Stepping stones for gardens

  • A mold. Yes, you can purchase a plastic stepping stone mold at a craft shop—and if you like unusual shapes such as hexagons, that’s a great idea. But if you’re going for something simpler such as a rectangle, square, or circle, there are cheaper mold options. Old cake tins or baking tins work well, and even a cereal box is great for one-time use.
  • Quick-setting concrete. You have a couple of options for where to find your concrete. If you’re creating a set of stones for a large garden, your best bet is to go to your local home supply shop for 4 or 8-pound bag. If you’re just making a few small stepping stones, you’ll find “stepping stone concrete” at your craft store.
  • Bucket and paint mixer. You’ll need something to mix your concrete in—an old bucket or bowl is ideal, so long as it can be discarded after use. An old spoon or paint mixing stick can be used to stir.
  • Rubber gloves, old newspaper, and a drop cloth. All of these supplies will ensure that any mess can be easily cleaned up.
  • Nonstick cooking spray or petroleum jelly. You’ll use one of these to line your mold. When hardened, your stepping stone will slide out of the mold with no trouble.
  • Mix-in and embellishments. To personalize your stone, you’ll want to add an interesting and colorful embellishment—and, if you’re working with children, you’ll want to offer plenty of options. Possibilities include broken bits of pottery, marbles, small toys, tiles or dice from board games, dried flowers or plant matter, sea glass, sparkles, etc.

I love my garden. When it’s warm outside, I like nothing more than to sit outdoors all day and halfway through the night. Which got me thinking about ways to make my garden area, and my entire landscaping, look better. I have always wanted to add a lovely walkway up to my porch and throughout my flower garden, mostly so that I won’t step on my flowers when I’m out there. So, I found 25 beautiful and creative new stepping stones that you can create for your own yard and garden. These are all lovely stones that can be easily made from things that you may already have on hand, so they’re as cheap as they are beautiful.

If you are planning to upgrade your landscaping, you should also check out these 40 DIY stone and pebble crafts. They will definitely add beauty to your outdoors. They will also go beautifully with some of the DIY garden stepping stones in this list. From leaf imprinted stones to mosaics using old broken dishes and china, there is a way for you to create gorgeous stones that are sure to complement your home and garden area. The only problem you may have is deciding which of these stones your favorite is.

From heart shapes to faux brick and a number of other styles, there is definitely a stepping stone in here that will meet your decorating needs. Stepping stones can be expensive if you buy them at home improvement stores and especially if you want something other than the plain boring cement stones that you see everywhere. The stones in this list are far from boring and give you the option to customize them. Plus, you make them yourself, so they are really cheap and will instantly add beauty to your outdoors, just like the projects in this list of 20 ways to reuse old bricks.

So, if you’re ready to add some style to your outdoor living spaces, you just have to check out these amazing garden stepping stones. Grab some cement, or not – some of these don’t even use cement – and let’s get started making some amazing walkway stones to spruce up your outdoors. I know you’re going to love these stones as much as I do and I can’t wait to hear which ones you made.

Table of Contents

1. Leaf Imprint Stepping Stones

These leaf imprinted stones are perfect for fall gardens. Well, they’re perfect for any time of year actually. You just make the stones from cement and while the cement is still wet, use a leaf from your favorite garden plant to imprint the stones. These are so easy and so beautiful.

Source/Tutorial: gardentherapy

2. Wooden Board Stepping Stones

Okay, so boards are not actually stones, but they do make for a gorgeous walkway. Just take some old boards, repurposing works well here, and lay out your walkway. Then fill in around them with small river rocks or pea gravel and you’ve got a beautiful walking path that will instantly perk up your landscaping.

Source/Tutorial: flickr.com

3. Brick Look Heart Shaped Stepping Stones

These brick look stones are simply wonderful and their heart shapes just add to their charm. These are so easy to make and you don’t need any actual bricks to create them. You’ll create the brick look with paint. These are perfect for adding a loving touch to your garden or they would look just as gorgeous lining the walkway to the front door.

Source/Tutorial: hometalk

4. Easy DIY Hopscotch Stepping Stones

I love the color in these hopscotch stones and you’re little ones are going to love them, too. Not only are these adorable stepping stones, they double as a game for the kids when the weather allows. If you ever played hopscotch as a child, then you know how fun it is. You just paint concrete pavers, which are pretty cheap by the way, and you’re all set.

Source/Tutorial:readbetweenthelimes

5. DIY Stepping Stones From Broken Dishes

These stepping stones are made from broken china and other glass type dishes and they are absolutely gorgeous. If you have some old china that you can’t use because of chips or breaks and you can’t get rid of it, turn it into these amazing stones for your garden. You just add the pieces of china to concrete stones that you make yourself and the end result is breathtaking.

