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Homemade Stepping Stones

Category Garden & Yard
Homemade Stepping Stones
That well worn path can be paved with inexpensive stepping stones. This guide is about homemade stepping stones.
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By 3 found this helpful
August 30, 2006

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.

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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

Comment Was this helpful? 3

August 12, 2009

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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By 2 found this helpful
June 27, 2007

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! These are really fun and easy. I use Sakrete which is a kind of brick mortar. You shore up a small pizza box with duct tape and line it with a garbage bag. The Sakrete is less than 5 dollars for 80 pounds and I'm using 10 pounds per stone.
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By Lily from South Bend, IN

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By 4 found this helpful
October 15, 2009

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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July 1, 20109 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!

For decorative stones (not path stones), try digging the hole in sand, dirt, or the gravel on the driveway. Fill with concrete, smooth with trowel, and press in pretty stones. Leave to set over night and lift out in the morning. Just don't make these too large to lift easily.

I have one by my garden bench that says 'Listen'. It reminds me to slow down and listen to the birdsong and the brook.

By Barb from Acra, NY

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By 3 found this helpful
April 3, 2008

Seattle is known for it's rain. And with that rain comes muddy yards, so I needed stepping stones. But 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.

First of all, pick a day with no rain that's not very hot and cut your grass as short as you can in the area you want to place your stepping stones. Next (on the freshly cut grass) mark the exact outline of what you want each of your stepping stones to look like. (Most people use a marking paint made for marking underground power cables, but I used plain white cooking flour which I sprinkled on with my hand).

The design I used was of "amoeba-like" asymmetrical and slightly interlocking "stones". Next, dig down into the ground about 4 - 6 inches (on and inside the line) while following the line you drew with your shovel. Lastly mix your cement with water (I mixed one bag at a time in a 5 gal bucket) then fill each freshly dug hole to the top with the wet cement. (The ground is your "mold")

*Buy about 1 small bag of concrete per hole depending on the size and depth of the hole. You can press several interesting sticks and leaves into the wet cement, these will look like "fossils" in the "stone". You can also stain the cement with a cement colorant so it looks like stone, (many colors are available), but I left mine plain and they turned out wonderful.

I chose a wavy path for my stepping stones (as opposed to a straight line) with one zigzag in it. This looks great with the "organic" interlocking shape of the recessed cement "stones" and I put a fountain with plants around it in the center where the path "zigged".

The stepping stones look like slate for a fraction of the price, but my favorite thing about them is that we could mow right over them with no harm to our mower blades! That and the way my shoes no longer got wet on my way to the car! I was told that without adding re-bar my stepping stones might crack, but they've been there for nearly 20 years now and have held up fine. But, truthfully, if they do crack, it just adds to the slate-like rock look. No big deal!

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March 5, 2015

I got some stepping stones the other day for a little over a dollar a piece. I wanted to "jazz" them up a bit. So, I put my kids' feet to work and made these little bugs and flowers, using Patio Paint.

A collection of footprint painted stepping stones.

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April 12, 20133 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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May 23, 20162 found this helpful

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.

Making Concrete Stepping Stones

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May 23, 20163 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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June 23, 20171 found this helpful

Stepping stones do not have to be made from molded concrete. Consider using flat stones, bricks, and other suitable materials. This is a guide about making stepping stones without concrete.

A man with a thinking bubble by his head.

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June 5, 20170 found this helpful

The clear plastic flower pot saucers are perfect to use as a mold for making stepping stones. Their flexibility makes it easy to remove your finished stone. This is a guide about using flower pot saucers for stepping stones.

Using Flower Pot Saucers for Stepping Stones - Finished stepping stone with small toys around the hand and foot print.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 12, 2007

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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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about sealing plaster stepping stones. If you made some plaster stepping stones and you want them to last it is best to seal them.

Spray cans of spray varnish.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a mosaic stepping stone. A mosaic stepping stone is a fun easy craft that will look great in your garden and makes a perfect gift, too.

Mosaic Stepping Stone - using blue and green pieces and the word "Success" in center

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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.

August 11, 20130 found this helpful

We were not able to embellish with our lettering, marbles, etc. I have 2 sad little girls and one frustrated grandma. I followed the concrete quick set directions and worked fast, but not fast enough.
We will paint it next week using acrylic paints. What should it be covered with to preserve it?

By Evelyn

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Answers

August 7, 20170 found this helpful

Rustolium clear coat UV protectant

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By 0 found this helpful
April 30, 2013

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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April 14, 20150 found this helpful

I have a Texas shaped mold. I can't seem to keep the panhandle and south Texas from breaking off. I was told to put chicken wire in my mold for stability.

By Marilyn

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Photos

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July 12, 2010

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

By Sally

decorated stepping stone

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 12, 20100 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.

I've seen some fantastic designs on a search I did on the internet, using footprints and a scripture verse, but my question is, how can I make a mould when I don't even have a template to begin with?

Once, years ago, when we built our first house, the manufacturer of large, stamped square concrete slabs, went bankrupt, interrupting the production of them. We were buying them little by little. They had a design of a Roman cartwheel and when 4 of them were put together it formed a complete wheel.

Anyway, my hubby decided if we were to finish it he would have to make them himself. He brushed one with engine oil, and made some wooden forms to go around it, making sure the forms were raised higher than the slab. He then make a batch of concrete up, and spread it over the slab... He then was able to make a mould of that design.

However, I don't have a design to go by and I don't want it to look like scratches in the concrete.

