Homemade Stepping Stones


Making your own stepping stones is an easy and fun way to have a unique and artistic twist in your garden or yard. You can re-purpose discarded materials into something new and beautiful again. It's super easy to transform part of your yard into a paradise of creative energy. Click here to see how we turned ours into a gorgeous, one of a kind patio.




The first thing you'll need to do to make your own stepping stones, is to get some paver molds. Click here to see the ones we used. afflnk. It's easiest to create a patio with square molds, but there are many shapes of molds available.




Mix up some concrete for the molds. You'll want to use quickcrete so it sets up quickly. If you just want to make one paver, you can get small boxes of concrete from your local craft store, but they are much more expensive. In our community, a box of concrete for one stone is $8 and a bag of quickcrete, 80 lbs. is $4. If you use an 80 pound bag of quickcrete, you can make 26 stepping stones.

If you are planning to do a whole patio like we did, I suggest you get 26 of the same shape molds because it's really hard to divide bags of concrete. You can also get bigger molds to make larger stones.

Mix your concrete in a wheelbarrow or bucket, and make sure to rinse everything clean as soon as you are done filling your molds so the concrete doesn't set up on your tools.




Next, you need to fill your molds with a couple of scoops of wet concrete.




Then drop the mold several times on your surface to flatten the material and get out the air bubbles. Now you are ready to create. You will have about 20-30 minutes to make your creations before they start to set.




You can use any type of material in your stones. We used a lot of broken glass. Make sure you put all the sharp edges of the glass down into the concrete so your stones won't have sharp edges exposed.





You can create with pretty much anything you can imagine. We got many rocks, tiles, and marbles that people were discarding. When they found out about our project, they gave us the materials and they didn't end up in the landfill. Score!
We also used keepsakes such as some broken pieces of my grandma's china that my sister brought. Those pieces are extra special. We did hand print stones and paw print stones too.




*Note, anything you put in your stones needs to be pressed in well because the concrete does shrink slightly and if you don't have the pressed far enough in, they will fall out when your creation is dry.




This is a great activity for parties and get togethers. We made stepping stones at a Mom's night out, our family Easter party, and had guests over in the evenings as well as used them for art projects at my in-home preschool. It's so much fun to create together.








Next, you place your stones on a flat surface to dry. After about 24 hours, you can pop them out of the molds. Then they need to cure for about two weeks before they are used or any weight or pressure is put on them. Then you can enjoy them for years and years to come!









Check out the blog to see how we made 507 homemade stones to create this patio. Find the link at the top of this page.

This patio is one of our fondest gathering places.
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Little Sprouts Learning

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

20 questions
  • Valerie Suell
    on Mar 19, 2017

    Awesome idea! However when you said multiple molds I thought you meant different shaped ones. I see what you meant now, but do you know if there are different shaped molds available?
    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 19, 2017

      Yes, but if you're going to build a patio, it's easier with square ones. :) I'll try to clarify it. Thank you!

    • Kathie Hodges Conrad
      on Mar 21, 2017

      I think this is really cool! Not only is it fun for the kids, or in my case grandkids, it looks really good. The final pic threw me for a loop, I wasn't expecting it to look so good! I've been wanting a patio or porch to go alongside our pool but it's out of our budget. Hubby just may agree to this though. Thanks! By the way, how much would you say the total cost of this project was?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 21, 2017

      It probably depends on where you live what the prices are, but we made this 10 x 30 patio for about $400. The sand and gravel was costly and the molds for the stones were an initial investment, but then we used them over and over.

    • Barb in Texas
      on Mar 21, 2017

      @Valerie-any place who sells molds has different shapes, but like she said, square is easier to piece together.

  • Pata
    on Mar 21, 2017

    Your patio is really nice. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. My question is, does the quickcrete come in white?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 21, 2017

      Not that I know of, but I'm not a concrete expert by any means. Maybe you could call your building store and ask around? Or there may be some way to dye it, I'm not sure. I do know that you can paint concrete, but I don't know how long it would last. Thanks so much for checking it out!

