How to Make a Garden Stepping Stone
Repurposing Broken Ceramics in the Garden
Don't throw your broken ceramics away! You can create beautiful garden stones from broken dishware. It's easy. Simply save the pieces in a box or container for your next craft project. It's amazing to see how many projects you can complete with broken materials. Simply use your own God-given imagination and don't limit yourself. I will share with you the basics of how to create stepping stones out of broken dishes or chinaware.
Finding My Inspiration
It was a hot, summertime Saturday afternoon. I decided to clean out my curio cabinet with all of my beautiful chinaware. For some reason, I was feeling rushed to finish my task and somehow tipped over the curio. As I tried to catch my balance from falling off of the chair, all of my china came crashing down. To my dismay, most of it broke.
The phone rang as I was trying to pick up the pieces. It kept ringing and ringing, and I thought it might be important. It was a friend of mine. I told her what had happened, and how I was about to throw my broken china away because I had no use for it now. She then suggested for me to save the pieces. She even offered to show me how to make beautiful garden stones out of them.
Getting Started on Your Stepping Stone
My friend came over about a week and a half later and told me that she and her daughter went out to a thrift store and bought old dishes to do a project for her daughter's school (show-and-tell). She saw DIY stepping stones in a crafty magazine and thought that it would be something fun and different for them to do together. The stepping stone that they created is now on display at her daughter's school.
Using Ceramics From the Thrift Shop
My friend and her daughter put a protective cover over the dishes from the second-hand store and hammered them into pieces. They made sure to do this on a surface that they weren't worried about damaging. She also had her daughter use safety glasses for protection just in case.
My friend gave me a list of what I needed to get started and gave me the instructions. She said that you could also use broken glass for the project, gems, and similar items.
Stepping stones can be affordable and thrifty.
Supplies That You Will Need
- A non-stick cake pan of any size or shape (e.g., round or heart-shaped)
- Broken dishes, glass, gems, or alternative items to mix into the design
- Rubber gloves
- Concrete and water
- Newspaper or old cloth to protect the work surface
- Non-stick cooking spray or vaseline
- An old stirring spoon or small hand shovel
- A measuring cup with a mixing stick
- A bucket for concrete
Preparing Your Workspace and Drafting a Design
- Choose a workspace: Cover your space before you start and choose a place that allows for you to be messy. Once you have all of your supplies together, get the broken dishes and separate the smaller pieces from the larger pieces.
- Practice your design: Practice the design that you want on your chosen shape with a sheet of paper. You can outline the shape by placing the paper under the pan being used. Trace the paper with a light pencil, cut out the shape, and practice your design.
Making Your Beautiful Stepping Stone
- Get your bucket and concrete (preferably a fine-grained mixture). You can find a fine-grained concrete at a craft store or any building supply store. Follow the instructions on the package.
- Mix water into the bucket of concrete using an old spoon or wooden stick. Make enough for one or two stepping stones, but not for more than that (otherwise, it will get too thick).
- Spray your pan with non-stick spray or vaseline. Pour your mixture into the pan that you are using and make sure that it is placed on a flat surface.
- Take the broken pieces that you have arranged on your design paper and carefully lay them on the concrete that is setting in the pan. Follow the design that you drafted.
- Carefully press the pieces down into the concrete, making sure that they're evenly placed. You don't want any of the broken pieces sticking out. Your arrangement should be smooth and without any rough edges.
- Once you are finished, let the stepping stone dry. Make sure that you cover it to protect it if you place it outside. It can take up to a couple of days to dry.
- You can put a varnish on the stone once it is finished drying to protect it or coat it with a shine.
- When completely dry, you can remove it from the cake pan and then place it in your garden to add color and charm. Don't use that cake pan for food or cooking purposes; save it for the next stepping stone.
What would you prefer to make your own stepping stones or just go out and buy them?
Stepping Stone Instructional Video
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.