All the labor and love that has gone into your garden is readily noticeable. The plants and flowers all look healthy, mulch is in place, and everything is trimmed to perfection. Do you know what you’re missing? Stepping stones, twisting and curving throughout the garden, giving the finishing touches to your labor of love and preventing footprints all in your garden.
Footstones are simple to make. Use just about anything that will hold liquid and is shaped in a manner that you can use. Old pizza pans, foil pie pans, deli trays, and their lids, bowls, and even cardboard shapes can be used to make stepping stones.
You can make your own form with cardboard or foil. The foil will require many layers to make sure the sides don’t become misshapen from the weight of the cement. The cardboard should be thick and lined with plastic wrap.
Get a bag of quick-set concrete or cement from your local home improvements store and follow the directions to mix it. Have your containers ready to pour the concrete. After you’ve poured the cement, let it set up, then turn it out and set in the dirt.
Fancy up the stepping stones by first adding marbles, little tile pieces, broken China, colored yarn, crushed glass or maybe seashells to the form before pouring the cement. When it sets, you turn it out and set in dirt. You can scrape out a place for the rock by first laying it in place, using a stick to draw around it, then scraping about an inch or two of dirt out of the hole before placing the stone.
If you want the stones to be flush with the ground, dig a hole, then pour the concrete directly into it. As it’s drying you can push the marbles or cracked China into the cement, but be sure there are no sharp edges sticking out. Or you can use a stick to make designs on the stone or write on it. Make handprints on the stone before it dries by pushing the hand down slightly on top, with fingers spread out.
To make the stones turn out of the form easier, spray the container first with non-stick cooking spray. Wipe the stones clean of the spray if you’re going to paint them. You can paint them entirely or use stamps or stencils to make designs on the rocks. The stepping stones will set up quicker if they’re left out in the sun to dry after pouring them into the molds.
To use a bowl for a stone, fill a large bowl about a third full, then let set. Turn out and dig a hole to place the rounded side of the rock down in. Dishes that will be re-used can be first lined with plastic to protect them.
You don’t have to make small, round stones. The stones can be any size and any shape. To make big stones, you can use a large cardboard box, an old dresser drawer or another large form.