  • Markeen
    on Mar 21, 2017

    If using pizza boxes, do you have to prep them in any way so that the stone releases without the paperbox?
    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 21, 2017

      I have done it before and we used saran wrap to line them. The edges of the boxes kind of leaned out so our stones were not straight on the sides. That would be fine for a stepping stone, but not for a patio paver. We also had the same problem with aluminum pans, they bent out of shape on us. It may work differently for someone else.

  • Pup19701117
    on Mar 21, 2017

    I'm wondering if I added some coloring to the water would it create color rather than the cement color

    • MICHELE
      on Mar 21, 2017

      There are colors you can add to the concrete. You can purchase the dye at Home Depot or Lowes.

    • Erin
      on Mar 21, 2017

      You can also purchase cement/grout dyes in rainbow colors from many mosaic art material suppliers.

    • Amanda Langdon
      on Mar 21, 2017

      You can try to add acrylic paint to the water, but the turn out of color is iffy. As someone else stated, you can pick up about 5 different colors at the hardware store(black, red, brown, tan). You can also find powder colorant to make milk paint, it works really well(used it myself). If using a powder, premix the color with the concrete before adding water and make sure it is fully mixed in(unless you wants random color spots), if using liquid or paint mix it with the water first. It will save you a ton of time and energy when it comes to getting a solid color. You can also vary how much color for each batch which is nice

    • Sunny Stamps
      on Mar 22, 2017

      I have used tempura paint powder and it works fine, just remember, you're not starting out with white concrete.

  • Stacy
    on Mar 21, 2017

    Where can I find those big cable spools to use as a table and chairs? I love them! I remember my grandma had the same years ago and I would love to get some and maybe pad them etc.. love your project! Thx!

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 21, 2017

      Hi Stacy. I got these from the electrical store, like where contractors go to buy wiring. They were giving them away there. :) I hope you find some!

  • Becky Waller Perkinson
    on Mar 26, 2017

    I am thinking that if you place your design down on the bottom of the form then pour the concrete mixture on top of it would that work and be smoother?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 27, 2017

      Hi Becky, they can be done that way, but the stones are wider at the top than at the bottom, so you end up with a gap all the way around when you are setting a patio. If you just want to make individual stones and not a patio, that is a fine technique. It's also pretty hard to keep your design from moving since the concrete is thick, it tends to push your articles more than you want it to. Thanks for checking it out. I hope you get to make some stones! It's so much fun!

    • Mylow
      on Mar 29, 2017

      If the stones are not really flat, the cement will get under them and they will disappear. Only flat glass - preferably attached to a sticky paper - will work well on the bottom of the form.

  • Pam18242305
    on Apr 22, 2017

    I like this it would have alot of memories, and that's awesome let grand kids put hands in and design their own,I love how you recycled,awesome job thank you ,where did you get molds and how many and how much do they cost? Thank you
    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 3, 2018

      We got our molds from Amazon, they are shown above. You can click the link to get the current price. They have a nice variety if you want something besides the smaller squares.


  • Leah
    on Dec 3, 2018

    Will the glass break when you walk on it?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 3, 2018

      We make sure to bury it deep in the concrete, so no edges are exposed. We have had this for about 6 or 7 years and no pieces have broken.

  • Dianna
    on Dec 3, 2018

    I was wondering if anyone knows if there is a way to change the color of the concrete itself so it's not the usual gray color.

    • Tadisadiva
      on Dec 3, 2018

      Yes I’m sure I’ve seen a dye for concrete in Hime Depot/Lowes

    • Laura
      on Dec 3, 2018

      There is a powder that can be added to change the color.

    • Laura
      on Dec 3, 2018

      There is a powder that can be added to change the color.

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 3, 2018

      There is concrete dye with the concrete at Lowe's. Thanks for asking!

    • Cathy
      on Dec 3, 2018

      If you're looking for some really bright colors, try the dye with white concrete. More expensive, but beautiful even it its undyed state.

    • Colleen Rose Padilla
      on Dec 4, 2018

      You can find concrete dye at stores like Home Depot. They carry several colors that you mix into your concrete along with the water, coloring the concrete all the way through.

