How to Make a Decorative Garden Path

Make a fun, leaf-inspired garden path with this step-by-step guide for making steppingstones.
Concrete Leaf Stepping Stones Lead to Playhouse

Concrete Leaf Stepping Stones Lead to Playhouse

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Ready Set Grow

Dance along your very own winding path through your garden. Make these eye-catching steppingstones by molding concrete into pretty leafy shapes. You'll need big leaves for this project, like the ones on rhubarb, zucchini and sunflower plants.

Materials Needed:

  • disposable plastic gloves
  • apron
  • large plant leaves
  • powdered cement mix
  • large plastic container
  • putty knife
  • cardboard
  • sand

1. Mix the Cement

Mix up the cement into a thick paste in a large plastic container. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Remember to wear an apron and disposable plastic gloves.

Cement Mixture

Cement Mixture

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Position the Leaf

For each stone, lay one leaf flat on a large piece of cardboard. The leaf's veiny reverse side should be facing up.

Lay Large Leaf Out Flat with Veiny Side Up

Lay Large Leaf Out Flat with Veiny Side Up

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Spread Cement on the Leaf

With a putty knife, spread the cement all over the leaf. This layer should be about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick at the edges and at least 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) thick at the center.

Spread Cement Evenly Over Leaf

Spread Cement Evenly Over Leaf

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Let the Concrete Dry a Little

Smooth around the edges and over the surface with your putty knife. Then, leave your concrete leaf for about two hours, until it's just dry enough to hold its shape.

Spread Cement Evenly Over Leaf

Spread Cement Evenly Over Leaf

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Remove the Leaf

Gently turn it over and peel away the leaf. This will be easier if the concrete is still a bit wet. Now leave the "stone" to dry completely for a day or two.

Allow Stone to Dry

Allow Stone to Dry

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Allow the Stones to Dry

Wait for stones to dry. Once they are, decide on their position by arranging them on the grass to make sure their spacing suits your stride.

Lay Out Leaf Stepping Stones in Grass

Lay Out Leaf Stepping Stones in Grass

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

7. Dig a Spot for the Stone

Use a trowel to mark around each shape. Remove the first stone and dig out the grass and soil to the depth of the stone plus an extra 1 in (2.5 cm).

Dig Out Grass

Dig Out Grass

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

8. Position the Stone and Level It

Place a 1-inch (2.5 cm) layer of sand into each hole. Make sure it's smooth before placing the stone on top. Repeat for all your stones, checking that they're even and filling gaps around the edge with soil. To level the stones, add or remove sand underneath.

Layer Sand Under Stepping Stone

Layer Sand Under Stepping Stone

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

9. Allow the Stones to Settle

Give the stones some time. Allow them to settle for a few days before walking on them.

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