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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.
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July 7, 2016 Flag

Those clear plastic plant saucers work really well as molds for making stepping stones. They are flexible, making removal of the finished stones easy. Plus they come in a number of different sizes.

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Note: I sprayed them with cooking spray, but I don't know that it was necessary.

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23 found this helpful
February 23, 2011 Flag

Stepping 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:

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:

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September 23, 20140 found this helpful

There is a much easier way to do that. Get a bag of ordinary ready-mix concrete and some chicken mesh.

Peel the lawn where you want a step, round, heart shaped, like a Sasquatch imprint, whatever, and hammer it nice and hard. Pour some ready mix into the hole. Use a planter trowel or mini shovel to mix it with some water, poke the chickenmesh down below the surface, agitate the mess a bit and smooth it.

If you want, you can add marble or brick planter topping, and pat it in.

After an hour or two use a brush or broom and a bit of water to clean the topping, or to add a bit of texture to the concrete. Shield it from the sun with cardboard or scrap wood for a day or two.

That's all there is to it.

Have FUN!

DearWebby

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March 5, 2015

A collection of footprint painted stepping stones.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 9

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.

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3 found this helpful
August 30, 2006

Mosaic stepping stones.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 3

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.

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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.

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May 23, 20163 found this helpful

Making Cake Pan Stepping Stones

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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.

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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!

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4 found this helpful
October 15, 2009

Sheri's Garden Stone

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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.

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2 found this helpful
June 27, 2007

Stepping stone with David's name.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 2

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!

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3 found this helpful
April 3, 2008

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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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

Spray cans of spray varnish.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

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.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

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

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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.

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

Making Concrete Stepping Stones

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 1

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.

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April 12, 20133 found this helpful

Making Hypertufa Stepping Stones

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

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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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Questions

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1 found this helpful
September 3, 2013 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
May 2, 2016 Flag

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

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0 found this helpful
July 4, 2014 Flag

I have a nephew that was upset one day and pulled out some of the stones, marbles, and other decorations from our stepping stones. Is there a glue or something I can use to replace them? To be able to put them back in would be to cool.


By Ricci

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Anonymous Flag
January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Yes E 6000 and it is water proof, and for concrete as well. You can Buy it at Walmart for $4.00. Or on EBay if you need a larger amount.

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0 found this helpful
October 12, 2015 Flag

Any solution to this problem? I put in the name of someone on a cement garden stone and it is spelled incorrectly. Is that an easy fix - how to do that?

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0 found this helpful
April 14, 2015 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
April 30, 2013 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
August 11, 2013 Flag

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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0 found this helpful
August 9, 2012 Flag

Is there a way to make garden stepping stones without using concrete?

By Penny W.

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Photos

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July 12, 2010 Flag

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

By Sally

decorated stepping stone

CommentLike this photo?Like? Yes

Archives

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.

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0 found this helpful
July 1, 2010 Flag

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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