Learn how to make footprint DIY stepping stones out of concrete perfect to line the garden pathway and show off your kids little feet with these simple homemade ideas.
Another Mother’s Day passed, another birthday, another Christmas — every celebration for the last 2.5 years I think about that Mother’s Day a few years ago when I promised my mom a garden stone with her new granddaughter’s footprints that still hadn’t been completed. Being a garden lover and plant aficionado I knew it was the perfect gift!
Every year that passes I feel bad that grammy still doesn’t have those garden stones, so I set on a mission to make them, and YOU GUYYYYYS!!!! — what was I thinking?! They are so easy and turn out so cute, so I knew I had to share them with you! Without further adieu, here’s how to make footprint garden stones.
SKILL LEVEL: Easy
Materials to make a footprint garden stone:
- Cement mix — I just bought a small container of Quikrete concrete for less than $10 and had enough concrete for 4 10″ garden stones.
- Disposable Tray
- Plastic plant tray
- Wax paper
- Cement letter stamps
1 | Mix Cement
Start by mixing your concrete according to the directions on your package.
Let’s be honest, no one has time to clean concrete mixing containers these days. So, save yourself the hassle and pick up a few disposable tinfoil trays from the dollar stores. These are great to always keep on hand and make clean up a breeze.
You want to mix your cement with less water than you think and then you can add more as you go until it’s the perfect consistency. You want it to be just wet enough with no extra moisture pooling around.
2 | Fill
Scoop your concrete into your plastic tray with your paint stirrer and fill the space. I found it was easiest to put all the concrete in the middle of the tray and then push it close to the edges. If you have too much on the edge then you’ll end up with a sharp lip that you’ll need to sand down once it’s dry.
3 | Flatten
Once it’s evened out, take a sheet of wax paper and with the waxy side down, lightly press down to smooth out the concrete and compress it.
Lastly, gently pick up your tray and you can tap the tray on the surface you are working on to get out any air bubbles.
4 | Stamp
Next, it’s time to grab those little feet that are probably running around you trying to figure out what mommy is doing. If you have an older toddler that understands what’s going on, then you can most likely do it without needing another person to help you.
With Mini Me, she was a little unsure the first time, but by the second time she was ready to stick her feet in no problem. Just remember to push on their individual toes so they leave an imprint.
For the tiny ones, you’ll most likely want another person. My husband held Little Miss above the tray while I shoved her tiny baby foot in the concrete and pushed her toes down.
As soon as those feet are done, grab your stamps and press them into the concrete.
By the time I had evened out my concrete, pressed in all the feet, and stamped the first stone, the second stone was already pretty hard and difficult to stamp, so just be aware the concrete hardens quickly. From the time you’re done mixing concrete to when it’s difficult to stamp you have about 10 minutes.
5 | Wait
Now, the hard part! Wait 24 hours until the stone is completely hardened. Learn from my mistake, I was too excited to see how they turned out and tried removing it from the tray too soon and cracked Mini Me’s stone. Bummer! I’ll just have to make some more I guess.
If you use the plastic trays like I did, the garden stone should be super easy to remove. All you have to do is peel back the edges and then flip it upside down to separate the tray from the concrete.
6 | Sand
If there are any rough edges, grab some sandpaper and you can do some light touch ups so that you know little feet won’t get cut running across garden stones.
And that’s it! These footprint garden stones turned out so cute and I’m so frustrated with myself that I didn’t make them two years ago.
Related: Check out these 6 practical gift ideas for Mother’s Day.
And although my mom, the best grammy to my little girls, is finding out a few week’s early what her Mother’s Day present is this year, it was just too good to not share. This gift idea is so easy to make and would be the perfect gift to give your mom this year or make for your own walkway in your garden.
What do you think of these stepping stones? Let me know in the comments below!
We’ve been saying we need a path from our back deck to the side gate and I think this might be the perfect thing to do. Each year we can add a stone with our kiddos footprints and eventually we’ll reach the gate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make your own stepping stones? Repeat this tutorial above to line your walkway with memories.
How thick should a concrete stepping stone be? Shoot for around 1.5-2″ thick to avoid the stone cracking when stepped on. See the cement stone above for what happened when we made the stone to thin.
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