Beautify the your backyard or your garden with easy to make mosaic stepping stones. You can make them any size or design you like. You can have flowers for the flower garden, your favorite pet for the walkway--you can even make your favorite football team's logo. Of course, you can go buy the kit, but why would you want to when you can easily make it yourself by following these suggestions.
Things You'll Need
- Mold for your stone
- Ceramic tiles
- Ceramic tile snips
- Design on paper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Rubber gloves
- Grout mix
- Grout float and sponge
- Spray-on grout sealer
- Spray bottle
Plan your design. You need to know ahead of time what you want to make and what colors you will need. Take you ceramic tiles and put them in a bath towel one at a time and hit lightly with hammer until you have smaller pieces. Keep a few full tiles aside. Take your pieces and lay out your design on a table or cardboard. If you need a certain shape for your design, use tile snips and snip one of your full tiles into the shape.
Get your mold ready. Aluminum baking dishes work well for this. You can get them in just about any size you want. You can get them in squares, rectangles or circles. You may also have something else you want to use laying around, or you can build one out of wood and use a cardboard liner. Spray the inside liberally with non-stick cooking spray and set aside until your concrete is ready.
Mix your concrete. Put about 5 cups of concrete mix in the bucket. Mix in about 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir it around with a wooden spoon or mixing stick. Add more water at 1/4-cup intervals until you have the right consistency. It needs to be mushy, but not soupy. Pour the cement into your mold and using a trowel get it even. It should be about 1 3/4 inches deep.
Place your tiles. You are on the clock now. You have about 20 minutes to get all of your pieces in place before the cement starts to set. If you're getting near the end you can spray your area once with the spray bottle of water to loosen it up a little. Take your pieces from your laid out design and put them on the concrete, pressing them into place, but not all the way down into the concrete. Keep them at least 1/2 inch away from the sides. When you have them all in place, use something flat like a piece of board to get them all level. It is not crucial that the level is perfect. Let the concrete dry for about 2 days.
Remove from the mold and cure the concrete. Cover over with plastic wrap, not tight, and spray lightly with your water bottle. Do this every day for about 5 days. Remove the plastic and let sit for another day.
Grout your stone. Carefully remove your stone from the mold. Mix up some tile grout according to the manufacturers direction. This grout comes in many colors, pick a color that complements your design. Put some grout on the top of your tiles and push it in between the tile with a grout float. Use a grout sponge and wipe off the excess grout. Let the grout dry for at least 48 hours. Spray on a grout sealer, let dry and spray again. Now you have a beautiful mosaic stepping stone of your own design.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear a mask when working with the powdered concrete so you don't inhale it.
- Concrete and grout are hard on your skin, wear gloves to protect it.
- Pieces of broken tile may be sharp, so be especially careful while handling them.
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