Add new dimension to your garden path with stepping-stones made of clever concrete shapes.

By Paula Marshall, Project by Jodi Mensing Harris
June 09, 2015

Nature makes stunning patterns that easily transfer to concrete. These leaf stepping stones will seamlessly blend in with its surroundings, while adding a touch of personality to your garden. We used a hosta leaf, but any large leaf will do—the more veins, the better! You can use the underside of the leaf for even more pronounced veining and a more dramatic effect on your stone. Follow these fun and easy steps to create your own work of art.

Leaf Stepping Stones
Credit: Cast Hosta leaf stepping stone/Finished project

What You Need

  • Cooking spray
  • Quick-drying, crack-resistant concrete mix
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Hosta leaf
  • Rubber gloves
  • Trowel
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Exterior paint
  • Exterior-grade spray sealant (optional)

Step 1: Shape Concrete

Shaping Leaf Stepping Stones
Credit: Cast Hosta leaf stepping stone/Forming concrete

Before filling the mold, spray it with cooking spray. Lay a large hosta leaf upside down on the cardboard. Use the underside of the leaf because the veining is more pronounced and will be more dramatic on your stone. Wearing rubber gloves, carefully mound and shape concrete with your hands, then use a trowel to cut and define edges. Keep the mix within the edges of the leaf.

Editor's Tip: Always keep concrete inside the outline of the leaf; any concrete that goes over the edge will stick and harden to the cardboard.

Step 2: Remove Leaf

peeling pattern Leaf Stepping Stones

Before turning the mold over after the concrete has dried, pull the edges of the mold away from the cardboard. Tapping the bottom of the mold may also help. Allow concrete to dry to the touch, then remove the leaf.

Step 3: Cure and Paint

Painting Leaf Stepping Stones
Credit: Cast Hosta leaf stepping stone/Painting leaf

After the concrete has dried, you can remove it from the mold, but it's not ready for finishing: It still has to cure. That process takes several days to a week, depending on the type of concrete and weather conditions. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to get the best results. After the concrete has cured, you can paint the leaf stone to match its natural counterpart and seal if desired.

Comments (3)

August 11, 2018
Your mold is the "leaf " in editors note it states keep inside the mold or concrete will harden to cardboard.
August 10, 2018
The article mentions the mold several times. There is no mold.
August 10, 2018
What mold? The first line of the directions states"Before filling the mold, spray it with cooking spray." I don't see that a mold is used.