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Craft: Lettered Step Stone

Here is a stepping stone I designed and made last spring. Seems that stepping stones are perennial favorites on craft sites so thought this would be helpful. I use a hot wire machine to cut letters out of styrofoam, glue the letters to the bottom of the form used (in a mirror image) then pour the concrete mixture into the forms. After setting 24-48 hours, my stepping stone is ready.

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By Creativeman from Chatswoth, CA

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October 15, 20090 found this helpful

Wow, that is very beautiful! Is the wire machine very expensive?

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October 16, 20090 found this helpful

I agree that's beautiful! I have the same question what is a wire machine and how much does it cost?

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October 16, 20090 found this helpful

Wow, these are so beautiful. I always think about doing stepping stones but I haven't yet. Maybe next year.

I did a little Google research on the hot wire machine and it appears that the hot wire is attached to something with an arm. You cut like a jigsaw would. There are expensive computerized ones (which this might be as they look so perfect) but there were manual table top ones for just over $200. Expensive for sure, but not impossible. I wonder if you could rent one for a weekend.

It seems to me that you could form letters out of something else, or even buy foam letters at a craft store. They would have to be mirror image though. Maybe you could cut them out with a box cutter or X-acto and then clean up the edges. Or leave them rough and enjoy the imperfection :)

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October 21, 20090 found this helpful

I wanted to answer the questions about the hotwire machine. I make them myself, for less than $20.00! It does remind me of a jig saw in a way, but cutting styrofoam is a unique experience. I am amazed at the uses I find for it, and wonder why they have never become more mainstream with crafters. Signs, letters, posters, stepping stones, bricks, all can be personalized with foam letters. I have included a photo of the machine I call "Mighty Goliath" because it does so much. To make one, go to instructables.com, and search for Making the Mighty Goliath.

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