How To Make Decorative Stepping Stones

Questions About A Concrete Stepping Stone Project

I received an email from Hilda who asked:

I was delighted to find the information you provide on your website. I am making stepping stones from a silicon mold. They are basically 10″ x 10″ and 2″ thick. I need the “details/design” to appear of course.

I wonder which recipe would be best and ask what recipe would you recommend? I prefer a lighter color than the dark grey. Regular paint for added color, or stain?

Can’t wait to begin. I just hope the drying time is not too lengthy, as I need to make production on these.

Many Thanks, Hilda – Alabama

My reply:

Hi Hilda:

decorative stepping stonesIf you have details and designs that you really want to be a feature of your stones, then I’d opt for a pure concrete recipe, versus using hypertufa. ‘Tufa has peat moss in it, which doesn’t make for as smooth a consistency recipe. Plus, the hypertufa decomposes over time, and that will leave small pits and crevices in your stepping stones. So … use a concrete recipe instead.

For easiness, why not just go to Lowe’s or H-Depot and buy a big bag of ready mix concrete?? You certainly could use that and many crafters do.

Or, here’s a recipe on my website concrete art mold recipe that ought to be a good one for you to try.

    **Please note: I have also seen this same recipe recommended on other sites, but the ratios are a bit different – 1 part Portland cement to 2 parts sand. I would say try a small batch of each recipe/ratio and see which one you like best. Remember … often times it’s trial and error until you get a recipe working just right for your particular needs.

You want a lighter color? Then you’ll have to find WHITE Portland cement, but understand it can be more difficult to locate. You probably won’t be able to find it at Lowe’s or H-Depot, but do some research (online, Yellow Pages, etc.) and call around to companies that supply materials to the stucco industry; or call swimming pool installation companies; or commercial concrete companies who might be able to steer you in the right direction. I’ve also read that ACE Hardware and the Ready Mix company sell it (if you have either of those in your area).

Also WHITE Portland cement will likely be about double the cost of regular grey Portland. Just so you know.

For those of you reading this who live in Canada, I have read that Target carries white Portland; also Pacific West Systems Supply Ltd; and Curtis Lumber. Again, call around first to see who stocks it in your area.

About stains vs. paints … either will work, just depends on your desired final outcome. Again I will refer you to my website to my stain and colorant guide. The link for the PDF guide is about 1/2-way down on that page.

About drying time … “curing” time depends upon a few factors, like the temperature and humidity to name two. But figure about 30-days minimum before you can feel safe to walk on them. But less time as far as being able to take them out of your mold (maybe a few days or so – but they need to keep curing after you remove them) so you can start a new one.

This “how to make your garden stepping stone project” information ought to get you pointed in the right direction so you will have success. Good luck! 🙂

Comments

  1. Jessicakeymn says:

    I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

  2. Very informative post! Normally I don’t comment on blogs but this post deserves it 😀

  3. I need to comment that this was a really informative post! I have been painting concrete floors for quite some time, but I learned a couple of things!

  4. Vinny H. says:

    Some really good ideas for making stepping stones. Thanks!

  5. Good tips and easy steps.
    Thanks for sharing

  6. Kristin says:

    Thanks for showing me how to do this project. I’m going to give it a try.

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