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Monday, August 26, 2013

What Every Garden Needs: New Stepping Stones

One of our summer traditions is to make stepping stones for my garden border.  Here is a link to last year's stepping stones.  I force the kids to make a hand print and include their age and name, but after that they can decorate them however they like.  The only problem I have with this project is collecting all the supplies.  Each year, Hobby Lobby runs out of the mix at the critical moment and I have to scramble.  This year was no different, and so I broke down and bought a complete kit (which included a mold and mosaic glass that I didn't need), just so that I didn't have to wait several weeks until they restocked one more box.  I think I will make my next summer more relaxed by starting to collect the cement mix NOW.  Sorry Hobby Lobby, this is the only area you ever let me down.
Do you see the ice cream bucket in that picture?  Well, square ice cream buckets are a great idea.  They fit more easily into freezers and storage cabinets.  However, they are terrible for mixing things in.  Should you ever desire to mix stepping stone mix you should beg, borrow or maybe even steal a round bucket.  Learn from my mistake, gentle reader!
Here is another helpful tip: have something to for the older kids to do while the younger kids are getting their stepping stones made (I could only mix one stone's worth of cement at a time, so I started with Cam's and then moved on to the next oldest child).  Ian had to wait a long time.  Eventually, he started planning out his design in the bottom of his mold.  When I asked him if he could wait a few more minutes, he informed me that he "was terribly occupied with making patterns."  I took that for a yes......
If you can't see it, there is blue sky, a tent and campfire, grass, and a lake on that stepping stone.
One more note: stepping stone mix and drying stepping stones smell.  If you ever do this project yourself, do it outside if the weather permits (mine didn't).  

After a few days, we put the finished stepping stones out in the backyard, where they look very cute and show no indication of the trouble they caused.

Happy summer traditions everyone!


~ Tandis ~ said...

I need to do this with my kids. They've asked before but it seems a little daunting especially after the last ones we tried just cracked soon after. :(
I hope Ian remembers his cool picture in years to come. I love the imagination he has. Camping definitely was a highlight of his summer - yay!

Dana said...

@Tandis ~ Get the stepping stone mix from Hobby Lobby. Much easier to deal with, and probably easier to find during the "not summer". Also, Aaron warned me about cracking, so I bring all of ours into the basement during the winter. Oh, and now I have have 5 molds you can borrow.