This type of project never gets old for our kids. I am sure most of you have done these before, but I just wanted to share a couple of things we have done a bit differently this time.
Most online how-to's tell you to use hardware store concrete mixes. Well, while this is fine, you basically need to put on a haz-mat-suit before you start. So, I searched around a little and found this art plaster at Joann's: It's non-toxic. I bought a 5 pound package. It costs about 9 dollars (compared to 2$ for a bag of concrete), but you can easily use one of your 40% or 50% off coupons, since I don't think this stuff ever goes on sale. The entire package was enough for 6 stepping stones (no left-overs). The biggest plus, but minus at the same time, is the time it takes this plaster to set. We had a pretty hot day and I think it took no more than 4 minutes and the material became too hard to push the decorations in. So, once you pour it you need to be very quick with decorating. But, your kids will have almost instant gratification!
We used two different kinds of disposable aluminum cake pans as molds. I really like the ones with the scalloped edges. Those came from Target.
For decorating we used LOTS of glitter, buttons, sea shells, marbles, beads. I have never used glitter before for stepping stones. As expected, not all the glitter stuck to the plaster and threatened to fall off. So, I simply sprayed two layers of clear coat on it.
The stepping stones look awesome, when the sun-light hits them. Super sparkly and shiny ;-)