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Homemade Stepping Stones

That well worn path can be paved with inexpensive stepping stones. This guide is about homemade stepping stones.

Stepping Ston With "Sheri's Garden" on it
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February 23, 2011 Flag
23 found this helpful

Making Stepping StonesStepping stones are an easy way to add functional creativity to your garden. Here's a simple and inexpensive way to make your own in just 10 easy steps.



  • Mold. This can be made out of anything that will hold cement: pizza boxes, disposable pie tins, cake pans, vinyl pot saucers, plastic take-out containers, etc.)

  • Non-stick agent. This will "grease" your mold so the finished stone releases easily from the mold. You can use Vaseline, cooking spray, or plastic wrap.

  • Quickrete (or other fast-setting concrete). If you want to add embellishments, choose a product with a sandy texture for a smoother finish.

  • A bucket, stir stick, and large spoon. A one gallon ice cream pail is large enough to hold cement for one mold the size of a pie tin.

  • Chicken wire or hardcloth. This will give the finished stone extra strength. Cut a piece to fit your mold before you mix up the concrete.

  • Embellishments. Use your imagination here!


  1. Gather supplies.

  2. Protect your work surface. It's helpful to use a piece of plywood or another movable surface for your work surface so you can move them to another location for curing. Then cover it with an old tarp, vinyl table cloth, or lawn-sized trash bags.

  3. "Grease" your mold. Cover your mold with a heavy coating of cooking spray, Vaseline, or line the bottom of the mold with plastic wrap. This will help your stone release easily from the mold. Pizza boxes, plastic saucers, and pie tins generally don't need to be sprayed. Simply peel the sides of the mold away from the stone after it sets.

  4. Mix up the concrete. Follow the directions according to the product's package. If necessary, add in more mix or water until the mix reaches the consistency of thick brownie batter. Take care to protect yourself with eyewear, gloves, and a face mask. Concrete dust can be hazardous when inhaled, and once mixed, cement can cause severe burns upon contact with your skin.

  5. Scoop half of concrete mixture into the mold. Level out the surface by gently tapping it on your work surface.

  6. Add chicken wire. Press the edges down so that no sharp ends are sticking up.

  7. Scoop remaining concrete into mold.

  8. Tap the mold gently (several times) on a hard, flat surface. This will level the surface and help release any air bubbles that might be trapped.

  9. Add embellishments. Press them gently into the surface. Use stones, tiles, stained glass, leaves, pine cones, pot shards, scrapbooking embellishments, or whatever captures your imagination. Letters and numbers made specifically for stamping imprints into stepping stones can be found at most large craft stores. Cookie cutters are also great for stamping and making imprints.

  10. Let it cure. Leave your stone to dry for 2-3 days before attempting to remove it from the mold. Plan to let it cure for at least another week before taking it outdoors and walking on it. As the stone continues to harden, mist it with water once or twice a day and keep it covered with plastic wrap. This will prevent it from drying too quickly and give it added strength.

Additional Hints:

  • Mix up only enough concrete to make one mold at a time.

  • Grease your mold, cut your chicken wire to size, and lay out your embellishments BEFORE mixing up the cement. Depending on what cement product you use, once it's mixed it usually sets up within a matter minutes.

  • DON'T wash cement products down the sink! To save your bucket to reuse, wipe it out with moist paper towels and throw them in the garbage.

  • Change the final color of the stone by adding acrylic or latex paint or cement dye to the mix. Stones decorated with paint after they cure should be sealed before being placed outdoors.

  • Place stepping stones in the ground so that no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the stone breaks the surface of the ground. This will protect the stone from cracking while being walked on and help people avoid tripping.

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May 23, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

This is a guide about making concrete stepping stones. Making your own stepping stones is a fun project and a way to create unique stones for your garden.

Making Concrete Stepping Stones

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May 23, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

This is a guide about making cake pan stepping stones. There are so many cute cake pans shaped like cartoon characters and other designs that can be used as the mold for homemade stepping stones.

Making Cake Pan Stepping Stones

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March 5, 2015 Flag

I got some stepping stones the other day for a little over a dollar a piece. I wanted to "jazz" them up a bit. I've seen all these cute footprint pictures on Pinterest. So, I put my kids' feet to work and made these little bugs and flowers, using Patio Paint (found in craft stores). The other 3 plain footprints are from last year. I love seeing how much they have grown. A collection of footprint painted stepping stones.

Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. The paint needs to cure for 3 days before getting wet. You could also use Patio Paint to decorate your stones any way that you would like. Just let your inner artist come out!

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    August 12, 2009 Flag

    I save the plastic tops to store bought cakes; both the round ones and rectangular ones. They make great reusable molds for making paving stones.