Does anyone have any idea of how I could do this. The footprint side of it is pretty easy. I'll get my 10 year old to make her mark, she'll love it. but it's the writing that will be harder. If I'm making a mould, would I have to reverse the writing, so that when I make the mould, it will be the right way around?

This is all too confusing for my brain...lol

We have just landscaped our front garden and we are not having any lawn at all. Just mulch and plants, with some sort of stepping stones in the middle. I don't want to use wooden stepping stones, because my area is prone to termites and I don't want them anywhere near my house. Treated pine isn't good either, as I have planted some strawberry plants out the front.

Any ideas would be great. Thanks

Bev in Australia

Answers:

Garden Stepping Stones

My aunt just finished her house off, and had a few extra kitchen tiles. She stuck those in her garden, and while at first I was skeptical, they look awesome! (03/02/2005)

By

Garden Stepping Stones

Go to Home Depot (or any other home improvement store) and purchase a bag of cement and a half a dozen 12-inch plastic drip pans that you put under flower pots (to pour the concrete in). Then go to Michael's (or any arts and crafts store) and buy several bags of decorator marbles (the flattened kind).

Create stepping stones with footprints, hand prints, one with an alligator, a cross, star, swirl, butterfly and several other designs. You should be able to reuse the plastic pans. One bag of concrete makes about a dozen stepping stones. The total cost is about $15.

Hope this helps!
(03/02/2005)

By Mary

Garden Stepping Stones

Bev, I did this years ago with marbles and I had a postcard that I loved a saying about desert flowers
and God etc. anyway I was dertemined to have it so I put the card into laminate and then after marbles were all placed I left room for my postcard and put it on when it was more that half dry. You might print out your saying and laminate it. I hope it helps and keep going you will have a pretty stone.
Annie (03/02/2005)

By meoowmom

Garden Stepping Stones

Could you use letter cookie cutters to spell out the words, or even the letters that folks have on the refrigerator- by play school? (03/03/2005)

By sandy

Garden Stepping Stones

You could always print out the words onto a clear plastic sheet (like for over-head projectors), flip it over for your "backwards" print, and make a second copy of it. You can use that as your template for how the words should look on the mold, to print correctly on the stepping stone. In fact, it isn't like you can't tape a sheet of paper with the writing in black onto your window so the light shines through it, and then trace it on the back for the backwards writing. You can then use the back of your paper as your template. (03/08/2005)

By Tracy

Garden Stepping Stones

Hi, I made stepping stones out of purchased stones by making a frame out of wood 1 inch higher than block and adding mortar pressing whatever suits you into the mortar tile, broken dishes,shells, Jewelry findings etc. Remove the frame after 2 or 3 hours and leave it alone for a few days. When you put it in the garden to weather, don't walk on it right away. Give it a couple of weeks. I've had mine for 7 years in WI and they are fine. Just like when I put them in. Plain mortar. (03/18/2005)

By Jess869

Garden Stepping Stones

Try pouring wet concrete into an empty pizza box. Decorate with broken china or pebbles or stone and let dry. Tear the box away from the dried concrete and you have a stepping stone. (03/25/2005)

By Marcy

Garden Stepping Stones

If you use broken bits of crockery as stepping stone decorations, then what do you think might happen to a child who trips and falls? One of my neighbors told me about her child slicing his arm open on a steel burglar alarm warning sign in her yard. We must be careful! (03/26/2005)

By

Garden Stepping Stones

I've made stepping stones using a pizza box. I taped the corners of the box to make it a little more sturdy. I used pieces of tile from yard sales and made a pattern. I taped the front of the tile piece to the bottom of the pizza box (the pattern is then upside down, a drop of hot glue would work well also) to keep the pattern in place. Then mix up some concrete from Home Depot and pour. Let set several days. Tear off pizza box. The stepping stones I made have lasted for years and they get stepped on a lot. (03/28/2005)

By Ann4

Garden Stepping Stones

Does anyone know where I can find press-in letters and numbers for stepping stones. (05/15/2005)

By Mary Ann Becker

Garden Stepping Stones

Go to http://www.hgtv.com/ and type in stepping stones there is everything from make your own shapes to stained-glass to mosaic.

http://www.bhg.com/bhg/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/bhg/story/data/16159.xml
has how to add mosaic to existing garden stones. (06/10/2005)

By Amy

Garden Stepping Stones

Most craft stores have press in letters for making stones. Micheal's has stone making items so they most likely will have them. Though when I bought them a few years ago they were not cheap. (06/10/2005)

By Amy

Garden Stepping Stones

Ok, first, I want to say, I think that most art stores like Michaels, and most hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot sell stepping stone moulds. Of course, the easiest way to create a stepping stone is to by pre-made pavers from any garden department of a hardware stone. They run about $1-$3 per paver and you can choose from a couple of colors and from there...you can choose your idea. There are many differing ideas among mosaic artists as to what is the best way to do outdoor items. Honestly from my experiences, I use something like weldbond to adhere my tiles to the paver, or liquid fusion glue or clear seal by liquid nails. Then after 24 hours of cure time, I have had success with using a good grout and a half/half mixture of concrete acrylic based additive made by quikcrete and water. This additive helps with shrinkage/expansion during the weathering process. You can also use thinset mortar mix with the same half/half ratio of water and the concrete acrylic additive. By choosing this last process you must use this as both your adhesive and your grout. This is messy and I prefer the first method mentioned, though it is controversial among the artists I speak with about using my first mentioned process for outdoors. If you should have questions about what I mean feel free to drop me a line. Happy Mosaicing!! (10/26/2008)

By Figone1401

RE: Garden Stepping Stones

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July 1, 20101 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

Answers:

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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