Unless your yard and garden are perfectly flat, chances are at one time or another, you’ve thought, “Wouldn’t some garden steps be nice there?” Or, even more ambitiously, outdoor stairs? Steps and stairs make getting around the yard easier, of course. But they also lead the eye through the garden and give it structure.
You can add DIY garden stairs to your sloped yard with these tutorials and inspirational ideas. Walk around your garden and evaluate…what space could be made better by even just 3-5 garden stairs, and what hill could be transformed into usable garden space? Check out these ideas!
Outdoor Stair Ideas
Let’s start with some tutorials on outdoor stairs to transform those steep pathways you may have in a hilly yard.
Create Outdoor Stairs by Upcycling Old Materials
Upcycling is a great way to save money when creating outdoor stairs. You or your family and friends may have leftover materials from other projects that would make a great stairway!
Recycled timber concrete outdoor stairs
Recycle old timbers and make something like this hillside sidewalk and outdoor stairs from ‘Ohio Thoughts.’ They decided to pour concrete in each step but also considered pea gravel—lots of personal experience and instructions from this site on how to build outdoor garden stairs. While you have the concrete out, you could go ahead and make some concrete garden globes to decorate your yard with, too!
Easy log steps
I love how The Peck Family turned the cutting down of a tree into stairs in their yard. And while they used eucalyptus, there are many trees you could get a similar look from. This is the perfect DIY to transform a tricky sloped garden area in a weekend!
Upcycled concrete scrap stairs
Another example of recycling: using broken concrete to build outdoor stairs. From ‘EnviroMom,’ This isn’t a complete tutorial but a great idea that DIY’ers could take inspiration from. Keep an eye out for neighbors tearing up their old concrete driveway!
Stone landscape steps for a sloped yard
The genius mom and daughter duo of Sunny Side Design used blocks leftover from building a retaining wall to build their outdoor stairs. This helped them save so much money on this project! Keep this idea in mind if you happen to have any other stone work projects in your garden. Ordering a bit of extra material to use in another project will give your garden such a nice, cohesive design.
Use Pre-made Materials to Build Your Stairs
If you don’t have any materials you can upcycle, it’s time to invest in some new ones.
Wooden landscape steps
Wood is probably the first material most people think of when creating stairs. Check out this beautiful boardwalk design from The Family Handyman for one option for using lumber. It creates such a beautiful pathway through the garden.
DIY wooden garden stepping stones
Creative gardeners have long used railroad tie steps but have had some controversy becuase they can contain toxic chemicals. Nico Lock has a worry-free version of the “ties” that can be used to construct DIY garden steps or outdoor stairs. From ‘Houzz‘ via ‘NicoLock.’
Stone garden steps
Want to use stone slabs? I’ll be honest, I love outdoor stairs made from stone. But no lie… you’d need a professional for this job with stone slabs that large. And a tractor. But “Worst Room” has a handy guide on creating stone steps to help you get an idea for what you could DIY or what you may want to call a pro to install.
Flagstone is a classic choice that provides a natural look for any backyard or garden. This tutorial from South House Designs delivers a great step-by-step guide for using flagstone.
Large stone garden stairs
Land of Laurel created steps with large stones that are simply beautiful. And her guide is filled with pictures that show exactly how she did it!
Stone and paver pathway with steps
For a more polished and professional look you can do yourself, check out The Family Handyman’s how-to guide on building a stone path and steps. Stunning results!
DIY Concrete Stairs for your Backyard or Garden
If you are ambitious and want something that will last forever, DIY concrete steps are the way to go.
Our first project is from ‘2 Minute Gardener.’ This tutorial on making landscape timber garden stairs helps guide you through this project. Additionally, be sure to read through the comment section for some more tips. They recommend this type of substantial outdoor stairs for a larger property or a large slope.
From ‘BHG Australia,’ learn how to build outdoor stairs. This project is similar to the one above, but the directions and materials are simpler and probably better for the average size yard. Lots of step-by-step (no pun intended!) photos!
Wood framed concrete steps
JenRon Designs solved getting to the bottom of their sloping backyard with beautiful concrete stairs that make climbing back up a breeze!
Concrete and brick stairs
Learn to build brick and paver garden stairs from ‘DIY Network.’ These outdoor steps are a great way to add year-round hardscaping to your garden. And this tutorial is complete with a materials list as well as step-by-step, photos.
Floating concrete slab steps
Finally, from ‘Destination Eichler,’ use concrete slabs to create a contemporary look with these floating concrete DIY outdoor stairs. I love how these instantly give their front yard a modern makeover!
Finishing Touches for Outdoor Stairs
Once you’ve built your perfect stairway, it’s time to add some flair.
Trim your outdoor stairs with brick
From ‘Pinterest,’ this homeowner also used brick trim on the edges of these concrete DIY garden steps to add interest… Details count!
Create mosaic-inspired outdoor steps
Already have stairs in your garden, but they are just too boring? Take a cue from the artist ‘Kim Larson,’ and create mosaic stairs! I love how these would bring a pop of color into the garden even when plants aren’t blooming. I could see these being a beautiful addition to a shade garden.
We hope you loved learning about and getting inspired by our post on DIY Garden Stairs! If these kinds of DIY home improvement projects are your thing, you should definitely check out our posts on DIY Patio Covers to upgrade your patio while your at it. And heck, why not tackle a DIY fire pit project too and really makeover your backyard? And don’t forget to join our new Facebook Page to bring a little garden DIY your feed! While you’re at it, follow our Pinterest and Instagram pages, too so you see right away when we post new ideas and advice!