Rhubarb Leaf Stepping Stones

iowagirl2006May 14, 2008

Sue requested the instructions to this - and I thought I would make a seperate post about it. It used to be on a website - but it is not longer there. I had saved it a while back - so I will post what I saved. I can't give credit to the original person who did it, as I don't know who they are. I have made many and they are neat!

I use Quick Crete - and I do not use a colorant - just because I can't easily get it here. The wire mesh I used in mine is called "hardware cloth".


- rubber gloves

- heavy plastic sheeting

- leaves

- pre-mix concrete - One standard-size bag will make three of the leaves shown here, which are about 45 centimetres square and eight centimetres thick;

- mortor or cement colourant, if you want a colour other than the light grey that pre-mix concrete produces (Lee Valley Tools has this stuff as well as Michael's Craft Store)

- Chicken wire or one-centimetre-square wire mesh

- wire cutters.


1. To make the stepping stones, choose an area that will remain undisturbed for several days. Any level surface - a driveway, concrete patio, bare patch of soil or even the grass - will work.

2. Cut a peice of plastic sheeting at least 15 centimetres larger all around than the leaf (or another desired shape), and place it on the ground. Put the leaf in the centre of the plastic, vein-side up (Photo 1).

3. Mix the concrete to a stiff consistency, following package instructions. With gloved hands or a shovel, move concrete onto the leaf, spreading it almost to the edge of the leaf to a thickness of approximately 2.5 to 4 centimetres; press firmly to eliminate air bubbles (Photo 2). If you're using a small leaf or several leaves to create an imprint only, spread the concrete to form the shape you want.

4. To ensure strength and durability, place chicken wire on the concrete to within five centimetres of the edge, overlapping pieces if necessary. Shovel concrete on top of the chicken wire (Photo 3), again spreading to a thickness of about 2.5 to 4 centimetres and pressing firmly to eliminate air bubbles.

5. Gently lift the plastic up around the design (Photo 4), smooth edges with gloved hands or a trowel to ensure an even look, and place earth or gravel up around the form to support it while it cures.

6. Cover with a second piece of plastic to keep the concrete from drying out. Allow to cure for at least 48 hours, then lift the stepping stone from the plastic (the plastic peels away easily) and turn it over to see the walking surface.

7. Remove small pieces of vein or leaf with a hose turned to jet spray. If you've made the stepping stone in hot weather, much of the leaf will have already decomposed. You can place the stones in the garden immediately, but avoid stepping on them until the concrete has completely cured - curing time depends on the type of concrete mix used, but it usually takes five to seven days. Spray with water frequently during the curing period. Make sure the stones are set firmly in the ground and they won't move when walked on.

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Linda Wayman

That is so pretty and looks nice on the pathway. I always wanted to try the rhubarb leaves, but didn't have access to any and never had time to grow any. I did make a few elephant ear stepping stones and a couple of birdbaths. I used chicken wire in mine, but the hardware cloth is probably more sturdy. I also used Portland cement. I know I won't get around to making any this year because I have a full slate, but a few months down the line...look out!!!! I'm so ready to get back to making garden stuff and now that I'm retired I will have time.
Thanks for showing us the pictures.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:36PM
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Those are really good instructions. I have made them also. I have used all sorts of leaves....nasturtium, gunnera, hosta, calla lily, maple, etc. I have also used a mound of sand to form them over if I want to shape my leaves. I have used the large leaves standing on an edge (partly buried). This works well if you should happen to break one. LOL I have done that a couple of times. The hard part for me is waiting for it to cure. I get anxious to see the finished product. I add a water-resistant acrylic resin which provides increased strength. I love making these. I have several of the smaller leaves around my pond.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:41PM
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Sounds like a cool project to try. I love doing things like this. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Thanks for posting the instructions. Clare

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Well, that's pretty amazing! I do have rhubarb . . .

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:49PM
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Those are so cool! I think that's the first time I've seen a rhubard leaf. Are they that big? In fact, I'm not even sure what a rhubard looks like. *S*

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Thanks so much for posting!

