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How To Make Pet Memorial Stepping Stones

Updated on March 9, 2014

Your Pets Are A Part Of Your Family

Losing a pet can be just as heart breaking as losing any other member of your family. When Kitty Wompuss died our family was devastated, even our dog Koko was visibly grieving.

We looked online and at local garden stores for a memorial stone, but just couldn't find anything that we liked that was in our price range. Then a really nice clerk at my favorite garden center told me how to make one myself using quick concrete.

Making a personalized stepping stone memorial was very cathartic and helped me work through the grieving process. The memorial stone was very easy to make and was a project that my husband and I could work on together. This project would be a great way to include children and help them feel like they are saying goodbye to their pet with the family.

Step 1: Get Your Supplies Ready

What you will need to make a Memorial stepping stone.

~ A Plastic Mold

~ Quick drying cement

~ Piece of chicken wire, old screen or carpenters cloth

~ Colorful stones, Mosaic pieces, polished stones, etc...

~ Wooden craft sticks or Popsicle sticks

~ Old Serving Spoon

~ Acrylic Paints & brushes

~ Polyurethane

Quikrete - Just Add Water Concrete Mix

Stepping Stone Kits

There are also a lot of wonderful Stepping Stone kits that are reasonably priced, that can easily be used to make a pet memorial stone.

Step 2: Making A Plain Stepping Stone

Wear old clothes, rubber gloves & you can use old newspaper to protect your workspace.

1.) Mixing the cement: Use an old bucket that is big enough to hold the amount of cement you will need. Pour the cement mix into the bucket and then add water & mix until it is thick like brownie batter.

2.) Using a trowel or an old serving spoon, scoop the wet cement into the mold to about the halfway mark of how thick you want the stone to be.

3.) lay down you piece of chicken wire or screen, then cover with cement until stone is as thick as you want it to be.

4.) Smooth the surface with a trowel or I just did it with my gloved hand. Now it will need to set for 30 minutes to an hour, before you can write in it. You can test it by using a popsicle stick, make a line and if it holds it's shape, then the surface is ready. Don't try it too soon or decorations will sink & writing will close up.

* It takes quite a few hours for the cement to dry so if you make a mistake, you can easily smooth out the surface & start over.

Step 3: Adding Decorations

~ Ideas & Tips

~ There are a lot of different things you can add to make your stepping stone beautiful.

~ You can add polished stones, colorful glass beads, mosaic tiles, broken dish pieces, marbles or just about anything you think would look nice.

~ Remember that if the finished memorial will be outdoors, that you should use weather appropriate items.

~ You can even add a photo of your pet by laminating the photo first and the setting it in the cement.

~ You can write in the cement and make paw prints or other decorations with an old pencil or popsicle stick.

~ Get creative...the only limit is your own imagination. If you have children, get their imput and ideas on how they want the memorial to look and what it should say.

Step 4: Painting Your Stone

Let the Stone dry for at least 24 hours before painting.

~ I used acrylic craft paint, but you could also use enamel paint or even left over latex house paint.

~ I used black paint in the writing & paw prints, then let it dry for a couple of hours. Then I added some metalic Gold paint to highlight the black.

~ You can basically use any color paint that you like. You can also paint right on the flat dry surface area also.

* You can remove your stone from the mold any time after it is completely dry (24-48 hours) If stone will be outside, make sure it drys for at least 72 hours.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Let the stone dry at least another 24 hours before finishing.

~ After your stone is decorated & painted, you will want to let the paint dry for a least another 24 hours. This will also give your stone more time to completely dry.

~ Handle the stone gently until it is completely dry, finished & placed in it's permanent location.

~ Once everything is dry, you are ready to finish the stone by adding protective polyurethane coating.

~ The best way to do this is to brush on many very thin coats of clear polyurethane. Let each coat dry for at least one hour before adding the next thin coat. This way you will avoid getting ugly bubbles in your clear coating.

~ Once you have 5 or 6 coats on, let the stone dry another 24 hours before placing it in it's permenant place.

Step 6: Placing Your Stone

Choosing the perfect location

~ Make sure that you follow the laws for pet remains for your city or town If you choose to use your stone as a grave marker. Many places have laws against pet burial or specific requirements.

