Shortly after my Mother died, I came upon a stack of old dishes in her basement. Mismatched, chipped and broken, they should have been thrown away long ago. Gathering the dishes and seeing their old patterns, brought me back to my childhood and I was flooded with memories of our family suppers at the kitchen table, so many years ago. It was then I decided to salvage these dishes and repurpose them into stepping stones for the garden.
There are a lot of easy and inexpensive ways to make these. This is the quickest and easiest for me.
Supplies: Rapid Drying cement, water, shards of broken dishes, *mold for stepping stone, cooking spray or oil. *I used a 10 inch,plastic ‘drip collector’, the type sold to place under potted plants, as shown below. They cost less than a dollar, come in various sizes and can be reused many times. Some people use cake tins, plastic trays from take- out food, lots of options.
1. Place your dishes in a cloth or paper bag and break them up with a hammer.
2. Collect the broken pieces you want to use. I put mine on an old cookie sheet and turned them right side up.
3. Grease your mold with cooking oil or spray.
4. Mix your cement according to manufacturer’s directions. I cut the top off of a gallon sized milk container to mix it in. It was easy to pour with and I didn’t have a messy clean up. I made a 10 inch stone and used 5 cups of cement and 1 1/4 cups of water. I was tempted to add more water, it seemed really thick but just keep mixing!
5. Pour mixture into the greased mold. Jiggle it back and forth, and tamp it down a few times to even out the mixture in the mold. (same as you would do with cake batter)
6. Press your broken pieces of china into the cement. Start with your largest pieces. Make sure sharp edges are submerged. Continue to add whatever pieces you want, where ever you want. This brand dried quicker than I though it would! When you are done, press the top down so it is somewhat smooth and level. Check to make sure there are no sharp edges on your dishes sticking up. Let dry according to cement manufacturer’s directions, I left mine overnight.
7. Turn your new stepping stone out of the mold. All done! It will last for many years out in your garden!