Hopscotch Stepping Stones for the Garden
This week I want to share a project from Garden Therapy! I haven’t had a chance to make them for my yard, but I plan on it soon!
These hopscotch stepping stones aren’t the traditional children’s hopping game, nor are they typical for a garden pathway. I like these as part of the play garden design.
The idea behind the play garden is to create a space that is engaging for children while being aesthetically pleasing for grown-ups. In her blog she writes about all the play garden elements over the year (perhaps years!) as the garden develops. In the meantime, I plan to show off these hopscotch stepping stones.
Making numbered hopscotch stepping stones is fairly simple and can be done in one afternoon.
(Makes 10 stepping stones numbered 1-9 and a dragonfly)
- 12” diameter concrete tube
- handsaw or circular saw
- Painter’s tape
- Large sheet of paper as a guide
- Box cutter
- Tape measure
- Plastic drop cloth
- Wheelbarrow or large bucket
- 2 bags of concrete mix
- 1 bag of sand/topping concrete mix or repair concrete
- Shovel and trowel
- House numbers 1-9 (optional)
- Pebbles or small stones
- Safety gear
First of all, let’s talk safety. Concrete is toxic to skin and can be corrosive. No matter how ‘tough’ you are, just protect your hands with gloves. I know they aren’t fun to work with but stay healthy. Also, please use safety gear to protect your eyes and ears when using power tools. You only get four of them!
Cut the concrete form into 10 2-inch-thick molds by using a handsaw or a handheld circular saw. Use a sheet of paper wrapped around the tube as a guide and carefully cut the first ring off the tube. Cut it open by using a box cutter to slice through the ring’s width. Place the cut ring on the tube to use as a guide for all the remaining cuts. Tape the ring together and place it a fraction more than two inches from the end if you are using a handsaw or place it where the guide runs if you are using a handheld circular saw.
Now plan for how to make the numbers. There are a few ways of doing this:
- Lay out the stones first so you can simply transfer them to the concrete when ready, or
- Get a bunch of house numbers to use as a guide. You will make an imprint of the house number and use that to set the stones in place.
Set the rings on a plastic drop cloth and mix the standard concrete according to the instructions on the package. Fill each of the molds ¾-full of concrete and use the trowel to smooth it out. Take care to remove any air bubbles. This base layer gives the stepping stones strength.
Mix the topping or repair concrete and add it to the top of each stepping stone. This layer gives the stepping stones a smooth, refined top.
Working quickly before the concrete hardens, it’s time to add the stones. If you have two people working together, one can be pouring concrete and smoothing while the other sets the stones in. They used house numbers as a guide, but you can freehand it, use a foam number, or even just draw an outline with a stick. Once you have your method, start adding stones one by one, fitting them like a puzzle until you get your 1-9 completed.
Gently push a bit of concrete around the stones with your fingertips just to set them in place. If any do fall out, you can always glue them back in. She was happy to report that not one of her stones fell out! That surprised me in a very good way.
Cover the stepping stones with a plastic drop cloth and let dry for 24 hours. The next day, remove mold and set them in an airy place for a week to cure before moving them to the garden or lawn.
She set the hopscotch stepping stones through the garden surrounded by woolly thyme. As you can see, it still has to grow in. She used a ton plants so it should be a fuzzy, fragrant carpet surrounding the hopscotch in no time! Enjoy her tutorial and join me in making them!