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Alternatives to Cement for Homemade Garden Stepping Stones

Many gardeners enjoy stepping stones to walk on. They make a clear path for visitors to the garden and prevent them from stepping on valuable or rare plants. Do not think that you can only buy ugly stepping stones made from cement. You have alternatives, especially if you want to get creative and make them yourself.
  1. Bricks

    • Bricks make good, durable stepping stones. You can either make a whole pathway using your brick or if you only have a few leftover bricks from another project you can make stepping stones. You will need mortar and a wooden frame for this project. Build a square frame, about 1-foot by 1-foot, using scrap 2-by-4-inch timber.

      After mixing the mortar start putting some on the sides of the bricks and place the bricks one by one in the mold to help hold everything in place until the mortar dries. You may find it easier to just cut 1-foot lengths of 2-by-4s and use clamps to hold everything together especially if your bricks will not make an exact 1-foot square.

    Small Stones

    • Mix some small stones in with some plaster of Paris or even a little cement if you do not want the look of cement but want the durability. Use only a little of the adhesive but a lot of the small stones. This works well if you collect a particular type of stones and have a lot of them that you want to do something with. You can even alternate using different colors in your stepping stones. Make sure you put this mixture into pans that you will never use for cooking again.


    • Clay makes very good stepping stones, especially if you buy the type that needs baking to help it harden. Buy the baking clay at a craft store and read through all the directions before doing anything else. Shape your stepping stones by pressing the clay into your mold. You can either put decorations, such as stones or shells, into the mold and then press in the clay or work from the other side of the clay after you press it into the mold.

      Work on pressed clay if you want to write a name, date, poem or other design into the clay using a skewer. Bake as directed. You can either leave these natural or paint them. If you want to paint them, spray with a clear coat to protect it and make the paint last longer.