How to build a faux stone walkway

DIY Faux Stone Walkway

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Landscaping can sometimes seem like a costly overwhelming project. It doesn’t have to be, you can change the look of the front of your home with this easy Do It Yourself project that takes less than half a day. If you’ve been wondering how to make a walkway cheap you’ll appreciate this inexpensive stepping stone path idea to revamp the walkway to your front door under $40!

How to Build a Stone Walkway

When we first ventured on this project, we were living about two-hours driving distance from any building supply store. We looked at a number of inexpensive walkways and paths to get some ideas. Initially, we thought about cutting a nearby downed tree into “stepping stones” and sealing them, then adding in mulch around them.

Log Slice Walkway path

While that may have worked well for our garden area, we really needed something sturdy that could handle the traffic of our boys running in and out with their friends and dogs. Not only that, but we needed an inexpensive walkway that for snowy climates that could withstand frost heaves with minimal damage or moving.

Supply Items Needed for the Walkway:

Quikrete Walk Maker

  • Rock Form– these can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, Menards etc – we bought the Quikrete one pictured for $9 at Lowes.
  • 60# bag of Concrete (not Cement!) You’ll need approx. 1 bag per “Square”
  • Water or garden hose
  • Bucket or Wheelbarrow
  • Trowel or Block of Wood
  • Pea Pebbles or Sand or gravel

Step 1: Level the area that you would like to create a walkway on. This can be done by digging down into the existing soil, or by adding a filler such as gravel. In this case, we wanted the walkway to appear more rustic and chose Not to level the area at all.
Step#2: Mix your Concrete according to the directions. We mixed about 3 bags at a time to make it easier to handle.

Mix the concrete for the walkway

Step #3 Lay your form down where you want to begin your walkway, we started close to our stairs to be sure it fits correctly. The fill your form with the concrete.

build a stone walkway

Step #4: Using a trowel or smooth Block of wood, fill out and smooth over the form, making sure that it is completely filled and smooth. Let sit a couple of minutes.
inexpensive faux stone walkway
Step #5 Gently tap the edges of your form and carefully lift it off your new “slab”.

DIY Faux Stone Walkway
Step #6 : Gently tap the edges of your form and carefully lift it off your new “slab”.

UPDATE: To give the pattern a random look, rotate the mold 90° Each time you line it up with the previous “square”.

Step #7 : Repeat until your walkway is of the desired width and length.

DIY Faux Stone Walkway
Once Your walkway is completed, Dampcure the entire path for five to seven days to dry completely, depending on the weather in your area.

Once your walkway is dry, fill in the “cracks” between the stones with tiny pebbles, sand or gravel, etc.

In this case, we decided to use pebbles, available at Home Depot for $2.45 a bag. Simply dump the bag on and sweep the pebbles into the cracks.

(current prices as of today’s date April 2006)
Cost of Concrete $1.89 per bag
Cost of Pebbles $ 2.45
Cost of Form $9.
Total Hours for Project: 3 hours

Total Cost of our new fancy Walkway: $36.00

Tips

– if you have leftover concrete, consider making your own stepping stones for the garden! Simple pour the remaining concrete into a disposable 8″ cake pan, add some smooth pressed stones into a design, or “carve a design” with a pointed pencil. Once it’s dry, you can Paint your design.

Dragonflies, Froggies, Flowers, children’s handprints all work quite well.

Be sure to coat your children’s hands liberally with hand cream prior to pressing the stones and then wash immediately with warm soapy water. Concrete does a number on skin.

What if you want a Curved Walkway?

How to form a curved walkway

Here are directions for creating a curved path.

What if you want a Glow in the Dark Walkway?

Well, this can be done, it doesn’t last a long time, about 1 season. Ensure that the walkway has cured before you begin.
First, you’ll need to apply a base coat primer of white to your stones as the glow won’t really be bright without it. Then apply an exterior spray on glow paint to each stone (or every other if you’d prefer!). Since the stones will likely be walked on, it is recommended that you protect the coating by applying a thin coat of Ultra Cover 2X Gloss Clear.

What if you want Colored Stones?

For every two 60-80 pound bags of (dry) concrete mix, combine one 10oz bottle of liquid cement color of your choice into 5 quarts of clean water. Then mix the colored liquid into the concrete until thoroughly blended. If you need to add more water to get the correct consistency, that’s fine too.

2017 UPDATE:

Well, when we created this project over 10 years ago, it only cost us $36.

Here’s an updated price expectation for March of 2017:

The Rock Walkway form is running about $15-16 at Lowes, Home Depot However, you could sell it on a local swap shop list or craigslist for at least half the price after using it.

