How to Make Garden Stepping Stones From Giant Leaves

Got big elephant ears? Use them to make a garden pathway. We used large leaves such as hosta, elephant ear, sunflower or rhubarb to make these easy and inexpensive stepping stones.

August 16, 2021

Use your landscape greenery to stamp leaf shapes into concrete to make a cottage-style garden pathway. We used a variety of different-sized leaves to give our path a natural look then painted them all with concrete stain to add a touch of color.

DIY leaf stepping stones look in the garden.

Giant Leaf Step Stones

Look at how amazing these DIY leaf stepping stones look in the garden.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

DIY Leaf Stepping Stones
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Tools + Materials

Tools for DIY project.

Tools For DIY Project

These are the tools and materials you'll need to make a giant leaf stepping stone.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

Gather Leaves and Supplies

Clip various large leaves from your landscape. Hosta, elephant ear, sunflower and rhubarb leaves are perfect for this project. Florist will often carry these if you don’t have them in your yard. Place cut leaves in water until just before you use them to keep leaves firm and fresh. Gather all supplies so everything is close by. Once you start the process you need to work quickly because the concrete sets fast.

Selecting the perfect leaf for a stepping stone.

Giant Leaf for Stepping Stone

Clip various large leaves from your landscape. Hosta, elephant ear, sunflower, and rhubarb leaves are perfect for this project.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

Prep Materials

Lay out a plastic drop cloth on your work surface. A table will work for a smaller leaf while a larger piece of scrap cardboard is ideal for the bigger varieties. Place leaf face down with ribbed side up. Cut chicken wire to the basic shape of the leaf, but a little smaller and then set aside. Be sure to wear gloves as you are clipping wire.

Shaping the chicken wire to the leaf.

Chicken Wire Over Leaf

Cut chicken wire to basic shape of leaf, but a little smaller and set aside. Be sure to wear gloves as you are clipping wire.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

Mix Concrete

Mix quick-set concrete with water in a bucket until you reach a thick but pliable consistency. Remove any rocks in the mix before adding the water. This will keep your stone smooth and lump-free.

Adding water to concrete mix.

Adding Water to Concrete Mix

Mix quick-set concrete with water in a bucket until you reach a thick but pliable consistency.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

Prep the Leaf

Cut the stem of the leaf to about 1". Spray the leaf and plastic with cooking spray.

Lay Concrete

Scoop the concrete onto the leaf. Use your hands to mold edges to the shape of the leaf. Press down often to remove air bubbles and work the mixture into the ribbed leaf pattern. Place the chicken wire on top of the first layer of concrete then apply a second layer of concrete. Do not skip the chicken wire, it will strengthen the structure and reinforce the concrete so it won’t crack.

Mold Into Shape

Smooth the edges and shape with your gloved hands. Spritz with water to keep the concrete moldable. Fold over the plastic to completely cover the leaf for one hour.

Peel Off Plastic + Leaf

After the concrete has set a bit, remove the plastic. Gently flip and peel the leaf off the concrete. Use a wire brush to smooth the edges. Allow the concrete to harden for 24-48 hours.

Stain Stepping Stones

When the concrete is dry, your leaves are ready for staining. Tinted concrete stain is very durable and comes in a variety of colors. Apply a thin layer of stain to the stone and let it dry. Just like wood stain, adding another coat will offer a deeper color.

Place Stepping Stones

Use a garden spade to outline the shape of the stepping stone then remove the stone while you shallowly dig the shape. Fill the hole with paver base before placing the stone into position. Surround with mulch or soil.

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