How To Personalize Pre-Cast Stepping Stones

Georgia Lund By Georgia Lund, 9th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/259a40y6/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>DIY>Outdoors

Create inexpensive yard art by personalizing pre-cast stepping stone with this DIY idea.

Materials Needed

If the pre-cast stone steps at the local garden supply center are too generic looking to suit your taste. Here is a simple and inexpensive way to personalize pre-cast stone steps and create unique yard art.

•Pre-cast stepping stones, 12 inches in diameter with pea gravel top
•60 pound bag of Quikrete mortar mix
•Cement dye
•Putty knife
•Duct tape
•Dust mask
•Plastic bucket
•Large sponge
•A variety of small craft items like ceramic tiles, glass marbles, beads, wood letters or numbers, animal, leaf and flower shapes. Small tools, keys, nuts, bolts and similar objects work well for personalizing stone steps.

Gather Items With Personality

Have the small craft items gathered and ready to personalize the stone steps as soon as the mortar is applied. Any small, hard object that is thinner than 1/2-3/4 inches will work.

Add Duct Tape

Apply a single layer of duct tape around the perimeter of the pre-cast stone step. The duct tape needs to be about 1/4 inch higher than the top of the pea gravel side of the step. This 1/4 inch of duct tape will serve as the form and height index for the mortar mix.

Dye And Apply Mortar

Follow the manufacturer's directions for mixing the Quikrete mortar mix and for adding the cement dye. Mix the Quikrete and cement dye (wear dust mask for this step) in the plastic bucket and apply to the top of the stepping stones with putty knife.

Before applying the mortar, thoroughly wet the top side of the pre-cast stone.

Start in the center of the stepping stone and work towards the outside. Press down firmly when applying the mortar to drive out air pockets and to assure the mortar mix is in solid contact with the top of stepping stone. Level the mortar mix with the top of the duct tape.

Add The Personality

Firmly press the small items in the mortar mix. There's a little time (about 30 minutes) to play with the design on each stepping stone before the mortar mix begins to harden. If the design doesn't look right at first, remove the items, smooth the mortar down and start over.

Note: Mix small batches of mortar mix when personalizing a large number of stepping stone so the mortar will stay pliable until the decorative tops are completed.

The Finishing Touch

Wait 30 minutes and remove duct tape from each stepping stone and remove any squeezed-out mortar gobs with the putty knife. Clean the surface of the personalized stepping stones with a wet sponge, wiping with sponge until the design objects are level to, or slightly above the mortar. Wash and wring out sponge often during the cleaning process.

Allow the newly personalized stepping stone to cure overnight before placing in the ground.

Start with inexpensive, generic-looking pre-cast stepping stones and turn them into unique works of yard art by personalizing them with mortar mix and leftover home improvement, home decorating or craft items.

*Originally written and published by me on Suite101 HERE

Tags

Diy, Diy Yard Art, Personalize Stepping Stones, Pre-Cast Stepping Stones, Stepping Stones

Meet the author

author avatar Georgia Lund
Ms. Lund is a freelance writer who enjoys gardening and sharing her knowledge through the Georgia Master Gardener program. Ms. Lund is a heart attack survivor who has educated herself in a variety of health, wellness and fitness topics. Ms. Lund is a...(more)

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