~ If your stone will be stepped on in the garden, be sure to bury the stone so the top surface is level with the ground and the stone's sides are completely below ground.

~ If your pet was cremated, you can embed the ashes in an urn or container right into the stone itself before the cement dries, or by making a thicker stone that surrounds your pet's remains.

~ If the Stone will be placed in your yard in a spot where it will not be stepped on or if it has protruding decorations or an urn, planting flowers or small bushes near it, can help keep it safe.

Rainbow Bridge - Pet Memorial Keepsake Picture Frame

Stepping Stone Pet Memorials - DIY Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step 1: Get all of your supplies together.Step 2: Mix the cement and put it in the mold...then let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.Step 3: Decorate the stone, add writing & objects. Let Dry for 24 hours before painting.Step 4: Paint the dry stone. Then Let paint dry another 24 hours.Step 5: Add protective polyurethane coatings, then let stone dry another 24 hours.Step 6: Prepare the site where the stone will be placed.Once your stone is placed you can Add plants or colorful stones around it.
Step 1: Get all of your supplies together.
Step 1: Get all of your supplies together.
Step 2: Mix the cement and put it in the mold...then let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 2: Mix the cement and put it in the mold...then let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 3: Decorate the stone, add writing & objects. Let Dry for 24 hours before painting.
Step 3: Decorate the stone, add writing & objects. Let Dry for 24 hours before painting.
Step 4: Paint the dry stone. Then Let paint dry another 24 hours.
Step 4: Paint the dry stone. Then Let paint dry another 24 hours.
Step 5: Add protective polyurethane coatings, then let stone dry another 24 hours.
Step 5: Add protective polyurethane coatings, then let stone dry another 24 hours.
Step 6: Prepare the site where the stone will be placed.
Step 6: Prepare the site where the stone will be placed.
Once your stone is placed you can Add plants or colorful stones around it.
Once your stone is placed you can Add plants or colorful stones around it.

~ In Loving

Memory of:

Kitty Wompuss ~

Thank You For Visiting - Please take a moment to say hello.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for this - our 11-year-old Border Collie Jessie left us on Sunday, just shy of 10 years to the day I gave her to my now-husband as a one-year anniversary of dating gift. She went peacefully, and I am so happy we can make something like this together to commemorate her, as she was such a special, loving member of our family. Thank you for the photos, and step-by-step instructions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We are making stepping stones with the kids this weekend to honor our golden boy Kane who crossed the rainbow bridge Wednesday night. This site gave me some good info as the kit we have had instructions that really were not that good.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 4 years ago

      Good idea. you can never forget your lovely pet. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We lost our Brittney this morning. She was nine years old.

      She has two brothers (rescues) that are missing her badly

      right now. Thank you for being here to answer my questions

      on how to do this!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      This is such a lovely idea. And to have a way to make a stone that won't break the bank - how wonderful. I think I will make some of these this summer when I am home. I am going to visit your lens on pet loss too - thank you for putting these up. SquidAngel Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Tux, my 16 yr. old Belgian just died and has his grave in my back yard. Large area - he was over one ton. My other horses will step on it and plants will be eaten by them. I have a large rock on top of his grave. Thought about putting cut tiles, etc.,but won't be permanent. Maybe I'll glue his horseshoe and a cross on top of the rock?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for posting your story and the DIY stepping stone. You all know why I'm here, Shogun just passed away last Wednesday 9/5/12 for kidney disease. After 6 years of giving us lots of joy and love, his disease finally took him away, he was 14 years old. He was given up by his previous owner because of his disease and have one week to live in the adoption center to be euthanized. We were so grateful we adopted him. The unconditional love he gave us will remain in our hearts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. I just lost my beloved baby kitty Max. He was seven months old & died in a freak accident. I have also lost two of my other dogs this year. It's been hell. Pet memorial are very expensive and I like that I can do it myself. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is so hard when you lose your dog. I grew up with Mutley, a Siberian Husky and found it very hard when he passed away. We put a memorial on k9site.com which reminds my children of what he was like as they get older.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I am sorry for your loss... we lost our Timmie on Monday & I know exactly what you are going through. We have 5 females and he was our male cat. He was very very close to our Angel and we would call them "husband & wife" We have just been spending alot of time with our other babies and comforting them... treats help as well. I did think about getting another male kitten from the shelter to save another life (our shelter is a kill shelter). I am JUST NOT READY PLUS FEEL IT WOULD BE UNFAIR TO TIMMIE like he is being replaced already. That is my opinion and can completely understand my opinion is probably alot different then others. However, a lady did call me in a similiar situation and she said her other cats actually started over-grooming, were very depressed so bringing another kitten in is what saved her other babies. It is just so hard to suffer the loss of one of our family members and making the decision is hard... very hard. It does matter that we did not make them suffer by being selfish and trying to keep them alive for our own ??? which does happen and is not fair to them. I know if something happened to me I would not want to be on life support or suffer anymore then I was already... by that I am trying to say "AS HARD AS THE DECISION WAS.. YOU DID WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE... SHE IS NOT SUFFERING AND IS IN A GOOD PLACE RIGHT NOW". I am going to read the book called Rainbow Bridge I believe it is called... it is supposed to help us understand loss of our pets better. My heart goes out to you and your family and I wish your family all of the best during this difficult time. My Timmie was the same age so I keep telling myself he had a wonderful life with us and who knows what kind of life he would have had if he wasn't with us... he was spoiled and HE SPOILED US WITH HIS LOVE. I did put something out with his scent on it and that seemed to calm the others down.. plus honestly... I BELIEVE THEY DO UNDERSTAND.