    • Doug Brand
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Yes...your home center sells (on the concrete aisle) boxess of cement coloring....about $8. Brick red, brown, tan, ochre (mustard). It's a powder you mixing into your cement. Very powerful, so be careful how much you add.-Doug

    • Cheryl
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Cement coloring or paint them with concrete deck paint.

    • Carol Campbell
      on Dec 4, 2018

      I was told you can get a powder of different color to add. Home Depot or probably Lowell’s also.

    • Paula Haffner
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Concrete is a powdery dry substance with mortar that is mixed with water. So, any of the powder products mentioned before can be used. But you can also use any water-based paint you have whether it be craft paint or house paint. Just not oil based. I’ve used both. You just must allow for it in your mixture ratio of concrete to water. If you don’t have enough water the concrete can’t expand to create the hold. But if you have too much water it weakens the bond and is more likely to crumble.

    • Ricky Critchfield
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Oh yes. I do stamped concrete all the time. I usually get them to add "lamp black" though I'm certain they can accommodate others


    • Dianna
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Thank you all! Your suggestions were very helpful!

    • J K
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Yes, there are color additives. I used the terra cotta color that was available at Home Depot in the cement department. It is a liquid additive in a plastic bottle and is called Liquid Cement Color by Quikrete.

  • Patty
    on Dec 4, 2018

    How many bags of concrete did you use?

    • Paula Haffner
      on Dec 4, 2018

      The bag will tell you the coverage.

    • Denelle Mick
      on Dec 4, 2018

      Article says 26 stones per 80 lb bag, so 19+ bags for 507 stones in patio.

    • Barb
      on Dec 4, 2018

      If they used the mold that is in the link "Midwest Products Large Square Stepping Stone Mold, 11-Inch. There is no way to get 26 out of one bag.


  • Alexandria
    on Dec 4, 2018

    How did you prepare the ground that you laid them on ? Did you pack and level it ?

  • Beth
    on Dec 4, 2018

    How about rather than broken china, etc, embed some children's games such as hop scotch or checkers, etc?


    B Haring

  • Dxfrye
    on Dec 5, 2018

    I didn't see any cost estimate, not time consideration?

    • Cj Barwin
      on Dec 5, 2018

      The post says $4 for the 80lb bag of concrete. Other costs would vary depending on how many stones you make, what decorations you use, etc.

    • Denise
      on Dec 5, 2018

      Amazon selling the molds for around $8 each. Cost of 26 would be over $235. Than add in the concrete and your time and the decorative materials. It would be cheaper to just buy the ready-made stones at the garden supply store or home depot at 1.79 to 1.99 each (less if on sale). Just my opinion..

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 5, 2018

      We just had a few molds, i think 8 that we had leftover from a mom's night out I threw for my daycare moms and then I bought a few more for this. We mixed up part of a bag of concrete at a time, over time, we got pretty good at estimating how much it took to fill them all. I think we did about a half a bag of concrete at a time. But if you didn't have supplies laying around, it's not as cost effective. It's much funner to make them and they are unique and full of memories for sure.


    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 5, 2018

      The concrete was about .20 per stone at the time we made this. The cost would depend on what kind of materials and molds you chose to make. You can buy one mold and use it over and over again or you can buy many.

    • Jeanne Martin
      on Dec 5, 2018

      Denise: You can buy 1 or 2 molds and use them over and over, you wouldn't buy 26 molds! Besides, buying premade pavers would be called shopping, right? This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) site. WE LOVE TO MAKE IT OURSELVES!!

    • Sandra Hankins Cormier
      on Dec 11, 2018

      Dxfrye it can cost as much or as little as you want. You are the one in charge but the biggest thing is priceless. MEMORIES

    • Patricia Gates
      on Dec 11, 2018

      . . . But not as fun when done with family and friends ! ! !

    • Pop10063936
      on Dec 11, 2018

      i put down sand and made my molds in that and once it was set i didn't have to move them and it was in the design i wanted. but i only made a walk way to my laundry room. my cousin made hers the same way but she made a patio and use spacers in between each one. again she didn't need to move them once they were dried.


  • Michele Bodine Harvey
    on Dec 8, 2018

    Can you put color in the concrete

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 8, 2018

      Yes, they sell it near the concrete in the home store. Thanks for asking!