    I also save broken jewelry, cheap beads, marbles, pretty beach glass, broken tiles and such.

    Pour quick crete into the mold. Mix in water and stir well. Add water slowly so you don't get it too soupy. Then add the pretties on top. Kids can add a hand print if they wish.

    Let sit several days to set. It will pop out of the mold and you can reuse it numerous times.

    By mom-from-missouri

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    August 30, 2006 Flag
    2 found this helpful
    Mosaic stepping stones.

    I save and collect broken glass and other little findings. Then I put 2 inches of cement in the bottom of a 5 or 3 gallon bucket then I press the pieces of glass and things on top. I will be making these for Christmas gifts this year.

    I am going to New Orleans next month to help rebuild. I plan to bring home or mail myself as many shards as I can. I will make memory stepping stones out of them and maybe even a wall plaque.

    My tip is, if you break something, don't throw it out! Recycle it!

    By April from Buffalo, NY

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    October 15, 2009 Flag
    4 found this helpful

    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.

    Sheri's Garden Stone

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    May 2, 2016 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Where can I purchase plastic numbers and letters to imprint in wet concrete?

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      June 27, 2007 Flag
      2 found this helpful

      I am making stepping stones with each family member's hand (or paw) prints and name! We are including all friends and family who visit and will be making one of my bf's mother who is 70!

      Stepping stone with David's name.

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      April 3, 2008 Flag
      3 found this helpful

      I didn't want to worry about my lawnmower hitting the stones, so I came up with a plan that worked perfectly! And all you need is cement or concrete, water and a shovel.

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      July 1, 2010 Flag
      8 found this helpful

      No need to buy a 'stepping stone form' to create your garden stones; just dig a hole 4 inches deep in the desired shape wherever you want the stone and fill with quick mix concrete. Be careful not to breathe in any concrete dust!

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      October 27, 2009 Flag
      3 found this helpful

      I titled this: "Success with mosaics." It is the picture of a stepping stone made with Styrofoam letters and broken pieces of tiles used as the mosaic. The letters are made on a hotwire machine, glued into a form, and the mosaic pieces are glued in place as well.

      Mosaic Stepping Stone

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      September 3, 2013 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      I get a lot of little air holes in the top of my stepping stones when I turn them out. I am using plastic molds and tap them on the ground to release the air, but still get lots of little air holes in what I would like to be a smooth surface.

      By EstherSue

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      September 9, 20130 found this helpful

      What I have done is when the bottom is actually going to be the surface of a stepping stone I put enough concrete to cover the tiles and a little more, Tap, then fill it up the rest of the way with the concrete if I still have a bubble on the surface after turning out, I just mix up some of the concrete and push it in with my finger and smooth the surface. I liked

      The foam letters numbers and shapes along with the glass tiles. After it is completely dry I will lift out the foam and it leaves a nice sharp indentation.

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      June 23, 2011 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      Does anyone have any idea as to what I can use to seal a plaster stepping stone? I had my grandson make a stepping stone from a kit. It turned out to be plaster which will disintegrate outside. I had him paint it today (with acrylic paints), but now I can't find anything to seal the whole thing with. I was told to use Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish, but that is strictly for wood finishes. Please help!

      By cuisinequeen

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      June 29, 20110 found this helpful

      Go To Michael's Crafts or AC Moore Crafts stores & ask them.Or even Home Depot or Lowes-They all should know,if you tell them what you want to seal. Good Luck! : )

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      April 30, 2013 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      I have 40 years worth of chipped and cracked mugs (you know the ones you save from kids, grandkids, sisters, and husband's parents and so on). I was thinking of breaking them up for stepping stones and was wondering if anyone has tried this?

      By Wendy A

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      September 27, 20150 found this helpful

      I like to use broken colored ceramic dishes. I place my design on top as soon it's like pudding so they wont sink. Just be sure to take care of any sharp corners. Push 'em in flush. Oh, I used a plastic tray my hamburg game in.

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      December 6, 2005 Flag
      Christine Weber0 found this helpful

      Stir up your own cement and add seashells, broken pottery, and glass to create a colourful stepping-stone for the gardener on your Christmas list. Mosaic blue stepping stone.

