How to Make a DIY Stepping Stone Pathway

3 Materials
$40
5 Hours
Easy

I was compensated by Worx Tools for this post. All opinions are my own.


Stepping stones are great for many reasons, both practical and aesthetic. In areas of high traffic, it’s a challenge to grow beautiful lush grass. Adding stepping stones makes it easy to know where to step and you don’t have to worry about killing the grass. Below is a tutorial I’ve put together on how I’ve made my own DIY stepping stone pathway that works well with my robotic lawnmower.

Why Make Stepping Stones on Your Lawn

Stepping stone will protect the lawn area from extra wear and tear. Also, in a rainy season, you won’t need to try hard to avoid muddy patches of grass. Stepping stones are often better than a pathway since it would not detract from the surrounding greenery. 


When using concrete for these steps you have the flexibility to form whatever shape you fancy. You can tweak the look of these stones by adding a design with additional rocks as well. Also, concrete is a sturdy and durable material which is a big plus.


Knowing that the grass needs to be mowed regularly around the stones, I wanted to make sure these stones will not interfere with the robotic lawnmower that I just received. Having them low in the ground make the mowing seamless.


You also might be interested in my other outdoor projects that I’ve done like, DIY planter container with corrugated steel.

Step 1 – Make Mold from Concrete Form Tube

There are many different ways to make a stepping stone mold. For this project, I made the stone mold using a concrete form tube that is cut into 3″ sections. The mold holds the concrete until it dries and then the mold is removed. 


To simplify the 3″ measurement mark, I clamped a pencil 3″ high from the workbench and rotated the tube pressing on the pencil. By rotating the tube I got a pencil mark all the way around exactly at 3″.


Using a skill saw cut the tube following the pencil line. Again measure and mark 3″ from the end and cut off another 3″. Repeat the step until you cut the entire 4-foot long tube into 3″ pieces. You should have a total of 15 pieces that are 3″ tall. The last peace will be smaller than 3″ so that could be thrown away. These 3″ tall tubes will be used as a mold for making stepping stones. 


Step 2 – Arrange the Molds on a Sheet of Plywood

Find a flat surface to place the molds for pouring concrete. Make sure the surface is leveled. Arrange the molds close to each other so that you could easily reach them when pouring concrete. 


I had an old sheet of plywood that I was going to throw away, but it still had a good flat surface to make these stepping stones on. If you don’t have a sheet of plywood, placing them on the ground will work as well. 

Step 3 – Mix Concrete

Take one bag of concrete, slice it open with a knife, and dump the mixture into a bucket or a large container. I had an old cooler that I used for mixing the concrete. Then add water into the bucket and mix the concrete. If you never mixed concrete before, add water to a container with a measuring mark. Then pour a measured amount of water (amount varies depending on the bag size) into the mix from a bucket, rather than squirting it in with a hose. Have extra concrete mix available just in case you added too much water, you could always add more concrete. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is to add too much water and end up with concrete that’s thin and soupy. 


Step 4 – Pour Concrete into the Molds

After mixing the concrete, fill in the molds with concrete using a trowel. Use the backside of a trowel to smooth out the top surface of stepping stone. The top surface could be left flat or could be filled with pebbles or small round stones for a design.  

Step 5 – Remove Grass and Dirt for the Stepping Stones

I wanted to place the stepping stones in our backyard across the lawn from our patio to the vegetable garden. These stepping stones needed to be placed inside the ground so that the top of the stone is at the same elevation as the ground. Having them inside the ground prevents people from tripping over them. Also, my Worx robotic lawnmower will not get stuck crossing the stones. 


Having the robotic lawnmower saves me a lot of time mowing the lawn every week. The Worx robotic lawn mower could be set up to run during the time when kids are at school or even at night because it so quite. 


Determine where to place the first stepping stone. Then place a rock or a trowel in the middle of the stepping stone location. Take a shovel and start digging out the ground around the rock. The rock is there to be as a guide. If the ground is too hard, then water it very well to make it softer. Measure 24″ from the center of the first step to the center of the second step. Repeat the process by digging out the holes. The holes need to be 3″ deep and 12″ round in diameter. 


Step 6 – Remove the Mold From the Stepping Stone

After the concrete dries, remove the mold from the stepping stone. You could just cut it with the knife. Then place the stepping stone inside the hole you dug in the ground. Once you place the concrete piece inside the hole, fill in the gaps with dirt. My kids helped with digging and filling in the gaps with dirt. You are done with DIY Stepping Stone Pathway. Enjoy. 


Benefits of Using a Robotic Lawnmower




  • Robotic lawnmower saves you lots of time, especially if you have a big backyard with trees and different obstructions that you have to workaround. 
  • Robotic lawnmower helps to fertilize your lawn which makes it look vibrant and green. The blades on the robotic lawnmower mulch the grass into fine clippings and scattered on the lawn so that the nutrients are returned to the soil.
  • No need to fill up the mower with fuel or check the oil. You don’t even have to charge the battery. The robotic lawnmower will return to the charging dock and charge the battery by itself. 
  • The grass will not grow tall and will always be cut daily or every other day, depending on how you set it up. 
  • Your robotic lawn mower could be set up to cut the grass during the night freeing up the lawn in the day for other uses. You could hardly hear the robotic lawnmower working with ultra-silent wheel motors. 


How to use it:


When placing the stepping stone in the ground examine each stone closely to check that they are flush with the ground. If stepping stones are at ground level, the chance of tripping is reduced, as is the likelihood of the mower blade hitting them. If the stones are higher then the ground, consider lifting them, digging out some dirt, and resetting them again. The stones that are flush with the ground pose no danger to your robotic mower. If you’re still concerned about blades hitting the stones, use higher blade settings on your lawnmower.  

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
31 Space-Saving DIY Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
Browse Through These Dream Bedrooms & Find Your Favorite!
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
TheDIYPlan

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

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Christina Warrington
    on Jun 16, 2020

    So this tube is something I could find at Lowe’s or Home Depot? It’s great that you can do them all at once!

  • GailAmesiowa
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Will it hurt the robic mower if it starts to rain?

    • TheDIYPlan
      on Jun 27, 2020

      The mower has a sensor to detect moister. It will go back to the docking station if it starts to rain. The mower is water proof.

  • Gail
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Could you have dug the holes and put the forms in the ground and poured wet concrete directly into the ground? Also I am fascinated by the robotic mower. I have heavy zoyzia grass. Will it mow that and I also have sprinklers that come on 3 times a week. Texas is hot and requires lots of water. Just wondering.

    • TheDIYPlan
      on Jun 27, 2020

      Gail, Yes I could have poured concrete directly in to the ground, but i wanted the stepping stones to be round. Its really hard to dig perfectly round holes due to rocks and roots. The mower will work fine on heavy grass. It is programmable and you could set it up for mowing during the days that sprinklers are off. If it rains, the mower will detect moister and return to the docking station.

Join the conversation

3 of 9 comments
  • Ellen
    on Jun 16, 2020

    When I read that the stones were placed 24" apart, I was wondering how your children could use them. Then I read that you measured from the center of each stone and that takes off 12" leaving only 12" from edge to edge for the stones. That is much easier to walk upon. My sister measured hers from edge to edge and I sorta have to hop to the next paver! lol Great piece of work!

  • Mary Coakley
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Your.hard work has paid off stepping stones are great

Your comment...