A 60# bag of concrete runs $3.45 – again, you’ll need approximately 1 bag per square. (we used 13 bags or 780lbs for the path pictured) or, if you’d prefer to buy the larger 80lb bag for $4. you would need 10 bags. (Well, technically you’d need 9.75 bags!) So $40 even. (you’d save about $5 purchasing the bigger bag).

Pebbles (aka Pea Gravel) is $3.58 a bag

If you’re looking for a slightly more elegant look, here’s how we made our own Faux slate textured walkway.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

About Liss 3980 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

69 Comments

  1. this is a beautiful idea and so inexpensive! i’m going to make a path to our bbq pit with this idea, thank you! :chase:

    • Is it possible to do this on a fairly steep hill? We are trying to build a stone walkway from our deck to the bottom of the hill in our backyard for the kids to walk down. Thanks!

  2. we had a 74 ft long house and a covered patio and wanted a ‘stone’ walkway-flower bed in a half moon shape for the our back of the house. My husband, the perfectionist, took 3 months using cut outs of these molds to design how to do it.
    He then took another 3 months to produce the garden space.
    Part of the extra time was, when he would do a mold, he would then take the time to ‘sculpt’ the rocks, so they didn’t look like just concrete. He also put in a watering system and electricty of lighting and a fountain.

  3. i was really hoping to use this idea in my back yard because i think it is so cool! problem is, my local home depot & lowes don’t carry the rock form. any other ideas as to where i can find it?

    • have you tried on line? or ebay or such? my BFF finds everything on ebay and usually a cheap price, you can compare…

      hope this helps 🙂
      have you tried googling ? if you don’t know how i am sure someone can and will walk you through it if you ask!

    • I was really hoping to use this idea in my back yard because I think it is so cool! Problem is, my local Home Depot & Lowes don’t carry the rock form. Any other ideas as to where I can find it?

      They have them on Amazon, in a variety of styles, there’s a link in the post.

    • I was really hoping to use this idea in my back yard because I think it is so cool! Problem is, my local Home Depot & Lowes don’t carry the rock form. Any other ideas as to where I can find it?

      Lee Valley. I bought mine from them .good luck You can also buy them from amazon, there’s a link right in the post.

  4. You can order it on Lowes Website and they’ll ship it directly to your store at no additional cost. I just looked it up and it’s $11.36

    Quikrete Walk Maker

    Or you can order it online at Amazon, but you’ll have to pay shipping there

  5. This is wonderful and I’m going to try it. I just have one question. Do you put down anything on the dirt such as weed blocker or sand?

    It looks like its just on the dirt, won’t it shift with weather underneath and weeds will grow thru.

    Help

    • This is wonderful and I’m going to try it. I just have one question. Do you put down anything on the dirt such as weed blocker or sand? It looks like its just on the dirt, won’t it shift with weather underneath and weeds will grow thru. Help

      When we put ours down we Wanted the grass to grow through in between like old fashioned stone walkways were in New England. However, you can put down layers of newspaper (wet them first, then a light layer of sand), or you can use weed blocking fabric. So far we’ve done this same type of walkway in 3 different climates, The Northeast, The Midwest (Massively Cold, Wet, Miserable weather with temps dipping 50 BELOW Zero) and the SouthEast- with temps over 100F for weeks on end. It does not “heave” if you dig it down halfway. 🙂

  6. i love this, we have old red bricks that are dipping in everywhere and i want to rip the whole thing up and put cement and this is perrrrfect. i do have one question though, have you done any parts where there is a turn or bend? i’m trying to make the walkway around the back of the house and then into a patio….

    any suggestions?

    • i love this, we have old red bricks that are dipping in everywhere and i want to rip the whole thing up and put cement and this is perrrrfect. i do have one question though, have you done any parts where there is a turn or bend? i’m trying to make the walkway around the back of the house and then into a patio….

      any suggestions?

      i know this is an old post but here’s a link to making curves (turn/bend) in the pathway.
      https://www.quikrete.com/athome/walkmaker.pdf

      cheers.

    • i LOVE this, we have old red bricks that are dipping in everywhere and I want to rip the whole thing up and put cement and this is perrrrfect. I do have one question though, have you done any parts where there is a turn or bend? I’m trying to make the walkway around the back of the house and then into a patio…. any suggestions?

      Yes, you can make the block on a solid surface and then when they have formed/solidified you can pick them up and move them to form “curves” or bends as needed.

  7. i love you! and i know i don’t know you…but you just saved my life with post! i was trying to figure out a cost effective way to make a trail around the side of my house…found it!

    thaaank you!

