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Homemade Stepping Stones

Category Garden & Yard
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

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.

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

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.



  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!


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March 5, 2015

A collection of footprint painted stepping stones.

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.


3 found this helpful
August 30, 2006

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.


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.


May 23, 20163 found this helpful

Making Cake Pan Stepping Stones

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.


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!


4 found this helpful
October 15, 2009

Sheri's Garden Stone

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.


2 found this helpful
June 27, 2007

Stepping stone with David's name.

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!


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.


April 12, 20133 found this helpful

Making Hypertufa Stepping Stones

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


May 23, 20161 found this helpful

Making Concrete Stepping Stones

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.


January 3, 20170 found this helpful

Spray cans of spray varnish.

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.


December 27, 20160 found this helpful

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

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.


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 :)



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.

0 found this helpful
April 21, 2017

I am trying to troubleshoot my first attempt at making your stepping stones. Can you tell me what you think the problem might be if the stone crumbled away? I made a large one and a smaller one and it was the smaller one that has simply crumbled away, 5 days after making it.

Thank you :)

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April 21, 20170 found this helpful

The cement might have been too thick. You need to be able to scoop it, not pour it.

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September 3, 20131 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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0 found this helpful
May 2, 2016

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

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July 4, 20140 found this helpful

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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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

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 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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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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0 found this helpful
August 9, 2012

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

By Penny W.

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photographs. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

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

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


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)


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!

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)


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 and type in stepping stones there is everything from make your own shapes to stained-glass to mosaic.
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 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


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)


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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