Christmas Craft: Winter Garden Tile

Winter Garden Tile
This will be our first winter in the mountains, but I’m not sure if we’ll see snow. We might be just a little too far “down the hill” (as the locals say) to get any, but my hopes are still high. When brainstorming outdoor decor projects, I decided I had to put out a little wishful thinking and try to call the snow to me.

I saw a ton of garden tiles over the summer when I was working on decorating the backyard, and every time I saw one I just thought, I bet I could make that myself. Turns out? I totally could.

Garden Tile Tutorial Step 1
Mix up some concrete by following the instructions on your packaging. Then pour it into whatever you want to use for a mold. I used a roasting pan I got at the dollar store, but you could also use a pie tin or even go out and get a special mold just for making concrete tiles. Let this cure for a few hours so that it’s still pretty wet, but begins to harden.

Garden Tile Tutorial Step 2
Cut apart some mosaic tile pieces to make your snowdrifts and snowflakes. I just pushed these right into the concrete. It’s still to wet at this stage to hold the shape of any writing, but I used a large nail to rough out where I wanted my writing to be, so I could place my tiles around it. And then I came back a few hours later, once it had hardened a little more and could hold a shape, and made that writing permanent. I found that having a little water nearby to smooth any rough edges really helped.

Let it Snow
It’s really that simple. The only even remotely challenging aspect of this project is getting the timing right. The first time I tried this I mixed the cement first thing in the morning and then went about my day, and forgot all about it until it was too late to embed the tiles. It was exactly the right time to etch my letters in, but I couldn’t push the tiles into the cement more than a fraction of an inch. So I just used some bath and tile adhesive and glued it in place. Problem solved.

I’ve been debating with myself if I should bury this like a typical garden tile, or if I should hold out hope that the snow will come and take care of that for me. Whether it’s laziness or hope that’s keeping me from putting it in the ground is really anybody’s guess at this point.