I wanted to do something memorable for our dads in honor of Father’s Day, so my husband agreed to help me make a gift out of Leigh’s footprint. I was inspired by this blog post about how to make DIY stepping stones. It seemed easy enough.
We went to Menards and picked up a bag of instant concrete, a few water drip trays and a sheet of mosaic tiles. I bought letter stamps off Amazon. All the stuff cost less than $20. We sat down at the kitchen table to make these “easy” gifts. Eric went outside to mix up some concrete and fill the trays. While I tried to keep Leigh from napping, he came back inside frustrated because the concrete was full of rocks. Once he filled the trays, we couldn’t stamp anything on them! So he tried to make a wetter batch, but we still had the same problem. He ended up going out to Walmart to pick up kids stepping stone craft kits. These come with a plaster-based mix that dries smooth. If you want to make these, do yourself a favor and just buy a kit. They cost $10 a piece, but it’s the way to go.
I learned from my earlier painting experience with Leigh that using his hands to make art is not a good decision, so we went with footprints. Leigh sat patiently as we mixed each batch. The first one we let dry too long. By the time we tried to put Leigh’s footprint on it, we had to press super hard and the rest of the mixture pushed up all over!
We learned that you should plan for enough time to quickly push in all the little pieces before the plaster becomes rock hard– in a matter of minutes. It took all afternoon but we made four beautiful stepping stones for each grandparent and one for ourselves. I still think this was a fun project and I’ll never forget how hard we laughed when the first one cracked in half as we tried to apply Leigh’s little foot.