Like many families, we spent much of our spring and early summer hours outside, landscaping and working on our home’s exterior. One of my favorite family projects was creating our DIY stepping stones that eventually ended up in a side garden leading to a fence gate. It was super simple, and the kids really enjoyed the process. Plus, we saved some money on purchasing pave stones from a home improvement store!
1 x 3″ boards (you can use any scrap wood that’s close in size)
1 bag Quickrete
Plastic sheeting or large garbage bag cut open
Any “nature items” you want to include in your art
First, you will build a box out of four boards and screw into the sides (think shadowbox). Initially, we tried 2 x 4″ boards and the completed stones were overly thick and heavy so we backed down to 1 x 3″ boards leftover from another project, which worked fine. We played with the sizing of our stepping stones and found that we liked 18-inch squares best. We found it was easier to drill the screws into the sides of the box so we could back them out later, but nails work ok too. This creates your wood mold. Next, lay the plastic wrapping under your crafting area (driveways work great) and hold down with bricks or other heavy objects. You will set the wooden square onto the crafting area and then line the box with another sheet of plastic wrap.
Making your Stepping Stones:
Mix your bag of Quickrete in a large bucket or wheelbarrow, following directions to add water. Using a small shovel or trowel, fill your wood squares and allow it to dry about 75%. (Note: drying time depends on the depth of concrete and water mixture ratio.) We found that the stones were solid enough to decorate after 10-15 minutes, but we sat close by to watch the progress.
Finally, have your kids collect leaves, flowers, sticks, or rocks to decorate their stones. Be sure to place any objects before the concrete is completely dried. Handprints and footprints can also be cute. Just make sure to have a hose nearby to rinse quickly after. Let the concrete dry completely and remove the screws the next day to break the mold open. We were able to make 3-4 stones per back of Quickrete depending on the depth we poured. Our kids love having their artwork displayed in our garden and they make for very sturdy pavers as well!