December 09, 2019

DIY Craft: Rhubarb Concrete Stepping Stones

Hello!

I have a DIY concrete craft for you today: rhubarb concrete stepping stones.


This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation).

I have by no means come up with this project. I've just seen it done so many times and wanted to make some for our backyard and I'm sharing our experience.

It's sumer here! I am so happy the weather is warming up which means we're heading outdoors much more as a family on our one acre block. There are always jobs to do (so many weeds- ugh!) and big projects to work on that Jimmy has started. We are currently working on some crazy paving using slate in a new fire pit area. We have an electric cement mixer here (which I dubbed Jimmy's thermomix) and I decided to steal some of the mix so the kids could be outside alongside us working making stepping stones.

We laid out some plastic sheeting on an outdoor table and the girls picked some large rhubarb leaves from the garden. (See Jimmy, rhubarb IS useful for more than just apple and rhubarb pie :D)

The leaves have lots of cool veiny texture which captures really well in the concrete.


We had some pretty tough wire that we used for reinforcing (which you can see in the bottom left hand corner above), which Jimmy cut with a grinder. You will need some sort of wire to reinforce the stepping stones, if you need to cut by hand just use the thickest wire you can manage to cut by hand.

The girls then took handfuls of the concrete mix and slapped them down onto the leaf. You keep adding them till you reach near the edges. I get them to wear kids gloves as you don't want skin to come into contact with concrete. 

(For a nice strong concrete mix I like to use 1 part grey cement, 2 parts fine sand, and 1 one part coarse sand and a cement additive (optional) to packet instructions. You can also find suggested mixes on the sides of a bag of portland cement.)


We kept in from the edge of the leaf an inch or so, and shaped our leaves into heart shapes. Once we had one layer of concrete on the leaf, we placed our wire reinforcing in, then added another layer of concrete. Our stepping stones were around 1 1/2- 2" thick. 



The girls tended to make their edges a little thin so I needed to remind them to build them up to make them the same thickness as the centre of the stepping stone.


Once shaped, we let set for 1/2- 1 hour then came back and covered with plastic. I kept them damp and covered for one week to let them cure for extra strength. (A minimum of 3 days would be sufficient.) 


24 hours after they've been made you can peel the leaf off and neaten up any rough edges with a chisel or rasp. 


The kids had fun peeling pieces of leaves back! :) They were really stuck in there, but they come out easily when they're all dry.


I love how they turned out and want to make lots for all around the garden! Jimmy thinks the rhubarb has earned it's keep (he thinks it pointless keeping something that requires a tonne of sugar to do anything with.)



I hope you enjoyed our DIY craft rhubarb concrete stepping stones experience, please drop a comment if there's anything you'd like me to craft out of concrete. It's such a versatile product, and it lasts a long time as art in the garden. Affordable, and no kiln needed! 

Enjoy,

Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affliliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.





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