I can't wait to try them when things slow down a bit for me.

I have petasites coming in a plant trade and think I have some hostas that would be great as well. Now...must get some rhubarb too.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:17PM
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I hadn't seen the stones but saw a show once where they did what Toni did - make a bird bath!

VERY pretty!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 7:05AM
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The bird bath is awesome!

I have seen pictures of garden fountains where the water drips from leaf to leaf. So pretty.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:18AM
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Oh yesss, I've seen these before, and I want to make one or two at least. Can someone tell me what a centimetre is equal to in inches, please.
I can get all the Rhubarb leafs I need from my cousin.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Very pretty. Those rhubarb leaves are huge.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:47AM
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What a great project. I don't have any rhubarb leaves but I have giant hosta that I could use. I'll just have to wait until later in summer when the leaves are fully developed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:56AM
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I just saw this posting while looking for rhubarb recipes! I have looked all over for stepping stones this year and have not found any I liked. But I dont have any rhubarb leaves. I saw that someone uses "nasturtium, gunnera, hosta, calla lily, maple, etc." but those seem kind of small for a stepping stone. I think the design impact would be less if I just put several leaves together. I dont have gunnera, and my largest hosta leaf is maybe 8 inches. Any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:30AM
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This is my Favorite from DAVISSUE in Garden Accoutrement's in 2005.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Here is a conversion chart that should be useful

Here is a link that might be useful: conversion chart

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:44PM
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Rhubarb doesn't grow in FL but we sure have EEs that have leaves as large or larger. I'm saving the instructions for a winter project. Thank you for posting them.

Maryann the rhubarb leaves are toxic only the stems are eatable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rhubarb plant

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:10PM
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Where are the Instructional Photo's? 1 thru 4

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:01AM
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What a great idea! I want to do something with the all cement walkway we have on the side of the house. This would be perfect and beautiful!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:58AM
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I've wanted to make these for years. They are so neat. Sadly probably will never happen.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:09AM
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Great instructions. There are some pictures on how to do this at gardenmuse.wordpress.com. Type in their search concrete leaf stepping stones. There are some beautiful painted ones.

Also a great video from Garden Gate Magazine. Search gardengatemagazineissue53

This post was edited by susie53 on Wed, Jun 11, 14 at 8:19

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:11AM
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Not the greatest picture.....but I've made loads of leaves. Wish I had a place I could make them here...and the leaves to do them!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:15AM
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My favorite...sold this one. Painted rhubarb leaf

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:17AM
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goldngirl, I saw it on google images. You can try that... It was the very first picture when I looked.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1-4 on google images

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:27AM
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How lovely! I love 'em!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 6:33PM
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I think the pictures are missing because this post was started in 2008. I wish I had the desire to try these; they are beautiful. I just cannot get into another craft at this time!! have enough unfinished projects around here!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:09PM
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When I first joined this group I think I posted pictures of my husband making these. We have a small pathway in my back yard made up of five of them.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:36AM
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Thank you so much, this was exactly what I was looking for.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:31AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

try this link for pictures for each step
DIY Rhubarb Leaf Stepping Stones

I have Elephant ears I could use, I have never even seen Rhubarb leaves I had no idea they were that big though.

edit to add this link to some pictures of really beautiful fountains made from these leaves. In the comments the man tells how he makes them.

This is a neat blog, daughter and mother made a whole bunch of the stepping stones. Pictures included with her instructions.
Stepping Stones

This post was edited by ravencajun on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 11:27

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:14AM
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My daughter and I made some yesterday. I went the lazy route and didn't put any wire in them. Just concrete and leaves. They turned out! Thanks for the idea.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:01PM
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I love this idea, And for a small platform area, you can place three or more large leaves overlapping in different directions and have a unique place for planters, bird bath, etc

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 3:08PM
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I didn't realize this was an old post.....

I kind of surprised me at first to see a post from
Maryanntx on here at first.

Sure miss her .


    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:28PM
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Pretty! Those look too good to step on.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 1:58AM
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