Try using leaves from your own garden to create complementary stepping stones.

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Fancy stepping stones for the garden can cost a fortune, but they don't have to. You can bring these decorative garden elements to life with this very simple process.

For this project you'll need a plastic dropcloth, sand (about two bags), large hosta, philodendron or monstera leaves, quick-drying cement or plaster, a mixing bucket and mixing tools. Each leaf will be ruined in the process. Make sure to find as many leaves as the number of stones you want to make.

Instructions:

  1. Begin by preparing a mold. Create a large 2-foot x 4-foot rectangular frame filled with an even, 3-inch layer of sand. Build this "sand box" any way you wish. If you have an existing sandbox, take the kids outside and go to work.
  2. Prepare the mold shape by pressing one of the leaves into the sand. Either place a plastic dropcloth between the leaf and the sand, or leave it natural. With plastic, the look will be cleaner. Without plastic, sand will stick to the cement, creating a rustic look. Place the leaf so that the top is facing the sand. Press the leaf about 1 1/2 to 2 inches into the sand to create a sturdy stepping stone. Mist the sand to pack it in place. The pattern will take on more definition with damper sand.
  3. Next, prepare the cement or plaster. Use cement for sturdier stones. Plaster will work if the stones are meant to be purely decorative.
  4. Pour the cement or plaster over the leaf and let it set in an even layer over the mold. The layer of sand outside the mold should be even with the top of the cement or plaster.
  5. Let the cement or plaster dry, then remove it from the mold. Repeat the process and pave your yard in custom leaf stones.