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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Stepping Ston With "Sheri's Garden" on it
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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.

Supplies:

  • 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!

Directions:

  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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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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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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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.

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!

A collection of footprint painted stepping stones.
    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Sheri's Garden StoneHere 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.

      By Creativeman from Chatswoth, CA

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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!

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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! : )

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
      Read More Answers...

      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Mosaic blue stepping stone.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)

      Instructions:

      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!

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

      By Sally

      decorated stepping stone

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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 :)

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      ***

      ***

      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

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      What can I make stepping stones for my yard out of besides concrete? I have been thinking about using roofing shingles.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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      Crafts Garden & YardApril 22, 2012
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