Stepping stones add character to any flower garden and provide practicality as well by giving you a place to step in your garden without crushing your beautiful flowers. Personalize your stepping stones by adding a photograph to reflect your style and personality. Knowing how to keep the photo in your stone from weathering is a must, as well.
Materials You'll Need
To make your own stepping stone, you'll need to buy a plastic mold. These come in various shapes and sizes, so choose one that best suits your personality and purpose. Larger ones are more practical for actual stepping use. A bag of smooth concrete and various decorative items provide the main materials for making a stone. To further personalize your stone, you'll also need a photograph and a way to seal your photo. Laminate, Plexiglas, clear glass, or small glass beads or gems, depending on the size of your photo, all work nicely.
Creating Your Photograph Stepping Stone
Get your photograph ready by placing it in the material you are using to seal it from weather and the cement. Whatever material you choose to use, about a ½-inch space around the photo for sealing or embedding it into the cement. Laminating your photo is simplest. Just cut away from the photo so the lamination is sealed around the edges of the photo. If you don't have access to a laminator, use two pieces of clear glass or Plexiglas. Simply put glue on both sides of your photo and "sandwich" the photo inside the glass. Further seal the edges by using duct tape or copper tape around the glass. If your photo is small, put glue on the picture side of your photo and stick it to the bottom of a clear glass gem or bead, so the photo shows through the glass.
Mix the cement according to the package directions and pour it into the mold. The mixing stage is where you can add a powder to make your stone a certain color. These colored powders are available at most craft stores. It is important to add just the right amount of water to your concrete so your stone will set and cure appropriately. Once the concrete has set, start adding your decorations and photo. If you used tape, push your photo into the cement a little deeper and spread some of the cement around the edges to cover the tape. Push all other decorations into the cement so that the top of the decoration is only slightly above the concrete.
Finishing Your Stone
After all decorations are placed in the stepping stone, keep the concrete damp while it cures. Wet an old washcloth and place it over your stone, then spray your cloth several times a day until the stone is completely cured. Once it is cured, remove your stone from the mold and add it to your garden.