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Stepping Stones: Mosaic Stained Glass Crafts

Updated on February 26, 2013

How to Make Mosaic Garden Walking Stones

Simple easy to follow directions with photos for making beautiful landscape stepping stones. This is the last tutorial in a series of three covering the different ways of crafting decorative stained glass stepping stones. This tutorial illustrates the steps used in the "Indirect Method", a simple process that allows you to design and craft a detailed mosaic stepping stone inlay easily without the mess of grouting by hand. The finished stone has a smooth flat finish that enhances its artistry while providing a strong and practical concrete stepping stone that will last for many years to come.

Stained Glass Stepping Stones are perfect ideas for garden paths. To see the other methods of crafting stones check out Tutorial #1 Personalized Stepping Stones and #2 Garden Mosaic Stepping Stones for more stepping stone ideas and methods.

Making an Inlaid Stepping Stone using the Indirect Method

The Indirect Method is the preferred choice of artisans for creating highly detailed stained glass mosaics with smooth, even top surfaces. This is accomplished by placing the tesserae (Stained Glass Cobbles) onto clear contact paper which is then placed into the pouring mold. A concrete mixture is then poured over the glass to form the stepping stone. Any thickness variations in the glass is resolved using this process.

Intricate designs can easily be prepared ahead of pouring without any time constraints. The clear contact paper placed over the artists rendering allows the glass to be set to the design perimeters. Any changes can be easily made prior to pouring the cement.

In this demonstration white sanded grout was used in the first pouring followed by a layer of gray cement mortar to give the stone added strength. The white grout enhanced the colors of the Stained Glass Cobbles making them vibrant and rich.

The material list, a complete photo tutorial and written instructions on how to make the mosaic stepping stone follows.

Stained Glass Cobbles Workplace for Stepping Stones
Stained Glass Cobbles Workplace for Stepping Stones

Supplies Needed for Making the Inlaid Stepping Stone

A Paper Pattern Design cut to fit pouring mold

Stained Glass Cobbles

Clear Contact Paper (shelving)

Scissors

Mold (we used 12" round mold)

Mold release agent such as vegetable oil

Sanded Grout with polymer (we used white)

QuikCrete Mortar

Water

Mixing buckets

Measuring cups (dry and liquid)

Gloves

Mask

Garden Trowel

Screwdriver or Rubber Mallet

Paper Towels

Photo Tutorial: How to Make Stepping Stones - An Easy Way to Make Personalized Stepping Stones for Gardens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1. Peel the cover paper away from the sticky contact paper then place the clear contact sheet sticky side up on top of your paper template. If needed you can use a bit of scotch tape to keep the contact paper in place.Layout your glass directly on tMix your white sanded grout thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.Carefully spread the grout evenly over the glass tesserae in the pouring mold.Let the grout set while preparing the cement mortar.Mix your cement mortar thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.Spread the mortar carefully over the grout forming a smooth and level top.Let the wet stone dry without moving for 6 to 8 hours.  The first 24 hours the stone is at its most brittle state.Once the stone has hardened invert the mold and gently press on the back of the mold to release the stone.Elevate the stone on wood dowels or pencils to maximize air circulation for even drying.  The following day you can move it indoors where it will need to fully cure for a couple more weeks before it can go outside.If you have noticeable bubble holes in your white grout these can be filled and smoothed over with additional grout.Enjoy your art!
1. Peel the cover paper away from the sticky contact paper then place the clear contact sheet sticky side up on top of your paper template. If needed you can use a bit of scotch tape to keep the contact paper in place.Layout your glass directly on t
1. Peel the cover paper away from the sticky contact paper then place the clear contact sheet sticky side up on top of your paper template. If needed you can use a bit of scotch tape to keep the contact paper in place. Layout your glass directly on t
Mix your white sanded grout thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.
Mix your white sanded grout thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.
Carefully spread the grout evenly over the glass tesserae in the pouring mold.
Carefully spread the grout evenly over the glass tesserae in the pouring mold.
Let the grout set while preparing the cement mortar.
Let the grout set while preparing the cement mortar.
Mix your cement mortar thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.
Mix your cement mortar thoroughly with just enough water to give the slurry the thickness of peanut butter.
Spread the mortar carefully over the grout forming a smooth and level top.
Spread the mortar carefully over the grout forming a smooth and level top.
Let the wet stone dry without moving for 6 to 8 hours.  The first 24 hours the stone is at its most brittle state.Once the stone has hardened invert the mold and gently press on the back of the mold to release the stone.
Let the wet stone dry without moving for 6 to 8 hours. The first 24 hours the stone is at its most brittle state. Once the stone has hardened invert the mold and gently press on the back of the mold to release the stone.
Elevate the stone on wood dowels or pencils to maximize air circulation for even drying.  The following day you can move it indoors where it will need to fully cure for a couple more weeks before it can go outside.
Elevate the stone on wood dowels or pencils to maximize air circulation for even drying. The following day you can move it indoors where it will need to fully cure for a couple more weeks before it can go outside.
If you have noticeable bubble holes in your white grout these can be filled and smoothed over with additional grout.
If you have noticeable bubble holes in your white grout these can be filled and smoothed over with additional grout.
Enjoy your art!
Enjoy your art!
Stained Glass Cobbles
Stained Glass Cobbles