  8. yes i love you too. you saved me a lot of money. i’m making a patio for my bbq area and a walk way from my garage to my back door.

    thank heavens.

    bless you.

  9. i love love love this ! i do have a question though. is it possible to do this to make a small / medium size back patio?

    if, not do you have any ideas on how to do something similar but for a patio instead of a walkway?

    • I love love love this ! I do have a question though. Is it possible to do this to make a small / medium size back patio? If, not do you have any ideas on how to do something similar but for a patio instead of a walkway?

      Yes, just keep making blocks side by side.

  10. this is awesome! i have a fire pit but it just has gravel around the edges and doesn’t look as good as it used to. but this has given me a new idea!

    i love the idea of this and dont mind getting my hands dirty.

    this is going to be my new weekend project!

  11. oh my. i feel a weekend project coming on! we have slate stepping stones up to our front door and the area puddles whenever it rains.

    a friend who does landscaping gave me an estimate for a “quick fix” and it was over $500!

    We don’t want anything too expensive because someday we’d like to extend the porch and the walkway would need to be moved. Thanks for the great idea!

  12. love this idea! we are doing this project this weekend. we found the form at lowes in sarnia canada (home depot never heard of it) and it cost $26.

    We have the quikrete $156 :money1:worth (delivery included) and now we just have to get the pea gravel. We were going to just do from the back door to the driveway, and now I want to add from the side porch to the driveway as well, with maybe a curve or two. We have also decided to imbed a piece of Sea Glass that we collected in Bucerias Mexico in random stones.

    I will send a pic when completed.:camera:

  13. i bought these forms and will be ready to use them in the spring but wanted to know why you mentioned using concrete and not cement.

    • I bought these forms and will be ready to use them in the spring but wanted to know why you mentioned using concrete and not cement.

      Concrete is a mixture of equal parts cement, sand, and agate (small rocks).
      Cement is basically the glue that holds the concrete together.

      I used Quickcrete and added a cup or two of Portland Cement to the mixture before adding water. It makes your concrete substantually stronger. It does make it set up a bit quicker but there is still pleanty of working time to get it into the form.

      Also, if you’re doing this on uneaven ground, you may want to use a level to make sure the top of your form is level before mixing your concrete with water. If you need to level it up a bit you can use very small gravel underneath the area of the form that needs to be raised (within reason).


  14. does any one know if the cement can be colored?

    yes cement can be colored. most of the time it comes in powder form that you just mix in with the concrete as you mix it. this allows you to change the hue/darkness/lightness of the color you desire.

    i have seen in it liquid form too but i have had better luck with the powder. i have done this project years ago and love it. easy and really does look good once done.

    you can even go for planting moss between the stones or a creeping thyme for some variation and scent. walking on the creeping thyme won’t hurt it and it releases a great scent that has an added benefit of bugs don’t like it. you can do the same as this as well if you have a really rocky place like we rented one time.

    you can either dig the stones in part way or lay them on top and then concrete in around them to keep them stable. even with round river stones. though with round river stones, cobble 3-8 inches in size it is easier to use a shovel and scoop out dirt and then drop in the rock and then back fill to correct height.

    I planted moss and creeping thyme between these as well around our fire pit and loved it.

  15. if you add a couple cups of portland cement to the mixture it it will make the walkway much stronger and it won’t crack. i used a wheel barrow and a shovel to mix it all up and wore heavy duty dish washing gloves (they’re purple) and picked the mixture up with cupped hands. you need to make sure to get the mixture in all the corners too.

    it tuned out beautifully. you can also find concrete die at a home improvement store or online.
    izzy

  16. hi – we did this project years ago. it lasted along time. we did a patio and did not want grass/weeds growing in between the molds.

    we were instructed to mix cement with the sand and that sealed it. in other words, we had the sand and keep the concrete dry and sweep it in between the molds. it lasted years before we needed to add another concrete and sand mixture to secure the seal again.

  17. pulled out the old above ground pool to put in a patio garden area and this idea is so easy and looks so good. i’ve been posting pix to my fb and so far everybody is loving it. my husband like it so much that he decided we could do the entire patio in the cobble stone pattern.

    we were able to get half of the patio done in 8hours and will finish the remaining half next weekend. Love this idea and so glad we tried it. Highly recommend using 2 forms at a time if you have the hubbie mixing concrete and you smoothing it in the forms.

  18. i tried this and had a problem with the concrete sticking to the form. i had to use non-stick spray and rinse between each use. make sure you completely clean when done for the day.

    i see them alot now at yard sales if you want to save a couple bucks.

