How to Make a Broken China Mosaic Stepping Stone

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Pieces of china make an original design in a stepping stone.
Pieces of china make an original design in a stepping stone. (Image: mosiac pattern image by david hughes from Fotolia.com)

Stepping stones give a walkway or garden area character. There are many ways to make and decorate these concrete yard decorations. While some can be fairly expensive, others are nearly free. With only the cost of a bag of quick-setting concrete and a few items you already have around the home, you can create a one-of-a-kind stepping stone. Use broken china pieces to create mosaic-patterned stepping stones to adorn a lawn, create a pathway or surround a garden spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepping stone mold
  • 10-lb. bag concrete mix
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Stirring stick
  • Screen wire, optional
  • Scissors, optional
  • China pieces
  • Towel
  • Hammer
  • Paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Acrylic spray paint, optional
  • Petroleum jelly, optional

Preparations

Choose a mold for your stepping stone. Molds are available at home improvement or garden stores. You may use a metal, foil or plastic container in any desired shape.

Gather the china pieces to make the mosaic pattern. To create pieces from mismatched or broken china, wrap a piece of china in a towel. Place the wrapped china on a solid surface and tap it with a hammer.

Trace the shape of the top end of the container you will use as a mold for the stone. Cut out the shape. Cut more than one copy of the mold shape to allow for more than one design plan, if desired.

Draw a design on the paper cutout of how you plan to arrange the china in your stepping stone. Use color pencils to help determine where china pieces will best fit to result in your desired design. Place china pieces on the paper design to view a sample of the finished stone.

Cut a piece of screen wire, using a copy of the paper pattern. The screen will serve as a reinforcement for the concrete stone. Cut the screen about 1/2 inch smaller than the actual size of the mold.

Prepare the mold by rubbing a thin coat of petroleum jelly around the edges and bottom. This will help remove the stone when the concrete is dry.

Make the Stepping Stone

Mix the concrete and water in a bucket according to the package directions. The mixture will be easier to work with if it is somewhat runny rather than stiff.

Pour the concrete mixture into the mold. If using a purchased mold, position the mold where the stone will remain after it is finished. Fill the mold halfway to the desired thickness. Shake the mold slightly to work out air bubbles.

Place the screen wire on top of the poured concrete for reinforcement. Pour more concrete over the wire until the desired thickness is reached.

Push the edges of the china pieces into the wet concrete, leaving most of each piece showing. Make sure sharp edges are pushed into the concrete. Push any rounded pieces into the concrete so there is no air under the china to cause breakage when the stone is stepped on.

Let concrete dry before removing from the mold. Spray the stone with clear acrylic spray for added durability, if desired.

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