      Materials and Equipment:

      • a large plastic bag or several sheets of newspaper
      • one small bag of cement, the finer grained the better (available at craft centers or building supply stores)
      • pieces of broken pottery or china, seashells, glass beads, etc.
      • one or more aluminum pie plates OR flat bottomed plant saucers
      • a large bucket or wheelbarrow
      • a large jug filled with water
      • a wooden stick or spade to stir cement
      • a pencil
      • pieces of paper, one for each stepping-stone (must be at least as wide as the bottom of your pie plate or saucer)


      1. Create this project outdoors or cover your work surface with a large plastic bag or newspapers to keep it clean.
      2. Before mixing the concrete, spread your shells, glass, and pieces of broken pottery out in front of you. On a piece of paper, trace out the circumference of your pie plate or saucer. Create a "practice" design for your stepping-stone within the circle you have drawn. Do one for each stone you plan to make.
      3. Mix concrete in a bucket or wheelbarrow according to the instructions on the package. Determine the amount you need for the number of stepping-stones you will be making. If you are making several stepping-stones, do not make more than two or three at a time. The mixture should be thick, but not runny. Add water and stir with wooden stick or spade until it is the desired consistency. Do not breathe in the concrete dust. Be sure to follow the safety precautions on the package.
      4. Pour concrete into pie plates or plant saucers, whichever you are using.
      5. Place your plate or saucer on a flat, even surface. Transfer your design from the paper to the pie plate or saucer. This method allows you to recreate your original design accurately. Be sure to press the pieces of pottery, shells, and glass into the concrete so that the edges are flush with the surface of the concrete. Because these stones may be stepped on with bare feet, no rough edges should be visible.
      6. Set the finished stepping-stone aside to dry. If drying outside, make sure it is in a covered area. The stones should take from one to two days to dry, depending on the weather. Once dry, they are easily removed from the pie plate or saucer, which can be reused to make more stepping-stones. Do not reuse the pie plate to hold food!

      Give your completed stepping-stone to your favorite gardener!

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      April 12, 2013 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      This is a guide about making hypertufa stepping stones. Hypertufa can be prepared and molded into a variety of garden enhancements, including stepping stones.

      Making Hypertufa Stepping Stones

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      July 12, 2010 Flag

      Homemade cement, rock, and I added my own design!

      By Sally

      decorated stepping stone

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      June 12, 2007 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      This project is easier than it sounds. Do it outside, because it gets messy! Mix cement with water according to directions on bag. Pour in tins. Let it sit until it is firm enough to hold a print. Place child's foot in center of tin and smoosh :)

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      July 12, 2010 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      I can buy stepping stones from my local garden store but not only are they expensive, but they are either boring or don't have the designs that I want.

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      July 1, 2010 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      What can I make stepping stones for my yard out of besides concrete? I have been thinking about using roofing shingles. Anything recycled would be nice, too. Any ideas will be appreciated.

      By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN


      Making Stepping Stones

      I have created some neat flower beds using building materials I find laying around, like smaller pieces of flagstone, etc. You could try craigslist for people who are giving away stuff like that. Otherwise there is fun decorative gravel (white, red, blue) that would be a nice look. (06/04/2009)

      By Allison5

      Making Stepping Stones

      For a Sunday school project, we used pie plates. Fill with cement and add decorative stone, tile, gems. They are quite sturdy. (06/12/2009)

      By battlespire

      Making Stepping Stones

      Haven't tried it yet, but sliced up a fallen pine tree to treat/soak each piece, then use as pavers. (06/12/2009)

      By MissmyHannah

      Making Stepping Stones

      Just about everything other then concrete and rocks will break down over time. If you're talking about the asphalt shingles they won't last long being walked on. I have used Carpet Upside-Down and before you know it you have little pieces of carpet fiber all over your yard indefinitely, I have used wine bottles to edge my garden beds, but I would be afraid to walk on them. If you eat a lot of tuna or have a cat that use the small cans you can turn them upside down in a pattern. They will last but maybe two seasons and be careful once they rust they can cut your feet.

      Any type of plastic breaks down fairly rapidly when left in the sun and if you walk on it that will speed up the process, plaster of Paris will not hold up in the elements. The wood will rot out and attract termites unless treated which I don't want the chemicals in my garden. So I'm sorry I think you're stuck with concrete, 1 thing that I've had little success with is the heavy grill from old Barbecue they do have a tendency to work their way down into the ground you'll have to keep pulling them up but they did last for years. I have heard of people getting misprinted and or broken marble headstones from cemeteries, at least they're not concrete. (06/13/2009)

      By BABBIE

      Making Stepping Stones

      This is still using cement, but the result is more than just a cement stepping stone. Get old pans that are fairly large but shallow. I have not tried lining them, but if you think you want to use the pans for additional pieces, try lining them with a garbage bag.

      Pour cement into the pan at the desired depth. When the cement is beginning to set, decorate the top by pressing different leaves or branches just deep enough to leave a good impression. Make each one different. You can even print on some of them--"Beauty" "Peace" "Garden" or whatever you would like.

      After they set you should be able to remove them from the pans because of the lining. The varied shapes and designs should give your yard a very personal touch. (09/24/2009)

      By clynnaltemus

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      Crafts Garden & YardApril 22, 2012
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