    • profile image

      glutenallergy 5 years ago

      I'm sorry that you lost your precious kitty. This is a wonderful way to remember our lost pets. We did the same thing when our pet duck died, and I'm sure we will do it again whenever one of our five kitties passes over. You've done a great job of showing exactly how to make a memorial stone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story & especially for the stepping stone instructions. My Missy Poo was 11 yrs old when she was struck by a car while I was vacationing 3 states away. Thankfully my friend was house sitting for me & found Missy very quickly after the accident & rushed her to the vet. The Dr called us & explained the depth & severity of her injuries and even stated he wasnt sure he could save her. So I had to make the very painful decision to end her suffering, a decision I've never made before. My husband took over the phone call to handle all the arrangements while the kids & I gathered together & cried. I am very concerned about my 3 remaining cats & how they are reacting to the loss. Missy was definitely the boss of all feline activities but our 8yr old Gary was always challenging her & finding any new way possible to torment her. And 3yr Gypsy just kept an eye on Missy but mainly out of fear. My biggest concern is 12yr old Willow. Although they were not biological sisters they were adopted at the same time from the Human Society & have never been apart. Willow was the only cat that Missy would allow to lay next to her & I know Willow is feeling the loss. Willow has always seemed to be a little "slow" mentally and at her age, she seems fairly active but I know bringing a new kitten into the house could be very scary for her, particularly if they don't get along. Missy & I were extremely close & I'm not ready to replace her. Any suggestions on how to move forward with Willow?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am sorry for your loss... we lost our Timmie yesterday while in surgery (6/11/12.. obviously cancer so surgery could not be completed). Some people can be so mean since THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW WE THINK OF OUR PETS AS FAMILY. Can you please tell others about ROSESFUND.ORG FOR US (IN MEMORY OF TIMMIE FOR US & CAN HELP SAVE ANOTHER "FAMILY MEMBER" POSSIBLY) 100% DONATIONS, 100% VOLUNTEERS AND 100% GOES TO THE VETS HELPING FAMILIES IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIPS..... THEY GIVE A TAX RECEIPT TO ALL DONATIONS... NOT ONE PENNY GOES TO ANYTHING BUT HELPING SAVE OUR FAMILY MEMBERS LIKE I SAID. They do not advertise because that costs money... which explains the 100% going to help pet lovers in their time of need. (rosesfund.org no donation too small .. even $1 is appreciated!! not a scam.... in memory of Timmie Wilson) THANK-YOU TO ALL... & thank-you for the great idea and also the opportunity to get this wonderful organization recognized!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      Excellent tutorial on a helpful resource for those dealing with pet loss.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is very nice of you to post how to make a memorial stone. I also lost some dear beloved pets and will try and make some of these for them. Thank you again.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for sharing so nice and original ideas.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have made stepping stones in the past and love the results. Now unfortunately we have lost 3 pets and I will try my hand at a memorial stone. Question: What is reason and/or benefit to add the chicken wire? Thanks.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      What a unique idea--I like that it is possible to make one yourself --make it personal but not expensive.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      What a lovely idea to make memorial stepping stones for lost pets, many thanks :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wonderful site and what a beauty Kitty Wompuss was. We will be putting our beloved german shepherd down in less than four hours today. Our hearts are so very heavy, she is 14 1/2 and we have been so blessed to have had her in our lives as long as we have. I love the memory stone idea, I want to create a special place in our backyard dedicated to our beloved Kona, and your idea will fit in great.

