How To Make Pet Memorial Stepping Stones
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
Quikrete - Just Add Water Concrete Mix
Stepping Stone Mold
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.
Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit
Butterfly Stepping Stone Kit
Heart Stepping Stone Kit
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.
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Pet Loss Support
~ In Loving
Kitty Wompuss ~