Hand print stepping stones for Father’s Day

10 Jun

thomas-stone

I have recently developed a bit of an obsession for sea glass. We saw some jewellery made with it at a craft fayre recently and I just fell in love with it.  We love hunting for sea glass at the beach and seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when they find a good piece is just great! After a particularly successful trip to the beach, I decided to use this to decorate some hand-made stepping-stones.

This is not something I’ve done before and I didn’t have a clue where to start.  I didn’t even know the difference between cement, mortar or concrete! Luckily I found a very helpful chap in B & Q who suggested I use this.

mortar

You just need to add water to it and mix well which is the kind of instructions  I can cope with! You then need some kind of mould for your stone. I used this plastic tray from a plant pot which seemed to work well. I greased it first with vaseline to prevent any disasters getting the stone out!

plant tray

Once you have mixed your mortar just pour it into the mould and level it out to a nice smooth surface. It needs to begin to set before you add any decorations. I left it for 90 minutes before we did anything else. This would probably depend on how wet your mixture is. (Don’t make it too wet or you’ll have to wait weeks for it to dry!)

After around 90 minutes the children pushed their hand down into the mortar to make a lovely hand print. You need to get them to press down quite firmly for this. At this point they wrote their names in the mortar with the end of a small paintbrush. This wasn’t really that successful to be honest. Where they had pushed the end of the paintbrush in it just kind of collapsed in on it self and didn’t look great.  I think for any future stones we will paint their names on when the mortar has set.

We also pushed in the pieces of sea glass that we had collected earlier, along with some pretty clear blue glass nuggets that we bought from The Range. Now you need to leave it all to dry out completely. We left it for 2 days, again it could take longer depending your mixture.

At this point the children painted their handprints to make them stand out more. You can see in this image where the writing kind of fell in on itself.

lily-stone

Finally, we painted the background of the stone white.  By the way all the paint we used was acrylic as this is waterproof. Depending on the age of the child they can do an awful lot of this themselves. It is pretty tricky to paint in around the decorations on the stone so you might want to just paint the hand print and leave it at that.  Lily and Thomas were both very excited to give these to Grandad for his birthday but I think they would love make lovely Father’s Day gifts.

thomas-stone

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