How to DIY a Flagstone Path in Your Garden

Mimzy lombardo
by Mimzy lombardo
8 Materials
5 Hours

This tutorial will give step by step instructions to create a cement and flagstone path in your garden.

This cement and flagstone path was fairly simple and straight forward. It was a bit laborious, but well worth the effort.

My step by step instructions are in a different location from the picture above, but the same exact method was used.

Step 1. I cleared and leveled the ground for the path. I dug 2" below grade so my path would be 2" below grade and 1" above ground to create a 3" concrete slab to set the flagstones.

Step 2. Form your path.

I used hardboard(sometimes called Euca board) cut down to 6" strips to form my path. Hardboard can purchased at home improvement stores in 4' x 8' sheets. The store kindly cut mine for me.

On the long path I used wood stakes on the outside of the hardboard to hold the hardboard in place and keep it from moving(bowing,flexing, or tipping) when I poured the cement into the path.

Step 3. Mix concrete.

I used regular concrete mix to pour my path. I mixed tow bags at a time in my wheelbarrow according to the instructions on the bag.

I mixed the cement with a flat shovel.

Step 4. Pour concrete and smooth it out.

I poured the cement into the forms and then screeded the cement with and old 2 x 4.

Screeding is the process of shimmy-ing the 2 x 4 back and forth across the cement in short quick motions to smooth it out. This process forces the rocks down and the smooth cement to the top, creating a nice smooth finish.

You could go one step further in the smoothing process and use a float to get an even smoother finish, if you're leaving your path concrete. However, I knew I would set flagstone into this cement so I didn't float the cement.

Step 5. set the flagstone

I set my flagstone while the cement was still wet but not mushy. I back-buttered all my stones with mortar because I wanted to figure out the pattern in the process and wanted a little more working time.

The last step was to "grout" my flagstones. I used mortar mix to grout my flagstone. I used the same process as grouting tile. I dumped a scoop of mortar into the seams between the flagstones and squished it into the joints with a float and then wiped the stones clean with a tile sponge and a bucket of water.

One of my goats, Bell, was very curious during the whole project.

This is a pretty simple project, but if your thinking of creating a very long or wide path, or a patio I would definitely recommend a helper or two. Cement is heavy and can get very tiring in a short time if you're working alone. So call your friends and neighbors to help with this, it'll be a lot more fun.

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Mimzy lombardo
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  • Sunny Sunny on Feb 18, 2019

    Would this work over an old, uneven, cracked concrete patio? Love the look and really tired of trying to cover it with rugs every summer. 😥. Thanks!

  • Donna Ohanian Donna Ohanian on Apr 27, 2020

    So you have 2 separate layers of concrete? One with the stones & one along the top in between the stones? Wouldnt it crack?

  • Dora Dora on Apr 27, 2020

    Did you have to "break" the stones to make them fit (like a puzzle)?

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