Personalized stepping stones for your garden are easy to make with quick-setting concrete mix. And while there are convenient stepping stone kits you can buy that come with everything you need—concrete mix, mold form, and glass or tile pieces to embed in the concrete—they can be very expensive if you want to create an entire pathway. Buying bulk materials yourself or recycling things you have around the house is both a cheaper and more creative way to make stepping stones for your garden.
There are more options than you think when it comes to the molds needed to form stepping stones. Some you'll already have around the house, while others may cost a few dollars, but they are all considerably cheaper than buying all-in-one stepping stone kits.
Easy Molds for Stepping Stones
- Plastic plant pot saucers. If you're a gardener, you may already have a collection of plastic saucers that hold large garden pots or indoor planters. If not, they are quite inexpensive and can be reused to make as many stepping stones as you want. The best saucers to use are those with smooth bottoms; those with contours may make it hard to remove the dried concrete.
- Old cake or pie pans. Metal cake or pie pans, coated with cooking spray or oil, or lined with plastic wrap, can be perfect molds for shaping concrete into stepping stones. Some users report that sprinkling sand on the bottom of the pans before pouring concrete helps the dried stone pop out of the mold.
- Plastic ice cream buckets. Pour two inches of concrete into an ice cream bucket, and it will shape a perfect round stepping stone.
- Five-gallon utility pails. Just as with ice cream buckets, pour two to three inches of concrete in the bottom of a plastic utility pail to shape concrete into a round stepping stone.
- Leftover pizza boxes. Although this is a one-time mold, a leftover pizza delivery box can be used to form a square stepping stone.
- Scrap lumber and plywood. If you have some scrap wood around, build a shallow box in whatever shape you want and use it to form stones. The concrete will stick to the wood unless you first coat it with petroleum jelly or mineral oil.
Purchased Stepping Stone Molds
Rather than buying entire stepping stone kits, you can also by just the molds. These come in a wide range of prices, but they will still be less expensive than buying the all-in-one kits.
- Clear, plastic molds. For a wider variety of shapes (octagon, square, etc), craft stores offer a clear plastic stepping stone molds, made of similar material to plant pot saucers. They cost about the same as a single all-in-one-kit, but they are reusable and can be used to make as many stepping stones as you want.
- Ornate molds. Although not cheap, there are a variety of ornate molds available that offer beautiful, detailed designs. Prices can range up to $60 or so, but they are reusable.