image by Anauxite: Flickr.com
Garden pavers can add whimsy and color to your garden pathway. You can easily make your own garden pavers with plastic gallon milk jug molds and mortar mix. Embellish your pavers with colorful glass and ceramic tiles to create unique and artistic decorations for your garden. Make pavers with your children's handprints or write an inspirational message on top. Just think of the wet paver as a blank slate and get creative.
Measure and mark a line 2 inches and 3 inches from the base of your milk jugs. Mark the 3-inch line all the way around the jug so you can have a guide for your cut line. The 2-inch line is the cement mark for your garden paver.
Cut the milk jugs at the 3-inch line to make a mold for your garden pavers. Your cut doesn't have to be perfect, just make sure you do not cut below the 2-inch line.
Mix the mortar according to the directions on the package, slowly adding water and mixing until you get a consistency that's similar to peanut butter. You can mix the mortar in increments and fill the molds as you go. It's a good idea to make no more than two or three garden pavers at a time so you can adequately work with each one before the mortar mix sets up.
Cover the bottom of the milk jug molds and then smooth out the surface by patting it with your hands. Continue filling the molds up to the 2-inch mark, patting as you go. The patting helps to remove trapped air bubbles; you need to remove as many air bubbles as you can. Another method to remove the bubbles is to lift the mold 4 to 5 inches and drop it to bring the air bubbles to the top. When the bubbles are removed, smooth out the surface of the mortar mix with your hands.
Embellish your garden paver with colorful pebbles, flat backed cabochons, mosaic tiles or anything else that suits the décor of your garden. Press the embellishments into the surface of the mortar mix as you like. Let the mortar mix dry.
Cut away the sides of the milk jug and remove the hardened paver.