Mother's Day Craft: Cement Pathstone

Make Stepping Stones to Her Heart!

Here's a Mother's Day idea that will last forever (or close to it): a Mother's Day stepping stone. You can easily and beautifully create this keepsake gift for Mom using simple molds you can find at a crafts store and a bag of craft cement. Mom can set it in her garden, you can add a new one every year and have an entire path. Or she can simply put it by her front door to display it proudly to guests.

Gather Your Supplies

If you want go the easy route, you can buy an entire kit at the craft store. But why spend a fortune? This is pretty easy to do yourself. You can use plaster of Paris if it's going to be displayed inside, if not use cement. To make this Mother's Day craft, you will need:
  • A pre-made mold that's suitable for cement (look in local crafts stores or online), in a pretty shape (try a Butterfly, a heart, a faerie, etc.)
  • Petroleum jelly to coat the mold
  • Outdoor cement mix
  • A spatula you don't mind throwing away or keeping for this purpose only
  • Rubber gloves, cement can be very hard on skin and toxic if used often enough
Hint: To make things even less expensive, try making plain square or circular molds using aluminum disposable cake or pie tins. You can then pretty these up by adding hand prints, your mom's name, etc. as described below.

Give Yourself Enough Time

This is key in the timing of your project. The cement will take 24-48 hours to cure; you'll want to give it at least an additional day to make sure it's completely hardened and ready to be wrapped as a gift. Don't worry -- the hardest part of this project is waiting! Everything else is easy. Read on.

Line the Mold

Line your mold with plastic wrap or by spreading petroleum jelly liberally all over the inside. This will make removal later much easier.

If your mold has been created from a specialty plastic blend made specifically for non-sticking, use the package's instructions instead. Some plastics are sensitive to certain petroleum products.

Mix and Pour the Cement

Your next step is to mix the cement according to package directions. Pour the cement into your mold slowly; pouring too quickly could cause air bubbles and cracking of the stone as it dries. Be sure you do the pouring outdoors (if you live in a dry area) or in your basement or garage over newspaper to catch any drips. Be sure to wear gloves for this portion, and thoroughly wash any buckets or supplies that have come in contact with the cement.

Decorate Your Stone Before it Dries

Cement needs to cure 24-48 hours before being lifted from a mold. Read your package's directions for more details, as mixtures vary. When the cement has begun to dry but is not yet hard, add your embellishments or make impressions in the stone. Examples are:
  • A child's hand prints
  • Tiny, colorful marbles or jeweled stones
  • Pieces of sea glass
  • Pieces of ceramic tile (broken pieces can be very pretty!)
  • Beads or old jewelry
  • A child's hand prints
  • Pretty cookie cutter shapes, such as elegant flowers
  • The recipient's name
  • The giver's name
  • The date
When making impressions, keep in mind that technically, the bottom of the mold is what you're drawing on. Either have this be the top of your stone instead of the bottom, in which case you'll want to make sure it's extra-smooth before beginning to draw (use your spatula to smooth), or simply choose a pretty mold and inscribe details on what will be the bottom of the stone.

After making your impressions, allow the cement to cure the rest of the way. Be sure it is completely dry before lifting it out of the mold.

The Wait is Over

You've done it! You have a gorgeous keepsake cement stepping stone just for Mom. Remove the stone from your mold and you're all set. Remember to make a cute Mother's Day Card that goes along with your homemade stepping stone.

This keepsake gift is so easy to make -- yet so special to receive -- that you'll want to make more than one. Choose this craft for other holidays and family members for a gift they'll love forever.

Written by: Melanie Henson