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As most toddlers do, Addie brought home about 5,000 seashells when we made our getaway to the beach back in July! She put so much care into finding them that I hated to just throw them out, but we certainly did not need buckets of seashells (aka choking hazards for the baby) laying around the house. Since we have spent our summer redoing our patio area (more on that later!) I thought it would be fun to turn them into some step stones that we could use to decorate. She decided that she wanted to make some for her Grandmas, too (sorry to spoil the surprise, mom!) so that is just what we did!
I honestly was crazy intimidated and spent hours scouring Pinterest to see how to do it just right. Finally, I decided to just wing it and I am sharing what we did below in hopes that it will help save you some time!
This project is SO easy to customize, too! You totally could stamp little hands and feet (we are SO doing that soon), make “fossils” with leaves, add marbles or tiles for a mosaic look…let your kids’ imagination run wild!
First up, grab you a bag of Quikrete! You can order them on Amazon, or check your local Lowes!
You will also want some disposable foil pans. I only had one, so I improvised and wrapped an old cake pan in foil. I think the actual foil pan stone turned out better, so I will do that from now on. Once you have your pans, generously spray them with cooking spray to help your stone release when it dries. A 10lb bag of Quikrete will do approximately 4 stones. I knew we only had time to do 2 at a time so I only mixed up a half of a bag.
Follow the recipe on the bag for how much water to add, but I sort of just eyeballed it! You want it to be moist enough but not runny or it will separate and take forever to set up. Thick oatmeal is the consistency you’re shooting for!
Spoon it into your pans, a scoop at a time and spread it out. My pans sort of self leveled after a minute and then I gave them a good tap to get any air bubbles out.
You will want to be sure that you have any decorative items ready to go before mixing up your concrete. Since we were just adding sea shells, I had our pile close by!
My little artist, anxious to do her thing!
I tried very hard to set aside my spacing OCD prior to starting this project because I wanted them to be truly her work. Much to my surprise, my two year old correctly turned the sea shells and spaced them really well!
Once they are all finished, set them somewhere that they can rest for at least 24 hours (preferably 48) without being rained on. I just kept an eye on the weather and picked a day that I knew it wouldn’t rain. If you think you may get rain, it would be a good idea to bring them in!
After a couple of days, they were fully set and popped out very easily! Let them cure for a week or so prior to stepping on them, if you plan to do that. We are just using ours for decoration! You could even play around with the shape of the stone and do squares, bend the pans into hearts, etc! The sky is the limit!
This was such an easy, fun project to do! And Addie was SO excited to see the finished product and points it out excitedly every time! I can tell we will be doing these again!