Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little Feet Stepping Stones

One of my favorite traditions I started with my kids is making a yearly stepping stone.  Every summer (for the last four) I gather my kiddos and imprint their little feet in a stepping stone.  As our collection has grown they have become some our most prized possessions.  The kids love comparing their feet, seeing how much they have grown,  and seeing which foot "fits." My husband and I love seeing how little and cute their feet were.  Someday we will have quite the collection and it will be a great walk down memory lane... literally!

For those who have never tried it, making a stepping stone is a fun thing that can be done in an afternoon,  can allow the kids to get involved, and is really easy.  Craft stores carry pre-measured amounts of concrete mix, the letters to imprint a message, and forms. (The letters and forms can be used over and over.)  Then just gather some marbles, small toys, rocks or whatever floats your boat to decorate with and have fun!

Some tips for making a stepping stone:
  • It always takes more water for me to get the concrete to mix then the directions state.  I usually start with the directed amount and then add a splash at a time until I can get everything incorporated. Try for peanut butter consistency.
  • After you pore your stone, you need to allow it up to a few hours to dry out before trying any imprints. (This is probably due to all the extra water I have to add)  If the concrete is too wet, the imprint won't hold its form.  Just check on it often so it doesn't get too dry.  NOTE: The concrete will dry out faster in the sun!
  • Place the mold on a cookie sheet so you have a solid, flat surface to move your stone around with.  This is particularly important if you want to be able to put it on the ground to allow a foot print, then on the counter to decorate, and then out back to dry.
  • Make your imprints and add any wording first, then decorate around them so everything fits.
  • Allow it a full 24 hours to cure before trying to remove the mold.  I use a plastic mold and have never had any problem getting it out.  We once made stones with our cub scout group and used box lids for the forms.  This was a cheap way to make a bunch of stone, (we also used a bag of concrete from home depot) but we had to pill the cardboard off once they dried. 

Now, eventually my kid's feet are going to get big and quit being cute.  (gasp!) So my plan is to cut them off after they are five.  Since I have two kids who are two years apart, I am guaranteed at least seven stones.  But I most likely will probably might have another baby or two eventually so it may be way more someday. I imagine when my kids are grown, the stones will be our favorite part of our yard.

So what are you waiting for? Go make a stepping stone!

EDIT:  Ha Ha Ha! .... After reading this last paragraph once it published, I realized it sounded like I was going to cut off my kids feet once they got too big.  Not what I meant!  What I meant to say was, I will no longer let them put their foot in our yearly stone.  Glad we got that clarified! ;)

Let's Party!!!


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