    • Linda
      on Dec 11, 2018

      Yes


    • Myra Haws
      on Dec 11, 2018

      You can use left over latex paint as part of the water for color in the cement. It also makes a better paver with the paint in the mix

    • Pam Lower
      on Dec 11, 2018

      Yes they sell concrete powder in several colors

    • Amy Helen Chu
      on Dec 11, 2018

      I had difficulties with latex acrylic paint because it formed little barriers to the concretion effect and the whole thing became unglued.

  • Linda Manley
    on Dec 11, 2018

    Were do you get the mold

  • Kim
    on Dec 11, 2018

    Can I Pam baking pans as the molds?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 12, 2018

      Yes, you can. We didn't and ours popped right out with multiple kinds of molds, but to be sure, using pam is fin!

  • Cindy
    on Dec 17, 2018

    Can you put a picture in your steppingstones?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Dec 17, 2018

      I dont know how but im sure someone could find a way.

    • Cindy
      on Dec 17, 2018

      Thank you.

    • Liz
      on Apr 13, 2019

      I bet if you mod podge it to a small block of wood to seal it, then place it in the cement it might work. You could also get some spray sealant in clear.

  • Sandy
    on Mar 8, 2019

    What would you use to color your stones!??! Could throw away foil pans be used ????

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Mar 8, 2019

      You can use throw away foil pans, but when we used them, they didn't hold their shape as well. You could certainly try. They are also not as smooth so they do leave a texture, but I kind of like that. To color them, they sell concrete dye right in the concrete section at Lowe's or wherever.

    • Liz
      on Apr 13, 2019

      I also use old buckets, square, plastic ice cream tubs.etc. Just spray with Pam pour in an inch or so, wait for a day then dump them out.

  • Judithcausey
    on Apr 13, 2019

    Do you buy 26 molds and do all at once, or one at a time? If you do one, does the rest of the concrete harden?

    How heavy is one paver?

    How much is 26 molds?

    I love the look.

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Apr 14, 2019

      We already had 11 molds, so we bought more and had 26 to use at once, that was about a half a bag of concrete. The specifics are in the blog post. The pavers are a few pounds, but I'm not sure exactly. Thanks for checking it out!

    • C
      on Apr 25, 2019

      If you do not want to buy that many molds, use 1 or 2. Mix just enough concrete for those molds, decorate, and allow to dry for 12-24 hrs. When you remove the molds, wash them out and make another batch. It takes about 30 days or longer for concrete to fully cure, but you can certainly place them prior to 30 days. When you mix concrete, do a "slump test". Fill a small container and dump it. If it holds its shape, the concrete is the right consistency. If it does not hold its shape, you need more mix because it is too soupy. You can search online for YouTube videos on how to perform a slump test if you are not sure. If you wish to color your concrete, that has to be done when mixing. You can purchase many colors for the concrete. For more info, see: https://www.concretenetwork.com/products-dyes/


      I suggest creating a good base for your patio. You should dig down several inches and place medium (3/4-inch crushed stone) gravel, bedding sand or very fine gravel, then your created blocks. If you live in an area with NO freezing, you can usually get away with digging the grass, weeds, and roots out and laying the blocks on a layer of landscape fabric (or geotextile material) ....unless you have clay soil. Then you need more some sand/gravel under the pavers. If you live in areas that freeze, you MUST use a good layer of gravel with either sand or fine gravel on top of that. How thick your layers are should be based on the depth of freezing for your area. For some, it is 9.5 inches of gravel. Generally, 1-inch of sand is sufficient (or very fine gravel). Put the very fine gravel or sand on top of the medium-sized gravel. Make sure to tamp the gravel and the sand well before adding the pavers, then tamp again.


      Happy DIY-ing!

      CG.

  • Virginia
    on Apr 26, 2019

    How do they hold up after a winter?

    • Little Sprouts Learning
      on Apr 26, 2019

      We've had this patio for 7 years now, they are all in great condition. Like noted in the post, you have to push the decorations down into the concrete, if you set them on top, they will come off during the weather, but all the ones that were made correctly still have all of their decorations all these years later.

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