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How To Make A Garden Stepping Stone

Updated on May 20, 2017

By Broken Dishes

That's right you can create beautiful garden stones by broken dishes or china. So don't throw that china away or those ceramic dishes away. OOOPS so you broke one or two. Save them in a box or container and later use them for beautiful stones for your garden.

It was a hot day as usual in the summer time of July on Saturday afternoon. I decided to clean out my curio cabinet with all my beautiful collection of china ware. But for some reason something came up and I was feeling rushed to get my task that I started out doing finished, so I won't have to leave my china out laying around.

Instead of getting the job done, I some how tipped over the curio trying to catch my balance from falling off of that chair and then YUP all my china that were still left in the cabinet came crashing down! :( What a loud noise, OUCH! To my dismay there were many broken.

The phone rings and as I am trying to get them picked up, I don't pay attention to the ringing of the phone, then it rings again and again so I thought I better get it, it might be important. It was a friend of mine. I shared with her what I was doing and what a mess I have made. I told her that I was about to throw the china away because there were no use for them now.

She then suggested to me to save the pieces and she would show me how to make garden stones out of them. I said what do you mean by garden stones what does broken china have to do with garden stones? She preceded to tell me that you can create a beautiful design with the pieces that broke by making garden stepping stones. That was the first for me, I never heard of how to make a garden stepping stone, but she said to hold on to them and she would show me how.

Broken China And Dishes


So she came over about a week and half later. While we were chatting she asked me if I saved those pieces of china dishes that I broke? I said I sure did. So she preceded to tell me what I can do with these pieces.

She said her and her daughter went out to a thrift store and bought old dishes to do a project for her daughter's school, (show and tell). She saw this being done in a crafty magazine and thought that it would be something fun and different to do with her daughter.

She said that they put a protective cover over the dishes that they got from the second hand store and hammered them to pieces, of course they put it on a surface that they didn't mind doing it on. And with the protective cover over them it kept small products of the dishes from flying around.

Then she had her daughter use safety glasses for protection just in case. She told me that she didn't have the piece of the stepping stone to show me because they used that in her daughter's school. It was still there on display for one of the best projects that were done.

She did give me a list of what I can use to get started and she basically gave me the instructions on how to make a stepping stone out of broken dishes. She also stated that it didn't necessarily have to be only broken dishes but broken glass. gems or anything to add to the stone.

In my own investigation I was amazed on the things that you can make from broken dishes. It wasn't just stepping stones but you can make jewelry and many other things from broken items.

So next time you break something, remember that not all is lost :), just use your own God giving imagination and don't limit your self to what you can do. I will share with you the basics on how to create stepping stones out of broken dishes or china etc.

The first thing you will need to do is, to make a list of the things that you will need.

Things you will need

  1. A non stick cake pan, depending on the size and shape that is up to you, it can be round or a heart shaped pan.
  2. Your broken dishes, glass, gems whatever you want to mix into the design.
  3. Rubber gloves
  4. Concrete and water
  5. Newspaper or old cloth to protect the service.
  6. Non stick cooking spray or vaseline.
  7. Old stirring spoon or small hand shovel.
  8. Measuring cup with a mixing stick.
  9. Bucket for concrete

How To Make Stepping Stones


Once you get all you're supplies together the best thing for you to do is to get the broken dishes and lay them out separating the smaller pieces from the larger pieces. I hope your doing this in a place that allows for you to be messy. But do cover the area that you are working at first.

Practice the design on what you want on the stepping stone on a round shaped or whatever shaped pan that you are using; with a sheet of paper. You can outline the shape by placing the paper under the pan being used. Start tracing the paper with a light pencil and then cutting out the shape. Then practice your design.

Ok you have the design decided then lets proceed on to the next steps.

