Mosaic stepping stones are a great DIY way to update your garden. You can vary the design to suit your tastes, then nestle your pavers among the plants or between pebbles for a stylish look. Plus, this easy mosaic project is a great way to get started making mosaic craft.
A simple way of making mosaic stepping stones is to use moulds from the kitchen — like a plastic basin, a cake tin or even the plastic rip tray from a pot plant. Look around you, there are so many things that can be used as moulds! You just have to make sure they are deep enough — at least 5cm. Bear in mind that not all stepping stones have to rounds or square (old, rectangular ice-cream containers will also work) and a mould — be it wood or plastic — can be used over and over again.
To make your mosaic stepping stones, you will need:
- Mould of your choice
- Petroleum jelly
- Brown craft paper
- Permanent marker
- Tiles of your choice
- Tile nippers
- Wallpaper glue
- 2 boards slightly bigger than your design\plastic sheeting
- Building sand
- Chicken mesh
- Sponge and cloth
- Grout, waterproofing additive and applicator (optional)
How to make your mosaic stepping stones
1. Take measurements of your mould or container and transfer these to brown craft paper. Draw your design and wrap the brown paper around a board and secure so that your mosaic does not move while you work
2. Select the tiles you want to use. We used mosaic rounds for the flower centres.
3. Cut the tiles and glue them to the brown paper with wallpaper glue with all the tiles the right way up (facing you) because you are going to use the double reverse method. We used a sheet of shaded tiles for the shading of the bunny. You may want to loosen all the tiles from the sheet, then arrange them in shades from light to dark so that you can choose the shade you need as you work.
4. Glue another sheet of paper on top using wallpaper glue. Try not to get too much glue on sections of paper without any mosaic pieces on. Place a board over the sandwiched mosaic and carefully flip everything over. Push all the tiles down with your fingers (through the paper) to secure them and leave to dry.
5. When dry, carefully remove the original piece of paper, leaving you with the wrong side of the tiles facing up — they are now glued to the second piece of paper, which has become the backing paper. Trim the backing paper as close to the edge as possible.
6. Apply a generous layer of petroleum jelly to your mould. Carefully lift the mosaic up and place it, paper-side down, in the base of the mould. In this case, we used a plastic basin.
7. The thickness of the mosaic stepping stones need to be approximately 50mm, so make a mark with a permanent marker on the wall of the mould indicating how far up you will fill it with the cement mix.
8. Mix 3 parts building sand with one part cement in a bucket. Once this is thoroughly mixed, slowly add water — small amounts at a time — mixing until the cement is pliable, but not runny.
9. Cut chicken mesh smaller than the diameter of the paver. Half-fill the mould, place the chicken mesh in the centre, and continue to fill the mould until you reach the marking you have made. Level the cement mix with your trowel.
10. Cover the mould with wet newspapers and plastic sheeting and leave to dry for six days. On the seventh day, carefully flip the mould over, dislodging the mosaic paver. Carefully remove the backing paper and clean the mosaic. Grout if you wish, leave until it has dried completely and clean to remove any excess group before polishing. Display your mosaic stepping stones in a prominent place in your garden and don’t forget to show your friends and family!
Extract taken from making a mosaic by Dorothy du Plessis (Metz Press)