There's a lot of concrete being used in gardens these days. There are concrete fountains being installed, concrete bird baths have always been popular and concrete statuary continues to grow in popularity. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person then making your own cast concrete stepping stones is for you.
Things You Will Need2 by 4-inch lumber, handsaw, drywall screws, variable speed drill, vegetable or motor oil, paint brush, garbage bag, dust mask, ready mix concrete, wheel barrel, garden hoe, water, shovel, spray bottle
Make a mold to pour you concrete into. Take some scrap 2 by 4-inch lumber and cut 2 pieces of equal length and another 2 pieces of equal length to build a frame. Before starting to cut, determine what the dimensions of your stepping stones will be. This will be the inside measurement of your frame when it's cut and pounded together. Use drywall screws to screw the frame together at the corners.
Grab a fresh garbage bag and lay it flat on the ground or cement or asphalt driveway. Set the wood frame on top of it. Brush the inside face of the wood frame with vegetable oil or motor oil. This will keep the concrete from sticking to the wood.
Put on a dust mask and pour a bag of the ready mix into a wheel barrel. Get the garden hose and had water per the direction on the ready mix bag. Take a garden hoe and mix the water and ready mix together.
Pick up a shovel full of concrete and drop it into the wood frame to a level of 2-inches.
Let the stepping stone set up for a couple of days. Then unscrew the screws at the corner of the frame to release the concrete stepping stone.
Stepping stones are easy to make. You can add surface designs to make them unique. Consider putting down leaves on the plastic for a leaf motif before shoveling the concrete into the wood frame. When the stepping stone is released from the frame, flip the concrete over and peel away the leaves. To add your children's hand prints or your pets paw prints, smooth the concrete with a trowel after the framed has been filled. Press hands into the wet concrete or set your pet on top of the concrete and let them walk across it.
Tips & Warnings
It'll take the concrete stepping stone up to two weeks to dry and cure properly. Don't let the concrete dry too fast. Cover it with plastic and spray it with water to slow down the drying.
When setting the concrete stepping stones in place in the garden, dig down in the ground two inches and set the stones in place. Sprinkle soil around the edges. The stepping stones will be flush with the ground.
For stepping stones larger than 2 by 4 feet, cast them in place in the ground. They will be too heavy to move after they're cast.