Lets get started - Make your beautiful stepping stone

  1. Get your bucket, concrete preferably finer grain mixture. You can get it at a crafty store or any building supply stores. Following the instructions on the package you will mix water into the bucket of concrete using an old spoon or wooden stick. Make as much as for one or two stepping stones but not for more then that, otherwise it will get to thick.
  2. Pour your mixture into the pan that you are using make sure that it is placed on a flat surface. Make sure that you sprayed the pan first with non stick spray or vaseline.
  3. Take the broken pieces that you have put on your design paper and carefully remove them and lay them onto the concrete that is setting in the pan by following the design that you have practiced doing.
  4. Carefully press the pieces down into the concrete making sure that there evenly placed. You don't want any of the broken pieces sticking out, it should be smooth no rough edges.
  5. Once you are finished place the stepping stone out to dry, make sure that if you place it outside that you cover it to protect it. It can take up to a couple of days to dry.
  6. If you want you can put a varnish on it once it is finished drying to protect it or coat it with a shine.
  7. When completely dry you can remove it from the cake pan and then place it in your garden to add color and charm. Don't use that cake pan for food or cooking purposes you can save it for the next stepping stone.

Stepping Stones

Can Be Afforable And Thrifty

Project in a Day -- Homemade Stepping Stones

Children's stepping stone kit

Lots of fun for the kids to get involved,in making a garden stepping stone, it gives them something to do and makes them proud that they can do it. A crafty way of keeping your children occupied especially while they are off of school.

Stepping stone kits

A fun educational way to keep busy and to keep your children entertained. Just imagine the smile on their face when one is completed. This is another way of making your own stepping stone with your own kit.

Home Made Stepping Stones

What would you prefer to make your own stepping stones or just go out and buy them?

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    • profile image

      moonlitta 3 years ago

      I need some for my backyard, and might use the tutorials soon:)

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 3 years ago

      This is a great idea, I like your stepping stones.

    • JennAshton profile image

      Jenn Ashton 4 years ago from Canada

      I've done this before with broken bit of cups, but once we left it plain, and had everyone from work sign their name in it as a retirement gift for a gardening colleague - it was much loved!

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      @favored: I will see if I can find it I noticed that also hmmmm?

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Another project that I'd like to try. The video mentioned they had another video of the finished products, but I couldn't find it. Thank you for this info. Bookmarking it.

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      Nice lens that is very well done lorlinda. Project for stepping stones is very clear and well detailed. No one should have any problems completing their stepping stones following the directions in this lens. Sorry to hear about all of your china getting broken but glad to hear that you were ok and you found a second life for the china. Thank You for dropping by my How To Make A Homemade Yo-Yo with Detailed Instructions lens and giving it a "thumbs up" as I really do appreciate it. Hope you try making your homemade yo-yo and have many hours of fun with it. Just remember to use all safety precautions while making your yo-yo. Have a Great day!

    • profile image

      john1581 4 years ago

      Great lens really explain how to make the stepping stones in detail

    • Arod17 profile image

      Arod17 4 years ago

      this is a good idea!!!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      It's a great way to use broken china. I couldn't bear to break any deliberately though, not even from a second hand store.

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      I kept my broken china, didn't know for what, but it was just too beautiful to throw away... You just gave me a splendid idea!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been looking for some inexpensive but unique stepping stones for our garden. This is just the thing!! I love this idea and am definitely going to try this!!

    • profile image

      shishu 4 years ago

      Amazing lens.....

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Super presentation of a fun project.

    • leifgustafson profile image

      leifgustafson 4 years ago

      Beautiful stones!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I love your stepping stones! What a great idea!

    • Therestlesssoul profile image

      Therestlesssoul 4 years ago

      Loved it!!!

    • NailArtDesign LM profile image

      NailArtDesign LM 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens, such a great idea! Love it and must give it a try soon :)

    • PhilVardy profile image

      PhilVardy 4 years ago

      I love how you found the silver-lining (making these beautiful stepping stones) in a seemingly tragic event (china breaking). I'm practically obsessed with always finding the good in something! Maybe it's my motto? anyhow -you did a great job and created a great lens :) nice!

