This summer I resolved to take advantage of newfound flexibility and spare time to Get. Stuff. Done. What a list of projects! I’ve been putting most off since we moved into our new home two years ago. I wasn’t looking forward to the work. Ugh. Staining treated lumber is my least favorite chore. But one project I was enthused about: mosaic stepping stones.
Even so, I procrastinated, not sure how to accomplish my vision. There are at least dozen different ways you might create stepping stones, as a bit of research will reveal. I’m not going to try to fool you. I didn’t know what I was doing. Inching along, step by step and hardware store by store, I figured it out.
I purchased super cheap square concrete pavers along with silver colored grout, clear sealant and plastic stencils. I also needed both glue and craft paint rated for exterior use and caulk designed to adhere to concrete.
Oh, yeah, and small glass tiles. Although I’d planned to use discarded pottery fragments, I quickly discovered this was not ideal. I needed the variety of colors and consistent size and shape of manufactured tiles such as these. I managed to work Polish pottery into one design.
With our six grandchildren in mind, I drew simple characters I hoped would convert easily to mosaic. In each case, there’s a story and meaning behind the character that fits that child. I used online resources to supplement limited artistic talents and refine my designs. Then I laid out tiles inside a paper plate that was scaled to fit easily on each concrete paver, allowing for some “white” space.
It was tricky to transfer tiles to the paver and maintain design integrity. I continued to work on designs, swapping tiles and adding details as the project progressed. It was slow, fussy work, gluing each tile in place. A caulk border around the perimeter provided an outside barrier for the grout. I hope that will work because I was quite stuck at that point!
After caulk and grout were thoroughly dried, I applied a clear sealant to the entire surface. Then I laid in a second string of caulk along the mosaic edge as the first was quite thin. Dabs of water help smooth the last line of caulk and create a seamless border. Finally, I penciled in and painted each grandchild’s name and year of birth.
All things considered as a first-timer, I’m pleased with the results. I only hope they hold up through the harsh north country winters. My mind is whirling with possibilities for the blank stones on my pathway!