Painted Stepping Stones

If you have a kids playground in your back yard or just want to brighten up those boring concrete stepping stones, we have just the idea. Paint them. This allows you to make them any color you like to match any backyard. Plus, if you do it right, they will last for some time to come and not lose any of their grippy texture.

Supplies

  1. Concrete stepping stones.
    Preferably you will be starting with new stones. You can get them in a multitude of sizes but the most common is the 1 foot by 1 foot square stone. This is also the cheapest one, commonly available for around $1 a stone. If you must use old stones, you will need to dig them up and then pressure wash them to remove the dirt that would interfere with paint absorption.
  2. Paint
    Go with a decent quality water based paint. Choose whatever color or colors that you like. Make sure that you calculate the square footage of the stones you need to paint so that you get enough. Remember also, you do not need to make every stone one color, you can paint patterns, shapes or designs on them. Whatever you want.
  3. Brushes
    The type of brushes that you need will depend on your intentions. If you are just making solid color stones, just get big brushes or even foam rollers. If you are making designs, get thinner brushes for your detail work.
  4. Tarps
    This is going to get messy so get some plastic tarps to put on the ground to protect it. You could just place your stones in the yard and paint them but then dirt could be a problem.

Base Coat

This could be the only step in your process if you are making solid color stones. The first thing that you need to do is prep your paint. As it comes from the store, your water based paint will be quite thick. If you painted your stones with this paint as it comes from the can, you would end up with a stone that has paint dried on the surface. This would be bad for two reasons. One, it is not durable and will chip. Two, it makes the stones very slick when they are wet.

Instead, you need to dilute your paint with water to thin it out. Add about a third of a cup of water to each cup of paint and mix well. This should thin it out sufficiently but if you find it is still too thick, you can add more. Now, apply the paint to your stepping stones. You will find that concrete stones are very porous and will accept the diluted paint very well. Because you have dilutes it, it will sink deep into the stone. This will make for a long lasting color and will allow the stones to still have some traction when they are wet.

Allow the stones to dry overnight before adding other designs or colors.

Decorating Your Stones.

Now it is time to decorate your stones if you choose. Dilute the paint as in the above step. You might find it better to add a bit less water if you are making very intricate designs.

Now, just go to town on your stones. When you are done, let them dry overnight before putting them outside in your yard or garden.

That is it, a simple little project that anyone can do and one that will add a custom touch to your yard for years to come. This also makes a fantastic kids project. Your child will love seeing their artwork every time they play in the yard.

Gather Your Supplies

Crafting with kids is some of the most rewarding time that you can have. The great thing is that with children, your supplies do not have to be particularly costly. In fact, most things can be sourced from your home including things that you might be getting ready to throw away. If you want to do soe great kid crafting, here are some things that you should be saving.

Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls

I prefer paper towel rolls, but to each her own. These can be made into just about anything. They can be the body of a dog, a totem pole, a rocket or just about anything. If you decide to make something with some of these rolls, you might find yourself thinking about wasting a bunch of paper towels to gain access to them. Instead, start collecting them early and if you have a lot of kids to craft with, ask your family and friends to save some too. Tip: Don’t gorget about wrapping paper rolls. They are bigger and often sturdier.

Popsicle Sticks

Sure the used ones often end up colored from the popsicles but they are. You can dye them the rest of the way if you like anyway. Be sure to rise them off well before storing them. It is not a bad idea to soak them in water for a few hours and then dry them off to get all of the sugar residue removed. In crafting, popsicle sticks can help you make just about anything. Use them to make tiny little people for a puppet show or perhaps to build a house. They also make nice handles for home made musical instruments among other things.

Egg Cartons

Styrofoam egg cartons can be used for both crafts and for craft storage. For storage you can use them to organize beads and other small trinkets. You can also use them for painting crafts to keep different paint colors separate and safe from clumsy hands. They have so many great uses. Some people also like to cut out the individual containers to make the body of animals or perhaps flowers. Keep a bunch of these around and you will come up with hundreds of different uses.

Shoe Boxes

Just like with egg containers, shoe boxes can be both art and great storage. Obviously you can put things in them. Since they are cardboard, you can also easily write on them to keep track of just what is inside. As art, they can be backgrounds for a scene such as a garden or a yard. They let your young artist create scenes with things at the forefront and the back for depth  They can be turned into a house or other structure or perhaps just cut the cardboard up into strips to be used for anything you like. A shoebox is a great thing to have in bulk.

ETC

Besides the items above, there are dozens of great things that you can save whenever you come across them. Save spare beads, buttons, string or ribbon. Save miscellaneous paints, thread spools, jars or just about anything that could be of possible use.

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