Made by Me Stepping Stones Review

When my kids were babies I commemorated their first birthday by making handprint plaques as keepsakes to remember how tiny their hands were. I wanted to continue the tradition by making milestone stepping stones as they got older. I purchased a kit which I gave them as part of an Easter gift. If this is something you’ve considered doing with your kids, read my  Made By Me Stepping Stones review before you go out and buy a kit.

stepping stones

Made By Me Stepping Stones

Stepping stone kitI suppose I should have taken the time to look at other reviews before buying this product because I was utterly surprised and sorely disappointed. In theory, this is a neat idea because kids can paint them and decorate them. It comes with four 1lb. bags of ‘stepping stone’ mix, gloves, a mask, a play mat, a 3D molding tray, a smoothing tool (popsicle stick), a strip of ceramic paint, a paint brush, and stickers and gems for decorating. Let me warn you, this was a very messy project even with the cheap gloves; I’m so glad we decided to do it outside.

Pros
I really don’t have many positive things to say about this product, but my daughter did have fun making it. It is an enjoyable arts and crafts project for the kids to do (For parents, not so much). The finished product, as in the last two we did, came out pretty but that’s about it. They are merely for decoration.

Note: Picture is for reference. Not meant to be left outside!

Note: Picture is for reference. Not meant to be left outside!

Cons
Let me start by saying the box is very misleading; like anything actually turns out the way it looks on the box, anyway. It appears to have different shapes for making 4 different designs, but it really only comes with one mold. If you actually read the box it does say that it includes ONE molding tray so that was an oversight on my part.

Another factor that is misleading is that they’re called stepping stones. I would hardly call them that as they’re more like keepsake plaques. The first one we made was a total bust and I had to throw it away. I ended up getting some other molds to try the remaining mix.

Poor Instructions – The instructions were horrible. According to the instructions it has a mixing tray, but it does not. They are referring to the mold which is not really adequate for mixing because the 3D indentions make it impossible to thoroughly mix the plaster. I used an old Tupperware container for mixing the second go-round.

Also, if you follow the directions it advises to mix just half of the mix and water at first and then gradually add the rest with water while stirring. DON’T do this. The plaster sets too quickly and you end up needing to add more water than the recommended amount in order to attempt to finish mixing it. The second time we tried it I added all of the mix and the water and stirred it together which ended up being the right consistency. I also found that a spatula or large kitchen spoon worked better than the popsicle stick it came with.

Bad Composition – One notable factor you should be aware of is that this is PLASTER, not cement. It does not serve as a stepping stone by any means because you can’t actually put any pressure on it, as stated at the bottom of the instructions. Also, you can’t leave it outdoors as the box indicates because it will fall apart if it gets wet. It is really made to be kept indoors – although I don’t advise it because it flakes and leaves a powdery residue every time you touch it. The last two we made came out better but the edges were really brittle and we had to be extra careful not to break them.

<b>What Others Have Said About the Made by Me Stepping Stones
I sought out other reviews for this stepping stones kit to see if others may have had a better experience with it than we did. After reading their comments it turned out to be much of the same.

“After a couple days of curing go ahead and paint it, you could use any acrylic paints and then spray it with an acrylic gloss sealer.”

“It just sets way too quick to do anything. It’s completely frustrating!!!”

“I thought we would get at least 2-3 molds. Nope, only 1.”

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one fooled by the box without reading it to find that it only came with one mold. As one reviewer advised, if you choose to let your kids paint it once dried apply a sealer which will help keep the plaster from flaking. The instructions indicate that you can purchase additional molds separately so I decided to try again using some other molds.

My Final Thoughts
To conclude this Made by Me Stepping Stones review, don’t bother wasting your money on this kit. The very first one we made was a huge mess and broke apart when I tried taking it out of the mold once it was set. I did try again using the other molds I got and those came out better, but I still wouldn’t recommend buying this. It was fun for my daughter and she was proud of her flower one she made that actually stayed in tact. I will be doing this again to make some actual stepping stones for my garden, but I most definitely won’t make the same mistake again. You would be better off just buying a bag of cement, some molds, and different gem stones or crushed tile pieces to make your own.

Other Recommendations
After our horrible failed attempt I did a little more research to find some better quality stepping stone kits. I’ve listed the following kits that I’d recommend based on their positive ratings.

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