pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CONCRETE LEAF STEPPING STONE TUTORIAL










Concrete Stepping Stones


By making an impression of one large leaf or a group of smaller leaves on the surface of the steppingstones you can create a pattern resembling naturally fallen leaves. As a walk way through the garden or path in the woods these stepping-stones will surly be a favorite element in your home landscape.


I made these stepping stones from a Royal Empress tree I have in my front yard.I think Rhubarb leaves would work also.They were originally going to be used in the yard, but after painting them they were too pretty to put outside, so I used them in my river rock floor, I was installing. I LOVE THEM !!!






MATERIALS:

- rubber gloves
- heavy plastic sheeting
- leaves
- pre-mix concrete I like to use 1 part Portland
 cement to 3 parts sand .  
- mortor or cement colourant, if you want a colour other than the light grey that pre-mix concrete produces ( Michael's Craft Store)
- Chicken wire or wire mesh - wire cutters.

DIRECTIONS
1. To make the stepping stones, choose an area that will remain undisturbed for several days. Any level surface - a driveway, concrete patio, bare patch of soil or even the grass - will work.






2. Cut a peice of plastic sheeting at least 15 centimetres larger all around than the leaf (or another desired shape), and place it on the ground. Put the leaf in the centre of the plastic, vein-side up (Photo 1).





3. Mix the concrete to a stiff consistency, following package instructions. Brownie batter is what I go by. With gloved hands or a shovel, move concrete onto the leaf, spreading it almost to the edge of the leaf to a thickness of approximately 2.INCHES; press firmly to eliminate air bubbles (Photo 2). If you're using a small leaf or several leaves to create an imprint only, spread the concrete to form the shape you want. 







4. To ensure strength and durability, place chicken wire on the concrete to within 3 inches, overlapping pieces if necessary. Shovel concrete on top of the chicken wire (Photo 3), again spreading to a thickness of about 2inches and pressing firmly to eliminate air bubbles.



5. Gently lift the plastic up around the design (Photo 4), smooth edges with gloved hands or a trowel to ensure an even look, and place earth or gravel up around the form to support it while it cures.

6. Cover with a second piece of plastic to keep the concrete from drying out. Allow to cure for at least 48 hours, then lift the stepping stone from the plastic (the plastic peels away easily) and turn it over to see the walking surface.

7. Remove small pieces of vein or leaf with a hose turned to jet spray. If you've made the stepping stone in hot weather, much of the leaf will have already decomposed. You can place the stones in the garden immediately, but avoid stepping on them until the concrete has completely cured - curing time depends on the type of concrete mix used, but it usually takes five to seven days. Spray with water frequently during the curing period. Make sure the stones are set firmly in the ground and they won't move when walked on.



8.I painted mine with acrylic craft paint and sealed it with clear epoxy.





I love my new  bathroom floor...now I wished I  would have 
                                   put heating coils in.