IY Leaf Impring Stepping Stones Simply And Inexpensively From GardenTherapy.ca

Leaf Imprint Stepping Stones

This Weekend Project preserves the garden into decorative stepping stones. You don’t have to work hard for a whole weekend to do it though! It’s a simple project that is quick and fun to do, but the concrete needs some time to cure after the stones are poured. These stepping stones are an economical way to make a personalized pathway or to add to your landscape as a decorative feature. 

DIY Leaf Imprint Stepping Stones simply and inexpensively made from concrete - make plenty for the garden

As pretty as they are, let’s not ignore their importance: giving the gardener a place to set foot that protects the plants. You thought they were there for your boots? Nope, stepping stones are layed to prevent the soil compaction that results from tromping through the garden beds. It’s particularly good practice not to walk on wet garden soil as it can destroy the structure of your soil, reducing plant root’s ability to retrieve water and nutrients.

Leaf Imprint Stepping Stones DIY Project

Unless your garden is all within arm’s length, stepping stones are a functional way to reduce the stress on soil structure, and they are pretty darn, well, pretty!DIY Leaf Print Stepping stones collect water in the leaf and make mini reflection pools

Materials

  • Square plastic containers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Foam brush
  • Repair concrete
  • Wheelbarrow or bucket for mixing concrete
  • Rubber gloves
  • Trowel
  • Leaves
  • Small rocks

Instructions

  1. Choose containers that will make a good size for a stepping stone. For round stones, use plastic plant trays. For square or rectangular stones, use plastic food storage containers. The ones I choose had a relatively straight sides so they would result in straight-sided stepping stones.
  2. Choose leaves with interesting shapes, strong veins, and defined edges. Shown here are (clockwise from top) are Lady’s Mantle, Hosta, and Japanese maple leaves. The maple leaves pointed edges made their shape less successful than the other two (see final photos), and this will influence my choice of leaves in the future.Mixing concrete to make DIY leaf printy stepping stones
  3. Use the foam brush to spread vegetable oil around the inside of the form and on the vein side of the leaf.
  4. Mix repair concrete (concrete without large pieces of gravel) as per the instructions on the bag using the wheelbarrow, trowel, and rubber gloves. Pour the concrete into the moulds and press the leaves, vein-side down, onto the concrete. Be sure to press each leaf evenly with the flat part of your fingers so that the whole leaf imprints (not just where you touched with your fingertips!).
  5. Weigh the leaves down with rocks or stones and allow to set for 24 hours. Cure as per the instructions on the concrete package and then unmould and place around the garden. Making DIY leaf print stepping stones

I weighed the leaves down with river stones and after 24 hours removed them from the moulds and voila!Leaf Print Stepping Stones made from maple, hosta, and ladys mantle leaves

This is an update from the very first Weekend Project I wrote about in October 2011, which was a book review on  Concrete Garden Projects: Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More. One of the projects I tried from that book was leaf imprint stepping stones. I showed the photos back then but not the full instructions.

I was also lucky enough to work with a creative friend that day, which is a good thing because concrete can get heavy! My friend made some stepping stones with leaves and foam letters we bought at the craft store. Isn’t it fun to work with others? You get so many great ideas! her letter/leaf stepping stones turned out perfectly!

Please have a look at all the creative Weekend Projects, Garden Projects, Craft Projects and even Recipes. Perhaps you will find something to work on with your brilliant pals.

About the Author : StephanieAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie

  1. Anja
    AnjaJune 19,12

    What a cool idea! I could imagine doing that too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mixed Kreations
    Mixed KreationsJune 20,12

    These are really cool. I seen a little leaf birdbath made out of an elephant ear similar to how you made your stepping stones. Will have to give these a try. Love how you added the letter. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tutorial.

  3. Pizimac
    PizimacJuly 30,12

    wow! they look like little fossils or something! Amazing!

  4. Sue
    SueJune 17,13

    What did you oil the containers with?

  5. Stephanie
    StephanieJune 17,13

    Hi Sue, just vegetable oil. It worked perfectly!

  6. Linda
    LindaMarch 5,14

    Oh I just love this! I can’t wait to try it!

  7. Charlie@Seattle Trekker
    Charlie@Seattle TrekkerJune 14,14

    Love your blog and the DIY projects are amazing. The imprinted leaves project gives me some great ideas.

  8. Laura | Baking Outside the Box
    Laura | Baking Outside the BoxJune 18,14

    This is a very clever DIY. I’d love to find a way to make the leaves look like fairy wings for my grand kids. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Stephanie
    StephanieJune 18,14

    Hi Laura, what a fabulous idea! Please share if you do make them.

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