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Making Concrete Stepping Stones

Making your own stepping stones is a fun project and a way to create unique stones for your garden. This is a guide about making concrete stepping stones.
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10 found this helpful
August 27, 2012 Flag

Use half flat plant containers to make fast and easy paving stones for your garden. We had a bunch of half flat containers left over from buying plants this spring. I thought they would make great stepping stone molds, but wasn't sure how to get the best results and be able to reuse the molds for future projects. I got the idea to line them with plastic and turned out to be the perfect solution.
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Supplies

Instructions

  1. Cut the garbage bag along the side and bottom of the bag and unfold it to make 1 large plastic sheet.
  2. Cut the garbage bags to fit as a lining to the half flat containers. We found that we could easily get 4 from each garbage bag.
  3. Line the half flat containers with the cut pieces of plastic. We found it helpful to wrap any extra loose plastic around the bottom of the mold as it was a bit windy that day. Keep it as flat as possible because folds in the plastic will show on your finished stepping stone.
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  5. Mix the concrete in your wheelbarrow or bucket. Use a shovel to stir the water in until it is the right consistency.
  6. Scoop or pour the concrete mix into the molds.
  7. Lightly shake and tap the mold on the ground to level the concrete. This will also help push the concrete in to all the nooks and crannies of the mold design and reduce bubbles on what will be the top surface of the stepping stone.
  8. Let the concrete set-up for about 24 hours.
  9. After the concrete is set, flip the mold over and remove it.
  10. Now peal back the plastic to reveal your new stepping stone.
  11. The concrete will continue to dry out over the next few days, but you can put it in place right away.
    1. By Jess from Hillsboro, OR

      Related Content(article continues below)
      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
      September 3, 20120 found this helpful

      I agree! What a great and "thrifty" idea.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
      Read More Comments

Videos

5 found this helpful
May 22, 2013 Flag

Here's a video about making your own stepping stones.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

1 found this helpful
March 18, 2010 Flag

Would I be able to use Elmer's glue as a super placticizer for making cement or concrete stepping stones?

By Annie from Boulder City, NV

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
March 21, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yes you can, but what you want to use is regular Elmer's Concrete Bonder or Elmer's Probond. It's used to bond new concrete to old. When mixed into the concrete it acts as fortifier making your stepping stones stronger and more weather resistant.

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Anonymous Flag
March 20, 20100 found this helpful

All you need to do is follow the instructions on a bag of cement. It's simply the cement and water. Using anything other than in the instructions will weaken the final product.

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March 21, 20100 found this helpful

My experience making stepping stones, I just used the concrete mix without rocks. There is a fiber additive you can mix in but don't really need it. Trick is to tap mold to remove as much air as possible then let them cure slowly. I let them set in the mold a day in the shade, then turned them out onto a tarp, and let them dry about a week in the shade. Good luck!

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March 21, 20100 found this helpful

Not sure why you thought u needed glue as previous posters have said it is mostly cement and water according to the instructions on your bag of cement. If it was to use as a sealer, unless it is NOT water soluble (eg. Elmer's school glue IS water soluble.) I would think your best bet for sealing would be an actual clear sealer for cement, usually sold in home improvement stores.

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0 found this helpful
March 18, 2010 Flag
By Ellen Brown

Question:

I have 2 16"x16"x1" concrete forms for making patios or just stepping stones. My question is should I use quick setting concrete or just concrete? Also, what would be the ratio of water to concrete? I don't want to mix a whole bag for only two forms.

Joyce from Near South Bend, IN

Answer:

Joyce,

Both types of concrete will work just fine, but quick setting concrete will give you faster results and it's usually cheaper. If you're looking for something other than standard gray concrete, you can create various colors using a cement/mortar tint. These products can be found at most hardware or home improvement stores. They really allow you to jazz things up a bit or even match the color to your home's foundation or to other elements in your landscaping. Some products are mixed in and change the color of the entire body of concrete, while others are applied as tints after the concrete sets and cures.

In regard to the correct water-to-concrete ratio, different mixes will harden at different rates depending on the air temperature during curing, the temperature of the water added, and the percent of cement in the mix. As a general rule, the more cement the faster the concrete cures. Also, the less water (or more cement) the stronger the concrete. Try a 4:1 ratio (4 parts mix, 1 part water) to start with. You can always add more water. Aim for a not-too-thick but not-too-thin consistency similar to brownie batter. Stepping stones need to be durable, so a slow, damp and cool cure is best for producing the strongest finished product. In other words, cover the form with a damp cloth while it cures and keep it out of direct sunlight.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.

Answers:

Making Concrete Stepping Stones

I used the concrete calculator: http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/howmuch/calculator.htm

It says you'd need .01 cubic yards. There also may be information on there about the amount of water to mix in. Because it is such a small amount, look on the bag of concrete as to how much it makes and divide accordingly.

The thing that is nice about Quikcrete is that it is all mixed, rock added, and gives instructions for how much water to add to mix it up. I'd recommend that if you are only making two. It also comes in smaller bags. (09/01/2006)

By ThriftyFun

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