How to Make Artificial Stone

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Fake jelling stone
Fake jelling stone (Image: Flickr Mararie)

If you live in an area where it's difficult to find stone to adorn your garden, pond or landscaping, artificial stones are an inexpensive and easy solution. Here's how you can get started creating fake stone for your projects in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Foam insulation spray
  • Grout mix
  • Burlap strips
  • Putty knife
  • Concrete mix
  • Stone molds
  • Flat gray and tan spray paint
  • Clear coat sealant

Crumple pieces of chicken wire to the size and basic shape you'd like your faux stone to be. Don't worry about making them perfect, as unique angles and ridges will give your stones a more natural appearance.

Spray foam insulation into the chicken wire, filling up holes to create a solid, rock-like exterior. Foam insulation allows you to create the basic stone structure without the added weight from concrete stones created from molds. These lighter-weight alternatives will be easier to move and maneuver around your yard and garden.

Allow the foam insulation to dry for at least 24 hours. While it's drying, cut your burlap into strips, if you're going to be using old burlap sacks or sheets. Strips should be between 1 to 2 inches wide, depending on the size of stone you're creating. Larger stones will require larger strips for better coverage.

Mix your grout according to the package instructions, and then add extra water. Slowly pour in water 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each cup to test the consistency. You want a looser consistency than regular grout, but not too watery. A good comparison is fully mixed cake batter.

Dip your burlap strips into the grout mixture and saturate them in grout. Wrap the strips tightly around the the foam surface, smoothing out any wrinkles or creases with a putty knife if necessary. You will also want to make sure all visible areas are adequately covered for the most natural appearance. Allow the grout and burlap at least 24 hours to fully dry.

Spray your newly-made artificial stone pieces with flat spray paint. A number of companies make paints in stone shades that will help add to the believability of your stones' appearance. Seal the stones from weather damage with clear coat weather seal.

Purchase stone molds from your local hardware or home improvement store.

Mix concrete according to the instructions on the concrete bag. Follow all instructions to avoid mistakes in the consistency of your concrete.

Pour the concrete into the molds. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the concrete by shaking the molds lightly.

Allow the concrete to dry for 10 to 12 hours. Remove concrete stones from their molds.

Paint concrete stones with with flat paint in the natural colors you want to use in your gardening and landscaping. Seal them with clear coat after the paint dries so they hold up against weather.

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