Decorative Garden Stones from Copper Molds

Decorative Garden Stones from Copper Molds

Years ago, I made a mosaic stepping stone that featured an outdoor key hider underneath it. More recently, I had a hankering to try playing with concrete once again. But this time, I decided to use some copper molds from the thrift store to make some decorative garden stones.

My first and only concrete craft project:

DIY mosaic stepping stone with key hider

But back to today’s upcycling idea! Let’s face it, these copper are ALL OVER thrift store shelves…in any number of shapes and sizes.

copper molds

This upcycling idea was also a chance for me to try a stepping stone kit instead of the standard Quikcrete, which is a little burdensome to use for craft projects.

craft idea for copper jello molds

Either way, I gathered up some copper molds to try making some decorative garden stones for my yard. Think my idea will work? There was only one way to find out!

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Upcycling the Copper Molds

I used this stepping stone kit as my source of cement, but it’s also available in most craft stores (for a lot less money, too). I really loved that it was a set amount of cement that would be mixed with a set amount of water.

Unlike Quikcrete, which is a guessing game!

First, I followed the directions on the box and mixed up the concrete in a bucket. It was much smoother than Quikcrete, without any aggregate (stones) to deal with.

Mixing the cement to make the decorative garden stones in the copper molds

Before I poured the cement into the copper molds, however, I sprayed them generously with nonstick spray.

This is an absolutely CRUCIAL step, and don’t be stingy with the spray, Make sure you thoroughly coat the bottom of AND sides of the stone mold.

Nonstick spray in the jelly moulds to make the stone garden ornaments

Once the copper molds were sufficiently lubricated, I carefully poured the cement mix into each one. From that 8-pound box of concrete, I was able to create three decorative garden stones.

Pouring the cement in the copper jello molds to make the decorative garden stones

Pro tip: I REALLY wish I had purchased a used wooden spoon from the thrift store before doing this project. It would have been ideal for mixing the cement AND guiding it into the jelly moulds.

Then, I let everything sit overnight before carefully removing the garden stones from the copper jello molds.

It may not have been needed, but I let the naked stones sit for an additional night before decorating them.

Concrete lawn ornaments by upcycling the copper molds as stone molds

Before I started decorating them, though, I brushed each one with a stiff-bristled paint brush to remove concrete dust, loose particles, etc.

Dry brushing the decorative garden stones to remove the dust before painting

Painting the Decorative Garden Stones

Next, I spray painted my decorative garden stones. I gave each one 2 or 3 light coats of paint to achieve a vivid color.

Concrete is porous, so a few coats made a big difference.

Spray painting the decorative garden stones or concrete lawn ornaments

When all was said and done, this is what the stone garden ornaments were shaping up to look like!

decorative garden stones

I used foil to wrap parts of the pineapple in order to get both colors with spray paint.

Next, I hand painted a couple of the concrete lawn ornaments to give them a little more dimension. For this step, I just used regular craft paint.

Painting the details on the stone garden ornaments that were made in the jelly moulds

Last but not least, I applied a top coat to each side of the decorative garden stones with a basic polyacrylic.

sealing the DIY garden stones with polycrylic

This will protect them from the elements, as they’ll be living outside!

Decorative Garden Stones from Copper Molds

And that was it! I had fun little trio of decorative garden stones that were bright and festive to add to my yard. My upcycling idea for copper molds worked out better than I could have hoped!

decorative garden stones from copper molds

I still have the cat and fish shaped copper molds to work with, too. I just need to grab another box of stepping stone mix from the craft store!

what to do with copper jello molds

Guess what today is? It’s Thrift Store Decor Team Day! Please check out what my blogging friends did with these thrift store items (See the links underneath collage photo).

Upcycling ideas for thrift store items by the Thrift Store Decor Team, the best repurposing bloggers around - June 2019

1. DIY Rustic Bathroom Mirror

2. Painted Wicker Basket

3. Repurposed Little Red Wagon

4. DIY Antique Crock

5. Making Decorative Garden Stones from Copper Molds

6. Repurposed Chandelier

7. Night Stand Makeover

8. DIY Decorative Painted Box

Back to the garden stones, here are a couple I made for the Charlotte Region ReStores. I seriously can’t stop making these!

decorative garden stones from copper jello molds

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods for the Charlotte Region ReStores.

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for your lawn and garden, then you’ll love this hanging bird bath I made with a glass lid!

Hanging bird bath by upcycling a glass lid as a bird bath bowl

Craft on!


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copper jello molds as concrete stone molds

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. The stepping stones turned out very nice. Thanks for the idea and instructions. I’m going to look for molds to make some with my grandsons this summer.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      You are so very welcome, Amanda – I was hoping someone would want to do this as a summer project with the kids or grands. 🙂

  2. Very cool! I love that lady bug one.

  3. I adore these stones!!!! What a great idea! Can’t wait to see the kitty one! ?

  4. Sarah,

    I thought the molds were going to be the stones, I never imagined you would USE them as molds. You surprised me!

    I love how the garden stones turned out. You painted them so cute.



  5. Such cute and summery – love them!

  6. Great job. I especially like the seashell. From a crazy cat lady I gotta tell ya, the cat mold is perfect.

  7. Sweet! I didn’t guess stepping stones, but how perfect!! A great garden addition ?

  8. SharonFromMichigan says

    Boy does this bring back childhood memories for me. We “baked” concrete cakes in old cake pans with my Mom when we were kids. We couldn’t afford to buy regular patio blocks at the store, so while my Dad was at work, we made them in old square and rectangle cake pans, then my Dad laid them out and that became our patio. We never thought of decorating them, they were just concrete.

  9. What a fun idea! I would have never thought to use molds like this. You are always so creative with thrift store makeovers!


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