While premade stepping stone cement mix is an option for making your own stepping stones, it's not the most cost-effective. Instead, whip up as many stones as you like using Quikrete and water.
Selecting the Mold Forms
Repurpose items from around the house -- or from a thrift store -- to use as mold forms for your stepping stones, keeping in mind that you'll need more than one of the same mold if you wish to pour multiple stepping stones at the same time. Aluminum pie pans, bucket lids or even clean, sturdy pizza boxes may be used as molds for your Quikrete stepping stones. Choose a mold that is flat on both the top and bottom and more than an inch thick for best results. Otherwise, the stepping stone may crack easily under weight.
Things You'll Need
Petroleum jelly or cooking oil
Quikrete Patching Compound or Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
Large bucket or wheelbarrow
Sturdy, large metal spoon
Trowel or spatula
Before mixing up the Quikrete, cover a level work area, such as the driveway or patio, with a plastic tarp, then set the molds atop the tarp. If the mold forms are stiff, coat them with petroleum jelly or cooking oil, using a paper towel to apply the substance.
Pour some of the Quikrete powder into a large bucket or a wheelbarrow; if making more than a few small stepping stones, use a wheelbarrow.
Add some water into the Quikrete powder, stirring as you work, using a large metal spoon. Add more water and stir until the mixture reaches a mud-pie consistency.
Pour the wet Quikrete into the mold forms, a little at a time, allowing the mixture to level out on its own. Tap the sides of the molds to help release air bubbles and help the cement settle. Fill each mold form to the top, smoothing out the mixture with a trowel, spatula or large spoon.
Allow the Quikrete to harden for at least 24 hours, or as recommended on the package, as the curing time may vary by Quikrete product.
Flip the mold over into your hand to reveal the stepping stone.
The amount of water for the ideal stepping stone may vary but averages 4 to 7 pints per 60-pound bag of fiber-reinforced Quikrete.
Wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling Quikrete powder. Wear rubber gloves or work gloves to protect your hands from the cement as well.
A plain stepping stone offers a little form and function, but a few add-ins such as glass tiles or bits of polished sea glass give it even more style. Create a mosaic-style design or simple pattern out of pebbles or glass tiles using the reverse-casting method -- set your design elements face-up inside the mold, press a sheet of sticky contact paper, cut to the size of the mold over them, then flip the contact paper over inside the mold so the sticky part faces up, with your add-ins stuck to the paper. After your poured Quickrete hardens and you remove the stone from the mold, peel the contact paper away to reveal your design. If you prefer to just add a few details after you've poured the cement, arrange your findings on top of the wet cement after it sits for at least 45 minutes.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.