CRAFTS: How to Easily Make Cement Mosaic Stepping Stones for your Garden

SCREEEEEECH! (in glee)
It's 70 degrees today in Chicago! 70!
I have my seedlings out hardening, I took my power walk this morning w/o a winter coat, my hubby was prepping our veggie garden, my Magnolia tree is beginning to bloom!

Good lord this winter seemed like forever. And I have been itching to get in the yard and one of the things I did when garden planning, while it snowed outside, was started some garden projects. One big one was these mosaic stepping stones. Many people make these just for decor, but I really need to create a walkway through our garden at the cottage in MI. I need them to actually do their job, but I figured, why not make them pretty? The area is on a steep slope and currently chalk full of poison ivy. I need to make about 10 of these guys, so on a blustery, slightly chilly day, my sister and I got started. The brightly colored bits of porcelain and beads we used chased away the grey and the chill. These are very easy to make, the how-to video is below. 

One thing I found, concrete is hard to mix. I have a new found appreciation for my father-a cement mason. We used a 60 lb bag of Quickcrete (and ladies, get your strong man in the hood to help you pull it out of your car, I pulled my back when doing this! Fair warning.) and we divided it as we mixed it. I think when doing that, you don't have an even amount of materials for the right cement consistency-meaning sand to rock. SO do the whole bag and move fast, or find another product (which I will be researching). But cement challenges aside, I am very pleased with how these turned out. You can use any old mold...cake pans, plastic dish tubs. The key is to not shake them too much to get the cement to settle, otherwise, cement gets under the pieces that you place upside down on the bottom. You need to "grease up" your mold, too. I used generic vaseline, but I read WD-40 or even cooking spray can work. You'll need contact paper for the bottom to do your piecework, and lots of tiles, broken plates, beads, colored glass, even buttons will give you enough to work with. And don't forget hardware cloth-or you can use chicken wire too. You place it halfway up to act as "rebar" for your piece-so it won't crack with pressure or changing temperatures.

Well, 3 down, 7 more to go! I need to get my hammer out and break some more old plates. 



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