DIY Rhubarb Leaf Stepping Stones

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Photo by Lisa Facciponti
Rhubarb leaf stepping stones can be made with simple materials and a little bit of practice.

I wanted to try using rhubarb leaves as a way to imprint concrete stepping stones — so I did! All I needed was a large rhubarb leaf, a bag of inexpensive concrete mix, spray cooking oil, a piece of wire mesh, some sand, a piece of plywood large enough to use as a work surface, and a bucket with water for wetting the concrete mix.

I laid the plywood sheet in a shaded place, and then dampened the sand and gently spread it onto the sheet, taking care to cover a space slightly larger than the selected leaf. I added water to the concrete mix according to the directions. I then laid the leaf face-down on the sand and sprayed the back with cooking oil before covering it with 1 inch of prepared concrete. I patted it down to remove bubbles and then rounded the edges. To give it extra strength, I covered the damp concrete with a piece of 1/4-inch wire mesh before adding a second 1-inch layer of concrete. After patting down the second layer and rounding the edges again, I left the concrete to dry for several days. When it was dry enough, I overturned the stone and removed the rhubarb leaf with a soft wire brush. I also smoothed any remaining sharp edges. I let the stone dry completely before moving it to the yard. I’ve made five of these garden stones now, and they’ve all survived two harsh winters without cracking or breaking.

Lisa Facciponti
Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania