DIY Yard Art: Summer Stepping Stones

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!

Items Needed:

1 x 3″ boards (you can use any scrap wood that’s close in size)

wood screws

drill

1 bag Quickrete

Plastic sheeting or large garbage bag cut open

Any “nature items” you want to include in your art

Setting Up:

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.

 

Artistic Exploration:

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!

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneurial mom, Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining an active extracurricular life including teaching dance, volunteering, and instructing a digital marketing class at UNO. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, and step-son Luke. With a growing family (baby number 4 is on the way this summer) and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next get-away with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very-funny people. You can learn more about her here.

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