How to Make Rhubarb Leaf Garden Stepping Stones
You have seen them at all the craft fairs and garden centers, huge leaf-shaped birdbaths and stepping stones. Learn how to make rhubarb leaf garden stepping stones and birdbaths.
So you would like to learn how to make rhubarb leaf garden stepping stones and birdbaths, huh? The process really isn’t all that difficult.
The hardest part of creating your masterpieces is finding large leaves and collecting the materials to make them.
Below I will go over the materials to make stepping stones. If you want to make a birdbath, Simply digging into the soil, will turn this from a stepping stone into a birdbath.
- Rubber gloves
- Heavy plastic sheeting
- Rhubarb leaves
- Pre-mix concrete – One standard-size bag will make three of the leaves shown here, which are about 18 inches square and 3 inches thick.
- Mortar or cement coloring, if you want a color other than the light grey that pre-mix concrete produces (Craft Stores or home improvement stores).
- Chicken wire or one-centimeter-square wire mesh
- Wire cutters
1.) Choose Area That Is Undisturbed
To make the stepping stones, choose an area that will remain undisturbed for several days. Any level surface – a driveway, concrete patio, bare patch of soil or even the grass – will work.
2.) Cut Plastic Sheeting
Cut a piece of plastic sheeting at least 6 inches larger all around than the leaf (or another desired shape), and place it on the ground.
Put the leaf in the center of the plastic, vein-side up (Photo 1).
3.) Mix Concrete
Mix the concrete to a stiff consistency, following package instructions. With gloved hands or a shovel, move concrete onto the leaf, spreading it almost to the edge of the leaf to a thickness of approximately 2.5 inches to 3 inches; press firmly to eliminate air bubbles (Photo 2 above).
If you’re using a small leaf or several leaves to create an imprint only, spread the concrete to form the shape you want.
4.) Add Chicken Wire
To ensure strength and durability, place chicken wire on the concrete to within two inches of the edge, overlapping pieces if necessary.
Shovel concrete on top of the chicken wire (Photo 3), again spreading to a thickness of about 2.5 to 3 inches and pressing firmly to eliminate air bubbles.
If you chose not to use chicken wire your garden decor will crack easily because of the weight.
I highly suggest using any form of chicken wire.
5.) Smooth Edges
Gently lift the plastic up around the design (Photo 4 above), smooth edges with gloved hands or a trowel to ensure an even look, and place earth or gravel up around the form to support it while it cures.
In order to have a smooth outer edge it is important to smooth out your edges as your design cures (dries).
6.) Cover Design With Plastic
Cover with a second piece of plastic to keep the concrete from drying out. Allow to cure for at least 48 hours, then lift the stepping stone from the plastic (the plastic peels away easily) and turn it over to see the walking surface.
Covering your design with plastic will slow down the drying process.
You want the concrete to dry slow so the design doesn’t crack.
7.) Final Touches Matter
Remove small pieces of vein or leaf by hosing off the stepping stone. If you’ve made the stepping stone in hot weather, much of the leaf will have already decomposed.
You can place the stones in the garden immediately, but avoid stepping on them until the concrete has completely cured – curing time depends on the type of concrete mix used, but it usually takes five to seven days.
Make sure the stones are set firmly in the ground and they won’t move when walked on.
Spray with water frequently during the curing period. Which is the first seven days after you unmold your design.
Again, you want a slow drying and curing process to occur.
Designing your own rhubarb stepping stones is not difficult if you have the correct process and materials. It takes patience and time, really.
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