How to Make Garden Paving Stones with Your Kids
Homemade garden paving stones can add distinctive charm and function to your garden design. Personalize them with your children's handprints, footprints or simple sketch art as a fun summer project. Before you begin, sketch out a landscape plan to determine how many stones you will need and where they will go.
Step 1 - Obtain Supplies
Step 2 - Mix and Pour Concrete
Mix the concrete in a disposable bucket or container. Set the molds on a hard flat surface that you can leave undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours. Ensure the molds are out of the wind to keep out flying dust and leaves. Pour the mixed concrete slowly and evenly into the molds, creating a level surface.
Step 3 - Decorate Paving Stones
Have each child choose a mold, and put a handprint or footprint in it. Press the hand or foot in deep enough to make a clear impression. Lift up the hand or foot quickly and smoothly. Twists and drips will distort the imprint.
Use the screwdriver to write initials or a date, or draw simple sketch figures, like a flower, sun or stick-person.
Do not allow pets to step into the wet concrete. It is difficult to remove from paws.
Step 4 - Allow to Set
Check the directions for the concrete mix to determine the setting time. Paving stones generally should be left to set for at least 24 hours, up to 48 hours.
Step 5 - Release and Set in Place
Remove the garden paving stones from the molds. You can reuse metal and hardwood molds, but discard MDF molds.
Carry the stones to the places where you want them as outlined on your landscape gardening plan. Use them as a path to a garden, away from a patio or even to the driveway.
Other decorating schemes for your garden paving stones could include simple fruit and vegetable shapes on the stones leading to the vegetable garden, or beach toys to show the path from the house to the backyard pool.
As your children get older, make a new set of garden paving stones. Invite their friends over to make garden paving stones they can take home. Get together with other family members and make a set of paving stones for a grandparent's garden, one with each grandchild's handprint or footprint, a unique family tree record.