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What is the best easy cement or concrete recipe mix for good easy steping stones to make with kids. I want them to be able to write their names in the blocks or put in marbles, etc, for decoration. I would like something that all you do is "add water and mix like you do when you make pancakes" Thanks
I am new to Daves but I have made stepping stones before. You probably already bought stuff, but if not, I would suggest a hardware store, and buy concrete mix there, not at a craft store. Craft store would likely be lots more expensive. the ones I made I did not put stuff ON the wet concrete- I poured the concrete OVER the design. It worked really well- but of course we could not do handprints or anything. I put contact paper sticky side up on plywood (just taped the sides down with masking tape). then I bought bags of those glass beads/stones- used in the base of decorative flower vases-
those are available at wal-mart or craft stores. then I draw out the circle and layout the stones- you can make flowers, birds, turtles etc. then I used aluminium flashing - about 3-4" high and taped it with masking tape into a ring- and taped the outsides onto the contact paper. then just pour over the mix- You can buy a bit of tint for the concrete too- right at the hardware store. then once dry- about 48hrs depending on warm wx- you sometimes have to use a wire brush and water to expose the design. but they turn out well.
I would like to experiment this year and using a hypertufa recipe to make them lighter.
good idea, never thought of doing it that away...we made some several years ago with some wood box forms that my husband made but several have broken...did you use Easy Crete "concrete" mix which has the gravel in it or did you use the "cement" mix? I've been reading a lot on the leaf casting foram and they talk a lot about using 1Part Portland cement and 3 Pt masonary sand + a bonding agent.
dayflower, I use regular quickcrete for my stepping stones. I make a point of buying the broken bags You can get them for 50 cents to a buck at lowes.. Just ask for the recovery bags They will put them in those so it doesnt leak all over before you get it home
I take about 1/3 of the bag and sift it thru a handheld sifter and put that aside The reason I do that is to get a finer mix and its easier to get it between the moasic without having all the bits of gravel in it... I lay my mosaic down on the mold, mix the sifted QC and put that down first, then layer the regular OC (all ready mixed ) over it. After that I start tapping on the sides with a wood stick to get the air bubbles out
wait about 3 days then remove from mold. Keep them damp for the next 3 weeks or so to aid in the curing of the concrete
one more thing.. before you say Ill take them..check and make sure they havent gotten wet and then hardened before you buy them.. I di that once and when I got home I found 3 of the 10 bags were useless ( they loaded them for me so I didnt bother to check them) thought someone might want to learn from my mistake!..lol...
Hi Blkraven, those were some good tips on making stepping stones, I'd never thought of sifting the rocks out of the quickcrete which goes into the mosaics first and then just using the rest as is. I did some stones the easy way a couple of yrs ago,..I purchased some round already made ones from WM and used the stuff you stick ceramic tile on with and did my mosaic design then after it was dry I used mortar mix in between the mosaic, some I colored, then put on a sealer and they turned out really pretty and seem to be holding up really well. I'll add the pictures tomorrow.
I decided to make some stepping stone when I first moved here and would sit out in my driveway sifting the mix.. Usually on a sunday morning... My neighbors would drive by on thier way to church craining thier necks to see what the new gal was doing.. Finally they came and asked me..they said they couoldnt figure out what I was doing with the quickete like that...lol.
. Ive made about 2 doz plus in different sizes doing it like that and have had no problems.. some are 2 yrs old now and not cracked...one of these days Ill have enough made for a patio!..lol.
.you can also do them the way you want to so the kids can write their names and stuff if you reverse layering of the mix .. lay your mixed regular QC down in the mold first then put about 3/4 of an inch of the sifted mixed QC so you have a smoother surface to work with.. Just remember when you fill it not to fill it to the top cause when you press something in to the QC its going to take up space and you dont want to make the QC overflow the mold.. you can use vaseline for the mold release and use most anything for a mold, just make sure the sides are tapered so it will slide out easier.. it dosent have to be much but it s a lot easier to get something out it has a tiny angle to it..Ive found the bigger the stepping stone the heaver the mold need to be. and last try not to move the mold around while its curing, put it in one place and leave it there!!..lol.. Ive cracked some doing that cause I was impatient..
.ahh... live and learn and pass on what NOT to do!!!...lol...