  19. my daughter in law and i were just talking about this the other day…thank you for showing me how easy it can be… this will be my next home project 🙂

    • I was wondering if you could add some concrete dye to change the color of the cement?

      Yes. You can color it. The color is usually located by the bags of concrete.

  20. I have a short and narrow walkway from the driveway to the walkway to the front door. However, my father put it in probably 30 years ago, maybe more, and it is beginning to crumble on top. I can’t remove it, I’ve tried to wiggle it up with a shovel but that hasn’t worked.

    I am wondering if I could put this over top to cover the ugly crumbling walkway. I’m sure it’s not the best idea but it’s all I can think of right now.

  21. You could also, after you smooth it out the first time, could place marbles, pieces of mirror, or colored glass and pretty stones into the cement and use the board to make it flat. Then let it dry.

  22. I was so going to buy pavers, sand, etc to make myself a small patio area but my sons said before doing that, we needed to tear up the walkway, that was so discouraging so I decided to google an inexpensive way to redo the walkway along with also doing the small patio section and Thank Goodness for this site I found. It is amazing how beautiful it looks, affordable, and easy. The question I have is, do you need more than one mold to perform this task?

  23. I just have one Question, do you need more than 1 mold for making a walkway (about 30′) and a small patio about a 10 x 12?

  24. I have this mold and I created a patio around my firepit, a walkway to the patio, and continuing to make wakway through the gardens. This is a great project tool that you will use for so much. The plan was just the patio….now Im addicted to its ease and cost effectiveness that I just keep going.

    Next project is to redo some front yard walkways. Its the best thing I ever got.

    I fill cracks with polymeric sand to make it more permanent and have had zero problems with weeds. Now all my family and neighbors want me to come to their house. With thks tool, you get such professional results it looks like you took out a home improvement loan.

    I highly recommend it.

    • Can u let me know how much concrete i will need for a 10 by 10 with this project

      It says you need a bag per “square”, but I suspect it entirely depends on which style walk-maker you purchase, the walkmaker form pictured is 2′ x 2′

  25. I have a square concrete backyard patio that is old and peeling and in need of a makeover
    BUT i would love to do this over the concrete as it would be too expensive to remove. Can it be done?

  26. Hi!

    I was wondering how long of a walkway you made with the amount of product you used. I don’t have a huge area to cover so I am thinking I might only need about half what you used.

    Thanks

    • Hi!

      I was wondering how long of a walkway you made with the amount of product you used. I don’t have a huge area to cover so I am thinking I might only need about half what you used.

      Thanks

      The walkway mold is 2’x2′ and there are 8 blocks, so about 16′ x 4′

      24 x 4.2 x 1.8 inches

  27. I love this! I do have a question. Our front yard is on an incline.

    Do you think it would be ok to do this walkway up or down hill? Thanks in advance!

  28. Not trying to rain on your parade, but Lowe’s sells a very similar patio paver that’s $2.98. Why would I buy the rock mold at $12 and a bunch of concrete for $3.50 per bag then haven to deal with the hassle of mixing the concrete when I could simply buy a cheaper one that looks almost identical?

    • Not trying to rain on your parade, but Lowe’s sells a very similar patio paver that’s $2.98. Why would I buy the rock mold at $12 and a bunch of concrete for $3.50 per bag then haven to deal with the hassle of mixing the concrete when I could simply buy a cheaper one that looks almost identical?

      Unfortunately, the ones they sell at lowes are 1/4 of the size, which means you’d need 4 to equal the same size as 1 of the DIY blocks. That’s why we did our own.

  29. This looks fantastic! If I live in a rainy climate, so do you think the walkway would hold up to flooding? I’d love to do it on a budget!

  30. I’m looking for a cost effective way to redo our front walkway to the main door, and to make a diy patio and i love this idea, but is there a way to do this over the existing concrete? now that i think of it, there are steps i would have to deal with too..not sure how that would work. but this is idyllic for a patio!

  31. Looks like a great idea I’m all for it however my husband is concerned about it only being the thickness of the mold (approx 2 inches?) to allow for drainage and New England weather with frost heaves. How well does this hold up with the weather?

    • Looks like a great idea I’m all for it however my husband is concerned about it only being the thickness of the mold (approx 2 inches?) to allow for drainage and New England weather with frost heaves. How well does this hold up with the weather?

      If you prepare the ground first as instructed in the article you won’t have any issues. New England weather is tame compared to the insane Northern Midwest where this project was completed, (think -40F Below 0F), tornadoes, etc.

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