"Many years ago on a family trip, we came across a display of celebrity handprint stones containing personal memorabilia like guitar picks, coins, even lipstick tubes," says Danita Thomas. "When we got home, we each made our own, decorating them with seashells, little toys, and other items with personal meaning to us. One day many years later, I watched from the kitchen window as our eldest son walked up to his stone and placed his now-large hand over the little boy handprint he'd made years before. I could see him smile and knew he was remembering the day we created our stones together. I am not sure whose heart it warmed more, his or mine."
Before handling the cement, be sure to read the package for precautions and directions. Pour the water into the bucket, then use a paint stirrer to slowly mix in the cement until it's the consistency of oatmeal, being careful to avoid breathing in the cement dust. Pour the mixture into the cardboard box and scrape the flat side of the second paint stirrer across the top to smooth the surface.
Let the cement harden for about 5 minutes, then press your hands into it. Immediately wash the cement off your skin with soap and water. Use a stick or pencil to carve your name or any other message into the wet cement, then press the trinkets into it. Let the stone dry for at least 48 hours before tearing away the cardboard box.
TIP: Collect small treasures during a family vacation, then have each person use them in a stone.