    • profile image

      rainbowsongs 4 years ago

      What a great art project. I love the different beautiful stepping stones that you can create for your garden.

    • curtis62 profile image

      curtis62 4 years ago

      I like this lens great ideal.

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      Very great idea and lens!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I think this is a great thing to do with broken dishes. I can also imagine having lots of fun breaking unwanted crockery in order to have a go at making one of these too.

    • profile image

      french_violet 4 years ago

      What a great and beautiful idea! It makes a lovely addition to your home, and it's so eco friendly.

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 4 years ago

      The majority of people break things and probably throw them out. Then there are people who take that "trash" and make masterpieces such as this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this. I have seen this done with coloured stones and shells but not with broken china. What a great idea and something I would like to try.

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      What a great Lens you've created and I love this idea - thanks for the inspiration.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      What a cool idea!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      Love this idea, and I love to add things to my garden. This is perfect!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Beauty from the ashes. What a great idea!

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      @Faithlife: On the upper right side of the lens there is a stepping stone concrete to use or just get one that has finer grain mix but they do sell some for that particular project.

    • profile image

      Faithlife 4 years ago

      Do you use any particular brand of concrete?

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I like the color mosaics stones. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      ccmalls18 4 years ago


      Share a website with you ,

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well, I'd have to say you had a beauty for ashes experience very cool that your friend would call the moment of the big crash and not give up....some "such a time as this" moments are very practical...and now your teaching others already, how cool is that! Congratulations on home page honors...time for the dance of joy! :)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      I made a birdbath out of my Grandmother"s red willow China that was broken by the smoother movers. Pinned to my "The Garden" board.

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 4 years ago

      Thanks for providing clear instructions.

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 4 years ago

      This is the first time I hear of this. They are really beautiful.

    • Sweetbunny LM profile image

      Sweetbunny LM 4 years ago

      Love this idea, I want to do a turtle shape for my daughters.

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      What a great idea! I can't wait to try this.

    • Oneshotvariety LM profile image

      Oneshotvariety LM 4 years ago

      Great unique idea!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      What a neat project. I love how something was re-purposed into such beauty.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 4 years ago

      I absolutely love this garden stones idea, It makes me want to break some dishes now! :)

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I've always wanted to make a garden stepping stone! Thanks for the inspiration, tips, and photos!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      Bummer, I just took some chipped dishes from my china set to a thrift store... I guess I will have to look for some supplies. Pinning this lens to my Gardening and Tutorials Boards on Pinterest :)

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 4 years ago

      absolutely gorgeous pieces! Love your lens

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 4 years ago

      I like your new found craft. The stones are beautiful and there's no end to the designs you can make. I will have to give this a try.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Creative ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 4 years ago

      What a wonderful idea - I want some stepping stones for the front garden and these look so lovely - now I just need to go find some broken china! :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a great idea for a garden.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      Something for me to do next for to beautify the garden. Thanks for sharing.

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      What a wonderful idea!!! Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing lens!!!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      I loved your garden stone lens. I do mosaics too, using broken dishes and tiles. I've never made a stepping stone though, but that will be my next project. I hope you will take a look at my lens, Garden Mosaics. Happy recycling!

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      such a great idea! surely those garden stones look stunning!

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Awesome lens with clear how-to's - congrats on your well deserved front page honors!

    • profile image

      anitabreeze 4 years ago

      Beautiful idea, the possibilities are endless!

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 4 years ago

      Love this lens, what a great idea!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love this lens. Great ideas.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Great idea! I should try it even if it means breaking some dishes 'accidentally'!

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      A really helpful lens...

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 4 years ago

      Loves the childrens stepping stone idea!

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Very creative idea..

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      This so cool...I do have lots of dishes with cracks and chips in them. What a great way to upcycle!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Great idea, I knew I was saving those broken dishes for something.