Source/Tutorial: overthebigmoon

6. Simple Textured Stepping Stones

If you prefer something a bit more basic and minus the added decorations, you can make these easy textured stepping stones with concrete and a pattern of some sort. You can use a rubber doormat to make beautiful textures in the concrete that in turn creates these stunning stones. Use a couple of different doormats – with different textures – to mix it up and make your walkway really unique.

Source/Tutorial: nancymizelle

7. DIY Stepping Stones With Cake Pan

You can use an ordinary cake pan to mold your concrete and make amazing – and perfectly proportioned – stepping stones. Just mix the concrete as directed, add your decorative elements like glass stones or other items, and then let the concrete harden. Your end result is an easy to make yet beautiful stone that will bring beauty to your landscape wherever you lay it.

Source/Tutorial: intimateweddings

8. Kid Friendly DIY Concrete Stones

These little stepping stones are really easy and perfect for kids. You can use an empty cereal box for the mold and then let kids add their own decorative elements to them. They can use glass stones to create all sorts of designs and pictures and you can get glass stones at the Dollar Store for a dollar per bag, so this is an easy and really inexpensive way to get custom stepping stones for your garden.

Source/Tutorial: pinkandgreenmama

9. Cheap DIY Custom Stepping Stones

This one is a really cheap way to get those custom stones. In fact, you’ll only spend about $25 for 20 stones. Buy some inexpensive concrete blocks – the thin ones – which you can find at most home improvement stores and Wal-Mart for about a dollar each. Then just mark off the plain stones with any design you want and use spray paint to customize them.

Source/Tutorial: yeahvintage

10. Elegant DIY Concrete Stones

These elegant stones look like something you would spend a fortune for, but they’re really cheap and very easy to DIY. You mold the concrete for these in plastic containers – those containers that you get rolls and cakes from in the deli section of your supermarket. The designs come out beautifully and you can use any size and any shape of plastic lid to get the specific stones that you want.

Source/Tutorial: rosyscription

11. DIY Personalized Stepping Stones

I love these personalized stones for Mother’s Day gifts, or any time of the year really. You’ll make a regular cement stone and then personalize it with the name and footprint of your little ones. These would be perfect for grandmothers – a stone for their grandchildren’s individual footprints. Add edging with tiny ceramic tiles and you’ve got a beautiful stone that commemorates your little ones.

Source/Tutorial: onesassyhousewife

12. Hand Painted Stepping Stones

What better way to dress up your walkway than with hand painted stepping stones? You can paint scenery or anything else, if you paint that is, or let the kids paint them. This would be a wonderful rainy afternoon project for the little ones and then once the sun comes out again, you can go out together and place your stones.

Source/Tutorial: craftcorners

13. Hummingbird Garden Stepping Stone

This gorgeous DIY stepping stone uses mosaics to create hummingbirds, which are perfect for your garden. Hummingbirds are my favorites, which is why this project is at the top of my to do list. Stained glass pieces or even small stones would be perfect for this project. Just create your hummingbird design – or whatever design you want – and then set them in concrete.

Source/Tutorial: merrimentdesign

14. DIY Fairy Garden Stepping Stones

If fairy gardens are your thing, then these fairy stepping stones are a must. Or, you could create these tiny little stones and use them to decorate your larger stones. Once the smaller ones have set just add them to the concrete when you are creating full sized stones. You can get this great little mold to create fairy stones on Etsy for just over $10.

Source/Tutorial: etsy.com

15. Whimsical DIY Footprint Stepping Stones

You don’t actually have to set your child’s foot in cement to get a footprint stepping stone. You can also use plain concrete stones – that you buy or make yourself – and then just paint those footprints on. Dip their feet in paint and then press onto the stone. Then, use those footprint stamps to create dragonflies, butterflies or any number of other wonderful footprint creations.

Source/Tutorial: thriftyfun

16. DIY Leaf Sculpture Stones

These stepping stones use leaves for design but not in an imbedded way. Instead, they use leaves as molds to give them a really unique look. These are a bit more time consuming than others but they are so much worth the extra effort. You’ll need several leaves depending on how many stones you need to make and you could mix it up and do different types of leaves for each stone.

Source/Tutorial: gardenmama

17. Hypertufa Stepping Stones

Hypertufa is an anthropic rock that is made from different materials and bonded together with cement. You can use hypertufa to create beautiful stepping stones and it’s a really easy process. Use clamshell containers that you get take out in to make the molds and then just add small tiles, glass stones, or other decorative items to make them unique.

Source/Tutorial: thriftyfun.com

18. DIY Flower Tray Stones

You can use those plastic flower trays that you get when you purchase flower pots to mold these stones. The round shape is gorgeous for stepping stones and you can accent them with marbles, tiles, or glass stones to create all sorts of designs. Adding a bit of oil to the tray helps the concrete to pop out easier when it’s dry.

