How to Make Rhubarb Leaf 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 stepping stones.
Simple digging into soil, will turn this from a stepping stone into a bird bath.
1.) Rubber gloves
3.) Rhubarb leaves
4.) 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.
5.) 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).
6.) Chicken wire or one-centimeter-square wire mesh
7.) Wire cutters
1. 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 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 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). 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. 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.
5. Gently lift the plastic up around the design (Photo 4), 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.
6. 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.
7. 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. Spray with water frequently during the curing period. Make sure the stones are set firmly in the ground and they won’t move when walked on.