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How to Make Custom Pavers and Stepping Stones for Your Garden

Updated on February 3, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Landscaping pavers are absolutely the most in thing for gardens right now. They come in all shapes and sizes and many different colors to give you almost any look you want in your garden.

Being able to afford them is another thing entirely! With prices up to five dollars per paver it can cost a fortune for even a small project.

The good news is that you can buy molds and make your own pavers in almost any shape imaginable. By making your own concrete pavers you can get a truly custom design at a fraction of the cost of buying ready made landscaping pavers from places like Lowe's or Home Depot
  • You can also use candy molds, candle molds, and soap molds for smaller items and embellishments.
  • What about writing in the wet cement to make memorial stepping stones, adding poetry or Bible verses, or some other special message?
  • Items like leaves can be pressed into the cement to be preserved forever.

Whatever your mind can imagine you can create in your own custom stepping stone or paver.

How to Make Stepping Stones

Make Your Own Paver or Stepping Stone

Choose a clear day to make your pavers.

You will need more than one mold because it will take time for each paver to set. Making a large amount of custom paver can take a long time if you only have one mold. Keep this in mind.

Materials you will need are:

  • Mold release spray
  • Pigment
  • Concrete
  • Plastic

Apply the mold release to the concrete molds. Mix the desired pigment into your concrete mixture according to directions. Scoop the wet concrete into the paver mold, filling the mold to the top. For the pavers to be durable they should be at least two inches thick. Get the air bubbles out of the concrete by shaking the mold to release any trapped air. You can tap the mold gently on a hard surface as well. This is very similar to getting the air bubbles out of a cake batter.

Cover the mold with plastic to keep out insects and debris and place in a shaded spot. Allow the pavers to rest, undisturbed for a full 24 hours. Remove them, wrap in plastic, and continue to cure for at least two weeks. Apply sealer to your creation and install as desired.

With this method you can also make your own stepping stones. You will need:

  • A square frame or mold
  • Mold release spray
  • An embellishment -handprint, seashell, or basically anything to press into the wet concrete to make a design

If you want to use an embellishment just press into the molded concrete while it is still wet to leave an impression. You can also add things to the concrete at this time:Marbles River rock Flat pieces of broken pottery Just use your imagination.

Make Your Own Specially Shaped Mold

You can also make special shapes if you are handy with a jigsaw.

You will want to make sure the mold is at least two inches thick. You can do this by cutting the outline of your desired shape out of ½ inch thick plywood.

  1. Make four exact copies and glue them together using strong wood glue.

  2. Clamp tightly until dry.

  3. Glue a bottom to the frame in the same way and allow to dry thoroughly.

  4. Use as you would any mold.

Create Your Own Space

Creating a space all your own with personalized touches like pavers and stepping stones is a great summer project that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Not only does great landscaping give your home curb appeal but it can increase the value quite a lot. By using custom landscaping pavers that you make yourself you will add visual interest to your garden at a fraction of the cost of professional landscaping.

Add a Mosaic to Your Paved Patio


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    • profile image

      MsMartyD 6 years ago

      I have been thinking about making some stepping stones using old plates broken in pieces or some of my ancient buttons from my sewing stash

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 6 years ago from United States

      This is an awesome Hub. I love the mosaic. I have a garden table made out of rod iron and I am waiting for my husband to cut me a piece of wood to fit in it so I can do a mosaic table top. What a great idea to make a stepping stone.

    • kevin.howell profile image

      kevin.howell 6 years ago from Maysville KY

      good hub! What would you estimate the cost of making a 4" x 8" paver

    • profile image

      Mini Greenhouse 7 years ago

      Marye, one of the most inspiring hubs ive seen around here! Im looking to have a drive concreted soon but this has made me think maybe i should try this instead! Thanks

    • kgnature profile image

      kgnature 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Great ideas.

    • profile image

      Gabriel M 7 years ago

      That is a great tip for making a stepping stone, thanks.

    • Maryanne Maguire profile image

      Maryanne Maguire 7 years ago from Santa Monica, CA

      My lab enjoys our garden, too. Nice Hub!

    • angelaglancy profile image

      angelaglancy 7 years ago from Seattle

      Hi Mary --- Love the video, and you have some really good ideas in your article for creating some really individual pavers or stones for the garden. Nice hub!

    • profile image

      Custom Gates 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing... very informative blog.. in addition when you make garden stepping stones, you can exercise creativity, ranging from the use of stains to the assembling of mosaics....You can also add a decorative element to your yard by using homemade garden stepping stones. Natural rock affords less opportunity for creativity but can be just as aesthetically pleasing.Whether laying natural rock or homemade garden stepping stones, the process of building the path is easy as is maintaining it.

    • profile image

      Ms. Hubster 8 years ago

      Lots of great ideas here..any suggestions on what I can use to imprint letters, like simple inscriptions, into poured concrete bricks. Did not want to do it free hand as wanted a consistent look. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • reddog1027 profile image

      reddog1027 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Love this hub. A simple and easy way to make pavers and more. It will come in very handy as summer approaches.

    • greg austin profile image

      greg austin 8 years ago from Canada

      Great hub - it's good to come across pages like this to remind me of all the backyard projects I should do. I used to make hypertufa planters. Making your own hardscaping adds so much character to your landscape design.

    • profile image

      Bon Kute 8 years ago

      fascinating and very informative

    • BobHander profile image

      BobHander 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Fascinating. We're still fixing up our place, and this gave me some good ideas on what we can do.

    • rugsforall profile image

      rugsforall 8 years ago

      I have just recently discovered the art of making mosaics. I have not yet made one but have a kit sitting here in my office ready for me to start. I will mark your hub so I can come back and make one like yours soon.


    • profile image

      Terri Stallcop 9 years ago

      my yellow lab has made a path through lovely grass that, as much as I love little 75 pound Sparkle, that dirt path is not so lovely. It would be so cute to make dog paw print stepping stones for her and me. My husband is very good at anything like that. I think I have a "Honey Do" list in the making :)