Written Directions for Making the Inlaid Stepping Stone

An Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1.Choose Your Mold / Create Your Design

There are plenty of stepping stone molds to choose from, most costing just a few dollars Molds are usually made of plastic, available in a variety of shapes and sizes and they can be used multiple times. Amazon has a wonderful selection you may want to check out. For our stone we used a 12" circular mold.

Once you have chosen your mold make a paper template to fit. Sketch your design onto the template.

Step 2. Set-up Your Stained Glass Cobbles / Prepare Your Mold

Once you're happy with your design set up your glass colors.

Lightly spray your mold with a vegetable oil (or brush it on) to keep the cement from sticking.

Using your paper template cut the same size shape out of the clear contact paper.

Place your paper template inside your mold design facing up.

Peel the cover paper away from the sticky contact paper then place the clear contact sheet sticky side up on top of your paper template. If needed you can use a bit of scotch tape to keep the contact paper in place.

Layout your glass directly on the contact paper pressing each piece firmly into place.

Step 3. Prepare For Pouring / Set-up Your Workspace

Pick a place where there is good ventilation and is suitable for working with cement. Outside on a nice day or in your garage should be ideal. Set up a level work table covered with newspapers or a plastic tarp. Place your stepping stone mold along with all of your needed tools, water, grout and cement mortar close by. I always like to have a bucket of water nearby to clean my tools as needed.

Make sure to have your latex gloves, protective dust mask and eye-wear ready to use.

Step 4. Mix Your Grout

Put on your latex gloves, dusk mask and safety glasses. Measure out 4 cups dry white sanded grout into a large bucket. Add 3/4 cup of water, having more water available to add as needed. Using a trowel, thoroughly mix the grout with the water until it is like thick peanut butter. If the mix is too dry add a small amount of water until it is of the desired consistency. If is too runny add more dry grout. Make sure the slurry is thoroughly mixed before pouring.

Step 5. Pour Your First Layer

Gently cover your glass tesserae with the grout slurry spreading it with your trowel until the glass is evenly coated. Gently tap the sides of the filled mold with the handle of your screwdriver for at least 30 seconds to help burp the grout slurry of any air bubbles. This will also help level out the wet cement. Let the grout sit undisturbed for 15 minutes while preparing for your second pour of cement mortar.

Clean your bucket and trowel of all excess grout.

Note: Make sure you "Gently" burp the slurry...don't shake the mold or pound on the sides, this can cause the glass to move allowing the grout to seep between the glass and the contact paper.

Step 6. Mix Your Cement Mortar

Put on your dusk mask, latex gloves and safety glasses. Measure out 8 cups of dry cement mortar into a large bucket. Add 1 1/2 cups of water having more water available to add as needed. Using a trowel, thoroughly mix the dry mortar with the water until it is like thick peanut butter. If the mix is too dry add a small amount of water until it is of the desired consistency. If is too runny add dry mortar. Make sure the slurry is thoroughly mixed before pouring. See mixing tips for additional instructions.

Step 7. Pour Your Second Layer

Gently pour the cement mortar on top of the white grout spreading it evenly with your trowel. With the edge of your trowel smooth the surface to a nice even level. The total time you spend on mixing, pouring and smoothing should be no more than 5 minutes. Gently tap the sides of the filled mold with the handle of your screwdriver for at least 30 seconds to help burp the cement slurry of any air bubbles. This will also help level out the wet cement. Let it sit undisturbed overnight. Once the stone has hardened invert the mold and gently press on the back of the mold to release the stone.

Step 8. Dry With Care.

Elevate the stone on wood dowels or pencils to maximize air circulation for even drying. For the first 24 hours after making your stone let it sit undisturbed. This is when it is the weakest. The following day you can move it indoors where it will need to fully cure for a couple more weeks before it can go outside.

Step 9. Clean Up.

Be sure to clean off the trowel and plastic tubs as soon as you're finished with them. Any excess mortar discard in a trash bag. Tools can be easily cleaned outdoors using a garden hose or wash them in a bucket of water. Once the cement hardens it will be difficult to remove. Don't clean them in your house sinks....cement can clog up your drain lines!

Stained Glass Cobbles - For All of Your Mosaic Projects

Stepping Stone Cement Calculator

How Much Cement Do You Need?

