Make Patio Stones

photo courtesy of familycrafts.about.com

This is another one of those crafts that are fun not only for the young, but also for the young at heart.  Simple and easy to make, they are fun to keep or to give away as gifts.   Instructions below:

1.  Find/buy some disposable tinfoil pie tins or plastic container of your choice.  Rub/spray some vegetable oil inside it to keep the completed stone from sticking.

2. Mix up some concrete and pour it into the mold.

3.  Let the concrete firm up a little if necessary (follow instructions on the package).  You don’t want it soupy, but you obviously don’t want it too hard, either.

4. Decorate!  You can add marbles, decorative stones, old broken china (be careful of any sharp edges), or just about any other weatherproof object.  You can put your hand in to make an impression (as in the picture above), or carve patterns into the concrete using popsicle sticks, toothpicks, etc.

5. Let dry (again, follow the instructions on the package).

6. Remove from mold.  If you oiled it well, the stone should pop right out.  If not, you might need to cut away the mold container.

7.  Place outside and enjoy!

Hints:

  •  Some people like to use Quickcrete, with dries faster for this project.  Just be sure it doesn’t dry so quickly that you won’t be able to decorate it  fully before it hardens!
  • Regardless of what you use, concrete is extremely drying for your skin, so be sure to either wear gloves (medical exam gloves work best because you can still manipulate small objects) or lotion really well before and after to avoid tight, itchy skin.
  • You can also place your decorations in the bottom of the mold and pour the concrete over them.  Just be careful to not jostle them when pouring it in.  Also, remember, that images will be reversed in the product which is important if you want to write a message.

Obviously, for someone in the middle or late stages would need someone to help mix the concrete and possible remind them of the project as they decorate.  Some individuals with memory loss may not be able to place the stones, but might be able to point out where they would like them to go, or even just which ones they would like used.  This projects also has some great jumping off points for reminiscing about past gardens, craft projects, stories about being outside, etc.

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