Stained glass stepping stones

As the weather begins to get warmer, outdoor projects become more popular and fun. Beautiful, elegant stafrogined glass stepping stones can be expensive in home and garden stores. You can create your own at home for a fraction of the cost. Making your own stepping stones allows you to have complete control over every aspect, from the size and design to personalizing it. Colorful pieces of glass set into concrete allow you to add that special added touch–the serenity and peace of a stained glass window in your garden or walkway.

Things You’ll Need:
Glass
Glass-cutting tool
Stepping stone mold (available at most home and garden centers)
Craft paper
Double-sided tape
Quikrete
Grout
Steel brush
Concrete sealant
Clear Contact paper

Before you begin, remember to always wear protective eyewear when working with glass and concrete and never attempt to break glass in a vertical position.

1. Decide on your glass pattern. (Choose a simple pattern with less detail if you have never cut glass before.) Draw or print it out on a heavy sheet of craft paper. Make a reverse copy for later. Cut your paper pattern out carefully. Number your pattern pieces and mark what color they are to be.

2. Attach your pattern pieces to your glass with double-sided tape and trace the shapes onto your glass. A chisel-edged marker makes a wide, visible line. Remove the pattern and place aside.

3. Score along the inside of the lines with a glass cutter. Start with your most difficult pieces first. To use the cutter, hold the cutter in your hand with your thumb on the glass and press down. Then, pick the glass up and snap at the cut line. Straight pieces are always going to be easier than curved or wavy pieces.  Use a cutting square for straight cuts.

4. Trace an outline of the mold onto your reverse pattern copy and tape it down to your work surface. Place a piece of outlineclear contact paper over the pattern, sticky side up. Arrange your glass pieces on the contact paper in the design you have chosen. The prettiest side of the glass needs to face down. Cut the contact paper along the outline of the mold and place on the bottom of the mold.

5. Lay the mold on a flat surface. Spread your grout onto the glass to hold your pieces together. Make sure that it gets spread all over the corners and can sink in the tiny cracks between the pieces of glass. The contact paper will prevent the grout from seeping onto the front of the glass.

6. Mix the Quikrete using one part water for every five parts of mix. Make sure it is the consistency of modeling clay before you pour it into the mold. Tap the sides a couple times to settle any air bubbles and smooth off the top with a trowel. Allow the concrete to dry completely, about a day, before removing from the mold. Remove the contact paper and use a brush to clean away any stray concrete or grout.

7. Cure your stepping stone in a cool location for about three days and then allow it to cure in the sun for about a week. Keep it protected from the rain. Apply a cement sealant and your stone is ready to use.

Making your own stepping stones allows you to add touches of your personality throughout your yard and gardens.  They also make wonderful ways to preserve a memory or special occasion.