There is an easy way to calculate the amount of dry cement you will need to make a stepping stone:

1. Fill your mold with water up to the level you would fill with your cement slurry.

2. Measure the amount of water you used in cups (8 oz. per cup)

3. Take the number of cups and multiply it by 1.25 to find how much dry cement will be needed.

Note: It is always better to make a little more than not to have enough.

For suggested amounts of dry cement for specific size molds go to: The Garden Stepping Stones Tutorial

Color Options

You don't have to go gray!

There are a number of cement colors you can choose from. For more information go to: Make Stepping Stones the Easy Way

Sealing Your Stepping Stone

An Optional Step

Many stepping stone artisans prefer to "seal" their finished pieces to protect them from staining and preventing the grout from taking on additional moisture. There are several different brands of cement sealants available for use on homemade stepping stones. Choose one that is waterproof and dries clear.

Your stepping stone needs to have cured for a month before applying a sealant. Follow the manufacturers directions as to how to apply.

Please Leave Comments Here - Thank You!

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    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I am trying to make a mosaic bowling ball. I cut all the glass I just need an old bowling ball.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      I've been looking at all your mosaic lenses. Thank you for sharing practical tips and insights.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 4 years ago

      You make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing.

    • ayng29 lm profile image

      ayng29 lm 4 years ago

      Can I like this lens a hundred times? This is so lovely, I'm itching to do it myself!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Do you lay it glass side up or down before you spread the grout? I think I missed a step because I don't see where the sticky paper is in the finished project.

    • bbsoulful2 profile image

      bbsoulful2 5 years ago

      Love it! My little guy wanted to do some tie-dying this summer, and I think we will add mosaic stepping stones to our list, too! Thanks for the detailed directions and the beautiful photos -- pretty to look at AND helpful!

    • Arthur779 profile image

      Arthur779 5 years ago

      Great Lens! Really a wonderful craft and great how-to. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is lovely. Thank you for addressing practical questions, like how to calculate quantities for small projects, or where to get powdered pigments.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love you mosaic garden stepping stones and your clear instructions ensure that everyone can have these beauties....blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! I have always wanted to make stepping stones but couldn't find well written instruction. Thanks so much!

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      very nice lens. there beautiful stepping stones you can make and they are unique.

      I'll add your lens in my featured lense.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I love the look of mosaics, and what better way to see them everyday than in stepping stones. Nicely done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      such pretty stones, earned a 'thumbs up' from me.

    • Tonigr profile image

      Toni Grundstrom 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      I am a stained glass artist and started by making stained glass stepping stones. Very nice lens, great step-by-step directions, blessed by a SquidAngel

    • tinypearls lm profile image

      tinypearls lm 5 years ago

      Oh no! I love this, but I didn't need another hobby! :-) I already have a hard time finding time for the ones I have. I hope I can do this one day soon. Beautiful works!

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 5 years ago

      Beautiful work, nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens and mosaic Stepping Stones! Thanks.

    • seanjennin profile image

      seanjennin 5 years ago

      Great lense, keep up the great work!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 6 years ago

      I have a few of these in my garden...what makes them even more special is my kids made them with me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      sooo cool! this lens is awesome.

      _____________________________________

      get the perfect DIY conservatory to improve the look and feel of your home!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Thank you for visiting and for participating and contributing on my Aretha Franklin - Queen of Soul lens. That's very nice of you and, I really appreciate it. Iâm just stopping by to wish you a terrific week!

      I love your lens. Itâs very inspiring, thanks for sharing

    • Rockett LM profile image

      Rockett LM 6 years ago

      WOW if I took the time and energy to make these, NO one would be putting their foot on it! Absolutely stunning.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      My mom makes these- they're very cool!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'll be back this summer to review this series of lenses. My summer garden could use some steppingstones.g

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      i think stepping stones look so cool. maybe we'll have to make some for christmas this year. thanks for a great lens!!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Great ideas. I love stepping stones and have a few of them in my garden. thanks for the great idea.

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 6 years ago from Florida

      Great lens! Love it !!!!!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Another great tutorial. I have the perfect place to do this in our garden (as soon as we finish 157 other home projects!)

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 6 years ago

      When my husband and I homesteaded, I made stepping stones for my garden area. It is a lot of work but well worth the effort!! Great directions my friend!

    • profile image

      seegreen 6 years ago

      Very clever. I'd never even thought about making a template like that.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Oh wow but it is early in the morning -- I can't sleep -- so I'm thinking THIS is the craft that I will soon be trying with mom! She has plenty of garden space that could use some of these. Brilliant idea!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      These look like a lot of fun. I may have to give it a try sometime this winter when the gallery slows down a bit. Very nicely done lens.

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 6 years ago

      I love stepping stones they always come out so nice and look so good. The step by step instructions are great.

      Nice job!

      Robin :)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Hello from a Squidoo Greeter! very cool lens, love the subject, and most likely will make one...thanks for sharing!

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