I saw this idea for patio stones on Pinterest and decided to give it a go for a Mother's Day Art Club project. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about using concrete, but these ended up being pretty easy and the clean-up wasn't too bad either.
First, it was near impossible to find a bag of concrete in downtown Vancouver (even at my nearest Home Depot!). I was about to give up-it was late and the night before I was going to do the project but my husband volunteered to go out on a motorcycle ride to find some. Thanks, husband!
Lucky for me, I didn't have to mix up the concrete either! One of my Art Club volunteers said she would do it. She didn't follow the recipe for the whole 30 pound bag, but just began with a little water in a mop bucket and started adding concrete little by little until it was the consistency of a thick milkshake.
I found some great square-ish paper bowls, and we lined them with plastic wrap to prevent sticking/absorption. Students were to make a little sketch of their design on paper before getting their concrete. One they had it planned out, concrete was ladled in to the bowls, almost to the rim and then tapped down onto the table to minimize air bubbles. Then students got to choose from an assortment of glass beads, shells, sea glass, and mosaic tiles that I found at the craft store. The embellishments were pushed in so that they were almost flat with the concrete. (Some students that took too long committing to a design had trouble pushing in their objects because their concrete dried out too much .)
After about two days of drying on the window sill, I removed the stones from the bowls, along with the plastic wrap (most of it came off) and then placed them upside down to dry out a little more. They really only needed one more day to finish drying.
I think these turned out great...although some might be a little hard on the feet. :)