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You will need a 12” plastic mold, 7 lbs. of stepping stone mix, wooden mixing paddle (or a paint stirring stick), 1 cup measuring cup, a non-flexible tray (i.e. thick cutting board or cookie sheet), and a utility bucket.
You may purchase your supplies individually which allows you to get exactly what you want when it comes to the embellishments you’ll push into your stone, or you can purchase a stepping stone kit that has all the pieces together in one package. Just be aware that the kits usually don’t supply you with a great number mosaic pieces, so if you go the kit route, you might consider purchasing some extra mosaic pieces prior to mixing your stepping stone mix.
First, you will place the plastic mold onto a cookie sheet or thick cutting board that is large enough to allow the mold to sit completely flat on the surface. This will allow you to move the project, if necessary, during the drying process without having to move the plastic mold itself.
The stepping stone mix stirs up quite a bit of dust when poured into the plastic container, so I suggest you first place a fabric face mask over your nose and mouth. Then, cut open your stepping stone mix and pour it into a utility bucket. Add two cups of water and stir slowly with a wooden stir stick. You want the mix to be the consistency of thick brownie batter. If more water is needed, add one tablespoon at a time. The runnier your mix, the longer it will take your stone to dry completely, so use reservation when adding more than the first 2 cups.
Dump the mix into the mold and use the stir stick to spread evenly into each corner. Once you have the corners filled, pat the remaining mix flat with the palm of your hand. Wash your hands using an outdoor garden hose. Do NOT wash your bucket or residue from your hands down an inside drain. If you are working on this project during inclement weather, rinse your hands in the sink over the mixing so all water falls into the bucket, then dispose of the water outside at a later time.
Once your hands are washed and dried, gently shake the filled mold to distribute the concrete and achieve a perfectly even surface.
Next, gently lay the largest Super-Sized Circle Shapes Template centered in the middle of the stepping stone mix. Do not push the template into the mix.
Then, layer the Hearts Shapes Template over top so it is centered in the middle of the circle.
Start pressing mosaic gems halfway into the mix following the outline of the heart template.
Once the heart is formed, remove that template and fill in the remaining space within the circle with aquarium gravel. Be sure to press it into the wet mix so it will hold.
Leave the circle template in place to use as a guide for placing a round of gems around the outer edge. Once the circle of gems is complete remove the template and rinse immediately to remove all concrete residue.
Continue to embellish within the space that was covered by the template. If you aren’t placing the gems touching side-by-side, you need to be more methodical about placement to ensure even spacing. To do this, I suggest placing a gem at the north, south, east and west locations and then filling in the space between each gem. Or you can work as if you are placing a gem at each number on a clock.
Once you’ve finished embellishing your stone, you’ll leave the stone in place and allow it to dry for two days. It may take slightly longer if you live in a humid environment. During this time, do NOT move your plastic mold, but you may move the tray you have it sitting on as long as the tray isn’t a flexible one. Moving the mold itself will cause the stone to crack.
Once your stone has cured for the two days, use an old dry toothbrush to gently polish your gems. This helps to remove any concrete residue that may have gotten on them during the decorating process. Then you can remove the stone from your plastic mold and place it in your garden to enjoy!
Stepping Stone Kit OR
12” plastic stepping stone mold
7 lbs. of stepping stone mix
Wooden Stir Stick
1 cup Measuring Cup
2 cups Water
Fabric Face Mask
Large Non-Flexible Tray