    • TheRosemaryComp profile image

      TheRosemaryComp 5 years ago

      Precious! Bless you for the sweet post

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      purpleslug 6 years ago

      Great lens! and very well done step by step instructions and illistrations. Kitty Wompuss was a beautiful kitty.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Kitty Wompuss is beautiful, thank you for sharing your story. Thanks for the supply links and the great photos!

    • RomeSal profile image

      RomeSal 6 years ago

      Nice way of dedicating to Wompuss! Stepping stone illustrations were well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent idea! Love these. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a nifty idea for us sentimental pet owners. I could make a whole garden path with stones to celebrate each cat that I've loved during my 62 years of life.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      These are great. My Mom and Dad had one made for their 2 little terriors but if we had known about this then I would have made one. Blessed by a Squid Angel and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      So sorry about the loss of your cat. This is such a great idea for a lovely memorial and your instructions and photos are so well done. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      What a cool idea! My little guy would like making one of these for his beloved turtle. Thanks for the idea. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 6 years ago from London

      What a nice idea - and well explained too. I've added this is as a featured lens on my compendium lens All About Cats

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is such a great combination of a DIY lens and a dedication site! Part of me is empathic (can relates to a loss of a special pet) and another part of me is saying what a great way to make extra money by making monuments!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      Beautiful tribute to a beautiful cat.

    • jstarr lm profile image

      jstarr lm 7 years ago

      I had a Maine Coon named Scratchy (His sister's name was itchy...this was before the Simpson's :) He was a big doll baby, and faithfully went to bed at 8:30 pm every evening with my little girl, at the time. Like putting two babies to bed. Thanks for a great lens, and great photos of KW's garden stone.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for these wonderful suggestions and instructions for making a Pet Memorial Stepping Stone. We have made Stepping Stones in the past but I had not thought of making them for our Pet Cemetery. I will have to do this for our Miss PittyPat. The Vet's office usually does the Paw Print in stone and hope they did that for her but haven't heard from them yet. Thanks again.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      This is a wonderful way to both focus your attention on doing something positive and creative during a time of grief (which is important) and to forever remember a much-loved member of your family. I love the fact that you can include a photo or pretty stones and messages, and for a cat you could put this in their favourite spot in the garden.

      Also I would think this would be a nice way to involve children during what may be a confusing time for them.

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      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      We received a little imprint of our beloved Barkley the night he died. The assistants at the all night veterinary made it for us. He was attached by a bigger animal. Your stone turned out so nice. And thanks to the Angels for the blessings.

    • spunkyduckling profile image

      spunkyduckling 7 years ago

      This is a really cute way to remember our pets. I fave. 5* It's hard for me to imagine that Koko was grieving. Sorry you had to lose you kitty though. Got another one yet? Well thanks for sharing. P.S Your hand made stone design actually looks better than a lot of those stones out there.

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      mockingbird999 7 years ago

      Great lens. It is important to remember our pets. They're part of the family too.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for the pet marker. We just lost our Coon and it hurts

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      So sorry to hear about Kitty Wompuss. This is a nice idea for remembering a pet. Thanks for sharing.

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      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Such a beautiful cat, your Kitty Wompuss. So sad he's gone. This is a beautiful lens; I'm glad it helped you in the grieving process. Hoping Koko is doing better...

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      Samantha Devereux 8 years ago from Columbia Mo

      Sorry to hear about Kitty Wompuss, Very touching lens

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      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Oh my how incredibly touching is this? My mom would have loved this -- probably still would -- for her two cats, ET and Pauline, who died within weeks of each other. They were polydactyl cats that she got in the Keys. Nicely presented Bambi!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Bambi this is a great idea! I'm so sorry about Kitty Wompuss. I had never thought about making one myself.