Stepping stones in a garden can create a path or patio, or simply point the way on a visual trail through your garden. They make a great DIY project year round, and most can be easily done on a covered craft table or in a corner of the garage. This is a great project to get creative with and allow your personality, or the personality of your garden shine through. Here are our favorite DIY stepping stone projects, complete with instructions for creating your own.

Our feature photo, above, is from Haeley at ‘Design Improvised’. Love the colors in her stenciled garden stepping stones!

concrete stepping stones

 

 

Our Basic Stepping Stone Recipe

  • Portland Cement
  • Water
  • Mold
  • Release Agent (We use Pam)
  • Decorative elements

You can use almost anything as a mold, as long as it’s smooth and can release the stone once it’s cured. I like disposable plastic containers, becasue the stone will pop right out like ice cubes from a tray. You could line boxes with plastic wrap, use cake pans or even line nursery flats for large stones.  Trick we learned: if you are making a large stepping stone, or one that has a lot of detail and therefore not as thick, place a piece of chicken wire into the mold after you have poured or applied half the concrete. Then apply the rest of the concrete over the wire. This will strengthen your stones so they are less likely to crack. As you see in the photo below, partially burying the stones into gravel or soil will help protect the more delicate edges from breaking.

Starting with the photo above and below, this tutorial comes from The Mizelle Group and uses a rubber doormat to create the wonderful textured pattern in the stepping stone that you see above.

concrete stepping stones

 

Next is one of our favorites – from Family Crafts, this tutorial takes you through using a leaf to create these garden stones that are more like natural art! Here are the instructions.

Leaf stepping stones

Rhubarb leaf stepping stone

 

This is another example from Garden Mama.

Leaf stepping stones

 

Fine Gardening provides a good post on creating pebble mosaic stepping stones here. You can also use this technique to make larger areas of patio or pathway. I’m fascinated by this art form using only natural elements!

Pebble Mosaic stepping stones

 

Here is another idea, same technique.

Butterfly stepping stone

 

And this one by artist Jeffery Bale, he explains how here.

Pebble stepping stone

 

If you want a simpler project, try these stones created by Madigan Made, using just concrete and plastic trays! Instructions here.

DIY concrete stepping stone

 

These last two are easier still… purchased stepping stones with paint. This first one is from Benjamin Moore using a stamp and concrete stain. I would link to the instructions for you, but that is them!

Painted leaf stepping stones

 

Finally, if you are looking for a fun project with the kids, this is it. Birds and Blooms has these easy glow in the dark stones we love! Here’s how.

Glow in the dark stepping stones

Let us know which of these projects you plan to try!

Image Credits: Design Improvised, nancymizelle, Family crafts, Family Crafts, Garden Mama, Fine Gardening, Jeffery Bale, Madigan Made, Benjamin Moore, Birds and Blooms

 



11 Comments

  1. Diedre B. Villanueva October 24, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Oh those are beautiful! I love the ones with the butterfly designs! I think i’s my first time to see such designs. I’m used to seeing ordinary garden stepping stones. I never really thought about these kinds of garden stepping stones. Anyway, this is a good source of information and tips on diy garden stepping stones. We could all use these tips to make our own garden stepping stones.

    Reply
  2. Becca Blankenship April 14, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Great article bringing all the possibilities together. I’m going to try the stone mosaic ones. I like the natural look and the idea of them being unique to my garden.

    Reply
  3. Anna May 14, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Love these ideas! thanks for all the links!!

    Reply
  4. Traci August 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Thanks for passing on these great ideas. I have read about paint rocks with glow in the dark paint but I love the painting on stepping stones. I am going to have to try this.
    Traci

    Reply
  5. Eileen June 6, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Love the glow in the dark paint but have read elsewhere that it doesn’t really work. Has anyone tried it with success? Fingers are crossed!

    Reply
  6. Karen McDowell August 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I cannot find the tutorial for the glow in the dark step stones on Birds and Blooms website. I’ve spent a good portion of my afternoon looking for it. Can someone help me out, please. Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Rosalía October 1, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Great ideas

    Reply
  8. Nancy May 4, 2016 at 4:56 am

    All are beautiful and unique. May I ask why Portland cement? Is there an alternative? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard June 21, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Its cheap, and it works! You could use one of the concrete mixes at any home improvement store, but Portland cement gives a smooth, dense finish free of stones and gravel.

      Reply
  9. Kathy Woodard June 29, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Posting this for JoAnna, thank you for the nice email Joanna! – “Thank you for your tutorials on all the beautiful ways to make garden stepping stones. I have clinal depression and don’t get out of bed for a few days at a time sometimes. I’m very isolated. My connection to the world is through the internet and when i saw your article i thought i may actually try to make a few of them. I like arts and crafts anyway and these are fun, easy, i hope, inexpensive, creative and right up my ally. They will decorate my porch which is my other comfort place when i do come out of my room so i like to make it as colorful and fragrant as possible. Its a tranquil place for me and a few of these stepping stones along the steps and or running all along the edge of the porch would be really pretty. I have a grandson that i can put his little hand print in one. My creative mind is full of ideas. This will help me this summer. THANK YOU 💖I tried to post a comment online but it wouldnt let me. I was very frustrated. Thats why I’m doing this email. “

    Reply

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