Source/Tutorial: littlebirdiesecrets

19. Glow In The Dark Garden Stones

These glow in the dark stepping stones are not only unique, they’ll help to light your way when it’s dark outside. You use solar lights and glow in the dark paint to provide the light function and you can paint any design that you want on the stones so you really get the customize these. Plus, did I mention that they glow in the dark?

Source/Tutorial: theurbanhomestaed

20. DIY Mosaic Flagstone Stepping Stones

If you really don’t want to mix the concrete yourself, you can create these custom stepping stones with flagstone or patio pavers. Just take the flagstone or pavers, and you can break them up if you prefer, and add your decorations. Then cover those with grout and they will set in just as if you had added them to wet concrete.

Source/Tutorial: intimateweddings

21. Faux Brick Walkway Stones

If you’ve always dreamed of having a yellow brick road – or maybe just a brick walkway, these faux brick walkway stones are perfect. You just mold the concrete using a specialized mold that turns your walkway into a brick road. I found this great mold on Etsy that makes it so easy to create a brick looking walking stone, and it’s less than $50.

Source/Tutorial: etsy.com

22. DIY Pebble Mosaic Walkway Stones

These pebble mosaic stepping stones are beautiful and they have so much dimension. You use the same technique as you would for glass mosaic, except you put in pebbles instead of glass. When they’re finished, these have a very elegant look and they’re super easy to make. You just have to choose your design and you’re all set.

Source/Tutorial: jeffreygardens

23. Rhubarb Leaf Stepping Stone

Rhubarb leaves are pretty big so making stepping stones out of them is fairly easy. You can use leaves of different sizes to make your walkway more unique and the process is not at all difficult. Plus, if you don’t have rhubarb leaves from your garden to use, you can buy these at the farmer’s market or hit up friends and neighbors and tell them you need the leaves from their rhubarb plants.

Source/Tutorial: 2-crafty-sisters

24. Stone Footprint Walkway Stones

I love these little stone footprints. They’re so whimsical and cute and pretty easy to put together. You just gather stones of all sizes and then create little feet from them. How perfect would it be to have little feet on your walkway stones? Plus, if you wanted to really secure them down, you could do this design in a concrete stone. Just add them to the mold before you pour in your concrete and they’ll be set in stone, so to speak.

Source/Tutorial: houzz

25. DIY Salt Dough Stepping Stones

You can turn your vacation treasures and anything else that you want to preserve into a beautiful stepping stone with the salt dough technique. This is a great project for kids, even younger ones, and they will adore being able to decorate their very own walkway stone. Plus, there’s no mold required for this one so you can do it in whatever size or shape you want and make each one really unique.

Source/Tutorial: ithappensinablink

Gee, most people think of beaches when summer hits; I think of what I can do with concrete. Make some Easy Concrete Stepping Stones! Silly, maybe, but I like the permanence of these projects and the rather inexpensive supplies. It’s also time to admire the wonders of nature and make use of the gardens bounty; my Rhubarb plant!

I am sure you realized that you need concrete, but it’s even easier as you don’t need to mix separate components. This ready-made “Quikrete” mix is perfect for the job, and it comes in a size that I can lift! It’s available at most home improvement stores like Home Depot And Lowes.

If you don’t have access to any Rhubarb, you can also successfully use the large leaves from the thistle weed. They are in huge abundance at the side of the roads. They are just a bit fuzzier in final texture. I’ve used them when I didn’t want to sacrifice too much of my plant.

Some basic gear you will need:

  • Quikcrete Sand Topping Mix (not mortar)
  • A bucket of some kind to mix concrete in (plastic is best as dried concrete can be knocked out when dried)
  • Water
  • Rubber Gloves & Dust Mask
  • Stir Stick or shovel
  • Rhubarb Leaf or other large suitable leaf with deep vein texture
  • Place to form leaf (I have an old garbage can lid full of sand, but you could use the ground in a pinch)
  • Drywall Fibreglass Mesh & Scissors

Forming:

Start by getting your “form” ready. To get the natural curvature of the leaf form the damp sand under the leaf. Be careful don’t break the leaf. Build up the sides to have a rounded edge. At this point you can use a mound of sand if you want to make a bowl.

To have a nice smooth curve at the edge, I form the sand around the shape. Don’t get sand on the leaf. The veins should be facing up.

Wet sand is quite easy to form. More fussing now equals great results later.

I also get the drywall mesh ready so that I have it at hand when I have “concretey” hands. I cut a bunch of strips that are about the length and width of the leaf.

The Mix:

Now it’s time to get the concrete mixed

I add enough Quikcrete that looks like it would cover the leaf, ½ bucket or less. You’ll get the feel after doing one. This concrete is meant to be used in rather thin applications. I have some stones that are barely 1” thick and many years old.

