Friday, July 15, 2011

Stepping Stone Charger Plate Tutorial


I have had a few emails on the subject of stepping stones. Is really that easy. Yes! It won't take you forever to make them ether.  Will I need special tools or equipment? No! All you really need is a bucket, water concert mix and a place to put it. You actually don't need to buy a mold you can make an imprint in wet sand and pour your mix in. So technically you can get this done by a simple trip to the beach...if no one complains :)




Materials


Water
bucket
something to mix with
Fast setting concrete mix (I use quick-rite fast-setting mix)
mold or wet sand
oil,shortening or pam
*Styrofoam if making light wight version here

Prep you mold

If you are using a plastic mold then you will need to oil it up.  Personally I use veg shortening just because it is on hand. If you are using wet sand, imprint it with a pan or other stepping stone.



Measure & Mix

I use a 5 parts of mix to 1 part of water...It works good for me. Measure out you mix and pour water in slowly. Stir well try to work quickly the concrete sets fast.
It will look like this.
Pour

Glop all your mix in your mold. Yes, you are going to say I did this wrong. It is so lumpy. Why is it so lumpy!  Don't worry  just spread it out :)

Shake

Now to take care of lumps. Shake the heck out of the mold. It helps remove air bubbles and smooth things out. Most of the lumps will be gone. The stubborn stones sticking far out I remove. Ones that are just above the surface I usually leave alone. 

Wait

Probably the worst step ever the wait. Usually 30-45 minutes. The stepping stone should have changed colors slightly and firmed up quite a bit. If it feels soft and leaves a finger print leave it alone.


De mold

Carefully flip the stone over on the other side and gently tug on the sides you should see it start to lift.

Curing
Place your stone in a plastic garbage bag and forget about it for a week.

Painting
Stone must cure for about 28 days before painting. The surface must be scrubbed with a mild soap solution or vinegar, then allowed to dry before the application of paint. Check out here for more info on painting

6 comments:

  1. Great idea! These aren't very heavy are they? They won't crash a table of 10 or so would they? Also, can you show us what your place setting will look like w/ these stepping stone chargers? PLEASE! Thanks.

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  2. They are not that heavy. Ten weigh less than 30lbs... just imagine setting a stuffed turkey or large ham on the table. A wedding cake weighs about 100 lbs. If you are worried plaster of pairs is lighter but concrete is cheaper and stronger(your guests can actually use them as a stepping stone). You also can make them fairly thin. Mine are about 1/2 inch tall. I am using normal party rental tables. I have not put together a mock up yet. I am waiting on my tablecloths, finishing my centerpieces, and my glassware. When I get them all together I will be sure to post.

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  3. Thanks that's good to know. I love this idea (OMG .22/ea!) and therefore will be using concrete. Also, how do you store them? I was thinking after they completely harden, I'd stack them on top of each other in boxes. Maybe standing up on its side (like dishes drying) would be better? I want to be sure on THE day I don't unpack a stack of rubble. I have very limited space so I have to think of this 1st before actually starting this project.

    I'm doing my parents 50th wedding anniversary and your idea really struck a cord with me. When my parents are gone all our family and friends will remember them with fondness when they step into their garden. Now I just hope my Dad and I can make 250 stepping stones!

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  4. I have them in 2 XL storage bins. The stones are on the sides. I put bubble wrap between each. I would buy multiple molds and have a party if I was making that many. Also how much concert you will need depends on how thin you make them and how may inches the stone is... this could make it cost more per stone. Good luck :)

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  5. I love this idea for a wedding, however how would you transport potentially 150 of them without damage? Also, what size/design is the mold? I could not find the lightweight version of this, can you tell me what to use?

    Thanks
    Irishlace

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