Everyone and their puppy’s cousin has made personalized stepping stones for their gardens and lawns. Making the decorated discs is as easy as buying a kit-in-a-box at the local craft store. But why be limited to grass and tootsies? Here’s an idea that breaks the plastic mold: Shrink the concept.
In an afternoon, you can whip up mini-versions that work wonders as playful drink coasters that carry the fun to patio parties, backyard bashes and the family room. Escalate the whimsy by gluing small pictures under clear, flat pebbles, and then embedding them in the wet cement. It’s easy enough to follow up with a whole new set of the concrete stepping stones to match.
Wilma Flintstone would be impressed!
1 bag of large, flat-sided, clear glass pebbles.
Small pictures or stickers.
1 box of cement mix.
Plastic disposable bucket.
Plastic coaster molds.
1 bottle of water-based varnish.
1 sheet of colored felt.
Optional: acrylic paints and brush.
Directions: Add a dab of glue to the flat side of the pebble and set it on top of the picture. Have both on a flat surface so the pebble won’t slide. When dry, trim the excess paper. Add a layer of white glue to the back of the picture to secure it and seal the edges. Each coaster will hold eight to nine large-size pebbles, so be sure to fashion enough pebbles for the number of coasters you wish to create.
Mix the cement in the plastic bucket (or bowl) according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the mixture into the molds and let set for five minutes. Press the pebbles into the wet cement in desired pattern and let dry for 24 hours. The glue under the pebbles will turn white but will eventually dry clear. Carefully remove the coasters from the molds. Turn them over and let them dry from underneath for several hours. Add a coat of varnish to the visible cement areas on top and sides. Apply felt to the bottom of each coaster to protect furniture.
Variations: Instead of clear pebbles, press colored pebbles or other objects into the wet cement. Add a layer of paint on the back of each pebble so the color will show through or paint borders around the coaster edges for a brighter look.
* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.