The list of advantages to marrying a carpenter is growing again. This past Mother's Day, Cody whipped out a grid of concrete forms (6" x 6"), mixed up some fine concrete and together we made a keepsake. I was originally thinking of using thow-away pie tins or bread pans as a form, from what I've read those methods work equally as well. I am so, SO happy with how they turned out, and the Grandmas are happy too!
I 'wrote' out the details with a wooden kabob stick and within a day they were dried to cute perfection. One major factor in this project was fully rinsing and baby wiping Luke's feet in between each pressing to severely limit the skin exposure to the wet concrete. And it also makes for a cleaner footprint, but it was especially important for keeping his baby feet soft and precious! I would also recommend not writing too close to the edges, we had to a little corner repair work on this one (up by the top the of the "L"). The stones were dry enough for gift-giving after 24 hours but aren't fully cured for nearly 48 hours. Once dry, they pretty much just slide right out of the forms.We are probably going to add a wooden border to it as well, since fine mortar isn't as sturdy overall. From what I hear though, the Grandma's are happy with it indoors on a plate stand anyhow!
I think we may just have to repeat this project every few years, although the size of the stepping stones are going to become quite large if Luke continues to grow like Cody!