DIY Decorative Engraved Stepping Stones – Easy Peasy!


This post contains affiliate links.

I. Love. Rocks.

I don’t mean diamonds, although they’re pretty cool, too. I’m talkin’ about dirt rocks kind of rocks.

We have a 3,628 pound boulder that I had turned into a bubbling boulder. Need I say more?

Here are links to all the posts in the DIY bubbling boulder series:

  1. The Bubbling Boulder Unveiling
  2. Bubbling Boulder – The Price Tag
  3. 6 Tips When Shopping for a Bubbling Boulder
  4. Bubbling Boulder: Choosing the Location
  5. Bubbling Boulder – Digging the Pit
  6. Before-Bubbling-Boulder-Delivery Prep Work

To dress up the bubbling boulder area, I had a local mom and pop stone engraving company do a sandblast engraving on a separate stone that reads, “Holly’s Hollow” and a couple critters engraved onto the stone. (I think the words might have been engraved with something like a dremel or drill, but the critters were sandblasted.)

Then there’s all the river rock, the large feather rocks, the stepping stones from our driveway to our front porch, and a couple little rocks with critters (a frog and a lizard) sandblasted onto them.

AND, I recently came across a to-die-for stone outdoor living space and STONE SOFA!

Okay, I think I’ve made my point: I like rocks.

Liking rocks as I do, I thought it’d be a neat project to do some personal stone engraving. However, I don’t have a sandblaster, nor would I know how to use one, BUT I do have … a dremel. :) (Actually, it’s John’s dremel, but he shares. He’s nice like that.)

I wasn’t sure if a dremel would even work for this kind of thing, but it was worth a try.

I figured the sandstone edgers around the bubbling boulder would be the easiest to work with for engraving (and with a low-tech engraving tool).

What can a person – one who has absolutely no artistic ability – engrave onto stones? I could manage stick-people, but I wanted something that LOOKED like I had artistic ability. A dragonfly was what I chose.

So if you, too, are not artistically gifted, you can still engrave something nice. Again, stick people could look cute. Words (e.g. grow, faith, flowers, herbs, …) can also be engraved.

Would you like to make something like this? It’s easy as pie! Easy Peasy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Stepping Stone
  2. Dremel and Dremel Bits
  3. Protective Mask
  4. Small Whisk Broom or Toothbrush
  5. Vacuum (Optional)

Stepping Stone

A rough or bumpy surfaced stone will be more forgiving of minor flaws in the engraving process. I chose a sandstone rock. (At least I think that’s what it is.)

While I love the look of sandstone, they’re prone to chip. Most, if not all, chipping seems to occur right after the cold winter months. I might move this stone into the barn before winter to prevent that from happening, or I may just let it chip for a more weathered look.

Dremel and Dremel Bits

Our dremel is an old model and battery operated, but it did the job. A more powerful dremel would have made the job a bit faster. (Ours is a 2-speed, 7.2 volt dremel.)

I used two main dremel bits, one for the outlining and the other for the large areas of sanding down the rock (like the wings on the dragonfly).

(These images are affiliate links.)

Protective Mask

This is very important! The engraving creates a LOT of dust, which is not safe to inhale. The slower speed created less dust than the faster speed, and the outlining created less dust than the large areas of dremeling.

Small Whisk Broom or Toothbrush

The heavier sand particles quickly build up around the area you’re sanding/dremeling. A small whisk broom or toothbrush can be helpful to push aside the sand from the area you’re working on. However, this also causes some of the sand to become airborne.

The perfect set-up would be to have a low powered vacuum set up to suck the sand while dremeling.

Vacuum (Optional)

See previous sentence. :)

So, watcha think? Will you be doing some stone engraving?


This was shared on the following blog hops and link-ups:
HomeAcre Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
Little House Friday
Simple Life Sunday Blog Hop
Simple Saturdays Blog Hop
Wednesday’s Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party

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