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Monday, September 1, 2008

Craft Day: Stepping Stones

Making crafts always sounds like more fun than it actually is. At least for the parent.

When Dori was born, my neighbor bought us a hand-print kit. You know the kind where you mix up the clay and press your baby’s tiny hand in it to forever preserve the precious memory of how small and delicate your baby’s tiny kissable fingers are? And then you frame it on the wall with the first lock of hair? Well, being the sentimental type, I traded it in for a portable potty.

The kids got a stepping stone kit from my sister a few years later. They were small enough I could actually fit all four of their footprints on it. So I mixed up the goop and spent the next hour trying to convince my screaming children to let me dip their feet into wet cement before it hardened. Boy, that was fun.

So imagine how pleased I was that my daughter purchased, with her own money, a new stepping stone kit. I thought I hid it pretty well in the house, but she found it. So let me spare you the learning curve and tell you the best way to make a stepping stone.

Step 1: Read directions. I know this sounds simple, but it’s smart to do it before you open the bag of cement and realize you don’t actually have a container to mix it in, let alone a mold. Of course the kit my sister gave us actually came with a mold. This one did not. It was an eight pound bag of cement with directions. This left me searching the garage.

I found the old bucket we used before. So you don’t make the mistake I did, after you mix the cement and rinse out the bucket, DO NOT use the bucket to wash the car.

I also scrounged up a mold, also known as a Smart and Final plastic fruit salad bowl that I’ll never use again. Especially to wash the car. And I found a paint stick to mix the cement.

Step 2: Toss back a Tequila shot. You’ll need it.

Step 3: Pour cement into bucket and add correct amount of water. Let your child stir. This will last about 10 seconds, because it’s really hard to stir. So you’ll have to do it. And the paint stick isn’t nearly strong enough – it will break.

Step 4: The cement should now be the consistency of brownie batter. Mine wasn’t, but then again, I sometimes forget to add the oil or eggs to the brownie batter, so it’s hard for me to know what properly-made brownie batter looks like.

Step 5: Pour wet cement into the mold. Smooth it out with a putty knife. I actually had one of these! Again, my daughter could not do it herself. This was turning into my craft project. And I desperately wanted more tequila.

Step 6: Finally it looked like a smooth cement cake. This is the time for your child to decorate it. Yet again, this box came with no decorations. Apparently those cost extra unless you get the kit and not just the cement mix. Note to self: next time read the box in the STORE.

Fortunately we had some leftover decorations at home, because I’m a pack rat and save everything. After all, you never know when you’ll need decorations for a stepping stone.

Step 7: Press items into mold so cement will dry around them. Write in the cement if you’d like, but it will be really messy and again, Mom might have to do this.

Step 8: Stand back and admire, but only until little brother shows up and realizes his sister used HIS plastic lizard and bugs as decorations. Calm son down and promise him one of his sister’s toys. After all, Mom didn’t know whose spider that was, but his sister certainly did.

That was fun. I can’t wait to do it again!

1 comment:

  1. lol

    I've been meaning to make those with the kids. I'll make sure to remember Step 2.