image by freerangestock, personal collection
Department stores as well as hobby and garden stores carry a selection of garden decorations. However, it is more economical to make your own. Concrete is a very good medium for making garden decorations. Stepping-stones, figurines and plant stands are just a few of the items you can make out of concrete.
Stepping Stone Directions
Coat the cake pan with a light coating of vegetable oil to keep the concrete from sticking to it.
Mix the Quikcrete with water, according to package directions, in a five-gallon bucket.
Line the bottom of the cake pan with adhesive shelf paper and press the rocks and shells onto the sticky part of the shelf paper. This will hold the rocks and shells in place when the concrete is poured.
Slowly pour the Quikcrete into the cake pan, filling it approximately two-thirds full. Let the pan sit without disturbing it for 48 hours.
Tear off the disposable cake pan. Turn the stepping stone over so the rocks or shells are on the top for decoration.
Concrete Ball Directions
Dig out a 2-inch deep hole slightly bigger than the stepping stone and fill it with the sand. The sand supports the weight of the stepping stone so it won't break when people step on it.
Cut a 3-inch hole in the top of the rubber ball. Pour vegetable oil in the ball and turn the ball until all surfaces inside the ball are coated with the oil. Place the ball on the bed of sand, positioned with the hole at the top.
Mix the topping mix and water until it reaches a cake batter consistency. Slowly pour the concrete mixture into the ball. Do not pour too fast or the topping mix will settle and the ball will be be too dense at the bottom and have too many air bubbles at the top.
Let the ball sit in place for at least 48 hours. When the topping mix is completely hard, cut away the ball.