Bring extra color & sparkle into your garden! Learn how to create barefoot-ready mosaic stepping stones that sparkle along the path to your garden beds using smooth glass gems.
- Assorted Rounded Glass Gems
- Flat/Matte White Paint
- Small Paint Brush
- Cement Mix
- Cement Pigment (optional)
- Mixing Buckets (2)
- Stirring Stick
- Welded or Chicken Wire
- Garden Stepping Stone Mold
- Paper Towels
- Gloss Clear Outdoor Spray Paint
Step 1: Paint the underside of each glass gem with white paint to keep the colors vibrant when laid into the concrete.
Step 2: Put on gloves and mix the concrete in a bucket. If using liquid cement pigment, add it to the water before adding it to the dry mix. Slowly add the tinted water to the dry mix and stir. Add enough water to make it wet but not soupy. The glass gems will sink to the bottom if the mix is too thin.
Step 3: Pour the wet cement into the mold to the halfway point. Add the chicken wire to the top of the wet concrete. Fill the rest of the mold with concrete, ensuring the wire is completely covered.
Step 4: Clean the bucket with paper towels and rinse any remaining residue using an outdoor hose.
Step 5: Press the glass gems into the wet cement. Push the glass deep enough to secure it into the cement. If they are too shallow, they will pop out.
Step 6: Allow the mold to dry for a couple of days.
Step 7: Remove the cement from the mold by gently flipping it upside down against a soft surface. It should easily fall out. If it does not come out easily, allow for more drying time.
Step 8: Use an old toothbrush and water to clean the top of the glass gems. Once dry, spray the top with a clear varnish to give it a “wet” look.
Step 9: Place your stepping stone in the garden. Touch up with the clear varnish each year to keep the glass shining.
Ideas to take your stepping stone to the next level:
- Create multiple stepping stones and design a walking path in the garden.
- Personalize the stepping stone by adding a footprint or a handprint!
Learning and Discussion Questions:
1. Stepping stones are used in Japanese gardens to slow the walker’s movement, making each step purposeful and meditative. Read this article to learn more about stepping stones within Japanese landscapes.
2. Many contemporary artists use the combination of glass and concrete to create works of art. Sculptor Ben Young is a New Zealand-born, Sydney-based artist inspired by bodies of water. Visit this webpage to see examples of his artwork.
Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!