A Handmade Gift for Dad

Father’s Day is this Sunday! And if you’re still on the hunt for the perfect gift for Dad, try making some of these Handmade Stepping Stones for his garden. The whole family will be able to participate in decorating them—plus, Dad (and everyone else!) will be able to enjoy them for years to come. Here’s the how-to:

You will need:

  • Tape measure
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket with straight sides
  • Band saw or sharp utility knife
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Lubricating oil
  • 60-pound bag of concrete mix
  • Wooden stirring paddle
  • Straight edge
  • Old pencil or sharp stick
  • Decorative material (such as marbles or ceramic shards)


Measure the height of your bucket, and divide that number by five. (It should come out to roughly 3 inches.) Make a mark on the side of the bucket at each of those intervals, and repeat the process at three more places around the bucket’s circumference. At each of those intervals, cut or saw through the bucket crosswise, to produce five rings. Spread the drop cloth across a flat surface (like a patio or sidewalk) and lay the rings on top of the cloth. Spray lubricating oil on the inside of each one. Then mix the concrete according to the instructions on the bag, and pour it into the molds to a depth of roughly 1 inch (or a third of the way up the side).

Now comes the fun part—use a straight edge to level the surface of each stone, and add whatever embellishments you like. For instance, write messages, place handprints, draw designs, or push ceramic shards or marbles into the soft concrete. When the concrete has hardened, push the stones out of the molds. Then, either fill ’em up again to make another batch, or stash them away for a later pouring.

For more homemade tips and tricks you can use in the garden, check out our bestselling book, Supermarket Super Gardens! You can even try it FREE for 21 days with our Free Preview!