Today we took some concrete mix, water, some gems, seashells, and beads to make stepping stones. They came out great, and overall these stepping stones made for a really simple and unique crafting idea.
Our recipe included a basic concrete mix (dry) purchased from a hardware store that we mixed with water in plastic buckets. We put on some masks, and kept stirring the mix until it could be poured into small aluminum pans. Once poured into pans, we allowed the concrete to sit for about before putting any decorative items on top.
This extra sitting time allows the concrete to become more stiff, so when you put gems or beads on it, those small pieces won't sink in the muck.
And without further ado, some pictures:
As you can see we had all age groups come out. It's a really fun craft to do, and it's surprisingly simple to do if you have extra stones, buttons, and gems lying about. But note these garden stones are largely for decoration. Anything more permanent would require broken tile.
Other tips and suggestions:
-Really make sure the concrete sits for an hour, or you have some method to remove access water from the concrete. (Dabbing with paper towels worked just fine.) After the surface of the concrete begins to stiffen, then apply the decorative items.
-Press hard when applying gems, stones, beads, etc, into the mix. The more concrete they have holding them in, the more they will survive outside weather/wear and tear.
-Let these stones dry for (at least) two days. Then, you can peel them out of the metal pans quite easily. Enjoy!