Make your own garden art: unusual stepping stones

Cement artwork

Would you like to have something beautiful or striking in your garden, something that no-one else has? I would. Unfortunately, I rarely see any artwork that is resistant to the weather, stray footballs and that also suit my budget. Now the busy summer days have passed, you will have more spare time to get to work in your garden. That’s why, in this blog I describe how you can make your own artwork from wet cement.

Unusual stepping stones

Colourful or romantic, round or square, stepping stones can be anything you want them to be, a practical and reasonably simple way to add an artistic eye-catcher to your garden. Do you love colour? If so, then gather any remaining pieces of old crockery and break them up so you can use them to create a unique mosaic. Would you prefer to give your stepping stones a more natural look? Then go out and find some large leaves, like those on the rhubarb plant, for example. A romantic looking stone can be created using a rubber doormat, one with scrolls or flowers, for example.

Shaping and baking

To create your stepping stone, you can almost compare it to baking a cake. Use an old cake mould or a large ring made of sturdy cardboard. The batter in this case is the wet cement. Brush your mould with a layer of oil before you begin, as this will allow you to remove the stone easier once it has hardened.

Art from nature

Rhubarb leaves are not only large, they also have a clear grain, which is ideal for creating natural looking stepping stones. Lay the rhubarb leaves face up on a flat surface. Coat them with oil, arrange them in your mould and then fill it with the wet cement. Just be careful not to make them 10 centimetres thick, as you will still need to be able to lift and move them around, of course. Carefully shake the mould back and forth, to allow any air bubbles to escape. Give your ‘mixture’ two days to harden before removing your stepping stones from their moulds. What a mixture, eh, picture!

Are you handy and have you got nerves of steel? If so, then cover the entire leaf, without using a mould, and let it harden over two days. That way, you will end up with stones in the shape of the leaf, just like the real thing!

Arty patterns

Finally, a good reason to release any pent up stress! Grab that old crockery and smash it to pieces. Just be careful not to break anything else and remember; the smaller the pieces, the more work you will have to do. The best way is to make a sketch of your mosaic pattern beforehand. After that, mix your cement and pour it into your mould. If you’re using sturdy, cardboard rings, then put them on a flat (plastic) base first. Press the shards into the cement and make sure that there are no sharp edges protruding. Again, carefully shake your mould to release the air bubbles and when you’re finished, allow two days for your stone(s) to harden. You could, of course, also use seashells instead of ceramic or porcelain.

Scrolls and flowers

For a romantic stone, just follow the same instructions as for the mosaic stones. Only, instead of using shards of crockery, now you can press a rubber doormat into the mix. Beforehand, you can cut the mat to the correct size, of your mould, and coat it with oil, as that will make it a lot easier.

Extra colour

Of course, you can also paint your stepping stones in one or more colours, using some acrylic paint that is suitable for outdoors. Just give them a quick coat or two of waterproof varnish after the paint has dried and you will end up with a truly unique artwork in your garden.

What kind of stepping stones would you like to make? Share it with us on Facebook 

~ Saskia ~

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