Add water slowly, mixing deep into the bottom. At this point you probably would like a labourer, depending how many you are making.

It is usually ready when it doesn’t have standing water on top, and holds shape a bit when stirring. It should have some slump (meaning that it will flatten itself by flowing outward) but not be too wet as to leak much water. Over watered concrete is weaker. Squish a bit in your hand and it should not crumble, hold a bit of shape and not be runny.

The Layers:

It’s now just a matter of glopping the concrete onto the leaf. No rocket science here! However, the trick to a very detailed imprint is the “slapping”(vibrating). The pros have agitators that vibrate the cement to get rid of voids and air bubbles. You have your hand! Slap, slap, slap… It also makes the water come to the top, which is a good thing, I’ve been told.

Stay just within the edge of the leaf and keep it on the thin side as you will be adding another layer. Perhaps about ½” or more.

Once covered, criss-cross the mesh paying attention to getting it over the main stem area. Since the main stem (artery) is thick, it is also the weak point since it will leave the biggest void. It’s even best to mound up extra thickness there.

Now just add your other layer, covering the mesh enough and smoothing out.

Curing:

Good job! Now it’s time to let it do it’s thing. If it’s going to rain, cover lightly to prevent washing away prematurely. After a few hours you will feel that it has hardened. It may not be ready to lift, but if you wet it, it strengthens the concrete. It also helps if it’s too sunny. Apparently concrete likes to be wet. I usually wait til the next day to flip it over. Better safe than sorry…

Note the sandy texture on this one. I should have slapped (vibrated) it more! I use some dental tools to aid in the removal of the veins, but they will eventually decay away anyways.

You can continue to wet it to strengthen and help ease the veins out. Isn’t nature wonderful and now it’s permanent! Concrete leaf stepping stones perfectly suite the garden, always look right and will also get a patina over time. Look into some of my other concrete projects…

Wonderful texture! If you would like to consider making your own reusable mold take a look here:

DIY Stepping Stones: Making Personalized Garden Stepping Stones

Add a little flair to your landscaping by making personalized garden stepping stones. Stepping stones create a pathway through garden beds and can provide access to water faucets or benches, facilitate weeding or keep kids and guests off newly sprouted plants.

Just because stepping stones have a utilitarian purpose doesn’t mean they can’t be fun! Making stepping stones for gardens can be a great family project. With a little assistance, even young children can help decorate DIY stepping stones. Here are few stepping stone ideas to get you started.

How to Make Stepping Stones

Creating personalized garden stepping stones doesn’t take a lot of craft experience or know-how. To make stepping stones, follow these basic instructions:

  • Obtain a mold – Round, square or rectangular metal cake pans make excellent molds for DIY stepping stones. For a budget-friendly alternative, you can also make a round mold by cutting down a clean 5-gallon bucket.
  • Clean and lubricate the mold – Generously coat the inner surface of the mold with oil, cooking spray or petroleum jelly. This will keep the concrete from sticking and facilitate removal of the finished stone.
  • Mix mortar or premix concrete – Bagged concrete mixes is stronger, but contains small rocks which might interfere with the personalization process. Mortar mix has a finer, smoother grain but is not as strong. Following the package directions, mix enough premix to fill the mold.
  • Fill and level the premix – Carefully fill the mold, gently shaking or stirring to remove bubbles. When the mold is completely full, use a piece of scrap wood to smooth and level the top surface.
  • Decorate and personalize – Press hand prints, photos, decorative stones, shards of broken china, or other embellishments into the stone while it’s still wet.
  • Remove the stepping stone from the mold – Once the concrete or mortar mix is completely set, gently remove the stone from the mold. Let the stone cure for a couple weeks before placing in the garden.

Personalized Stepping Stone Ideas

Personalized garden stepping stones can be used to memorialize a deceased pet, add inspirational sayings to the garden, capture a moment of your child’s life or can be given as gifts. Materials to decorate your DIY stepping stones can be found around the house, yard or local craft store. Try some of these inspirational stepping stone ideas:

  • Coat your child’s hand or pet’s paw with petroleum jelly to protect their skin. Then gently press into the wet cement. These make great gifts for grandparents!
  • Use broken pieces of china to create a mosaic-pattern stone. Insert each piece into the wet cement making sure sharp edges are not exposed.
  • Cover the surface of the stepping stone with sea shells, marbles or small rocks. Create a pattern or insert them randomly into the wet cement.
  • Press a large leaf onto the top surface of the stone to create a ribs and veins pattern. Rhubarb, sunflower and fern leaves work well.
  • Insert a laminated photo. Be sure the edges are under the surface of the cement.
  • Use a stick to write words, names or inspirational sayings.

Use one or more personalized garden stepping stones to add a decorative flair to your flower beds or become truly inspired and create a beautiful one-of-a-kind walkway!

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