partners-in-crime, her two little girls, are often beside her when it’s time to get creative. A mug of tea, good friends, and a project (or three) are all this girl needs. Join the gang at Suburble and see what we’re up to!