How to Decorate With Stepping Stones


Stepping stones can make a garden visually appealing with just a little bit of hard work and not a whole lot of money. They are cheaper alternatives to solid pathways made of concrete, bricks or stones. Stepping stones are available in a wide variety of materials such as natural stones, concrete, tiles, plasters and synthetic materials. Different sizes, shapes, colors and textures exist that you can choose from to complement your design style. A small, simple design will take a few hours to complete; however, bigger and more elaborate installations may require several hours or days to accomplish.

Decorating with Stepping Stones on Grass

Step 1

Choose the location where your stepping stones will go. Find an area where people tend to walk over---such as transition spaces between areas in the garden, in front of a door, side yard, toward the patio or next to a flower or vegetable garden.

Step 2

Mark the outline with a chalk powder or a garden hose. Make the shape more interesting by adding curves.

Step 3

Place the stepping stones, one by one, on top of the grass that you will dig out. Make sure to give 8 inches of space in between stepping stones to allow for better walking comfort in transitioning between them. Use a spade or shovel to dig around the stones.

Step 4

Remove each stone after making the initial dents or holes. Dig out the sod in each location down to the roots using the same shovel or spade. Make each hole approximately 2 inches deep to hold each stepping stone snugly. This way, when you place the stones, they will be below mowing level.

Step 5

Use the rake to remove rocks and debris.

Step 6

Test each stone by stepping on it. Add soil or fine gravel under a stone that wobbles to make it more stable. Test the stone again after adding the soil or gravel to see if it still wobbles. Continue adding soil or fine gravel until the wobbling disappears.

Step 7

Fill any exposed gaps in between the stones and grass with soil. In due time, the surrounding grass will spread to cover the gaps.

Decorating Plain Soil with Stepping Stones

Step 1

Remove old plantings, tree stumps, dead roots, rocks and other debris.

Step 2

Use a rake to smooth and level the soil.

Step 3

Compact the soil that's loose using the hand tamper. Rent a tamping machine or soil compactor from the home improvement store if you have bigger areas to cover.

Step 4

Place a weed barrier on the soil to prevent weeds from growing. Purchase rolls of weed barriers from the garden section of a home improvement store. Weed barriers comes in rolls of 25, 50 or 100 feet long and 2 to 4 feet wide.

Step 5

Place each stepping stone, 8 inches apart from each other, on top of the weed barrier.

Step 6

Cover the rest of the exposed weed barriers with gravel or bark. Use the rake to level the gravel or bark. Make sure to cover in between each stepping stone for a seamless and finished look.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place stepping stones higher than the lawn to prevent hitting them with a mower.

Things You'll Need

  • Stepping stones (e.g., flagstones, bricks, slates or concrete tiles)
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hose or chalk powder
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Fine gravel (almost sand-like in appearance)
  • Soil
  • Hand tamper
  • Weed barrier
  • Gravel (coarse such as pebbles or quarry rocks) or bark


  • Hopscotch Stepping Stones
  • Garden Paths and Stepping Stones

Who Can Help

  • How to Make Stepping Stones
Keywords: stepping stones, garden paths, pathways

About this Author

Josie Borlongan is a full-time IT Manager and a writer. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines. Borlongan is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and a Cisco Certified Network Associate.