Calculate the size of your proposed patio, dividing it into sections that are four by eight feet long. Stake out the four sides of each section with string and stakes, using a tape measure for accuracy.
Build a four by eight foot frame with lumber, nailing it securely into place. Be sure your forms are sturdily built to avoid mishap. Build additional frames in the same manner until you have covered the intended patio space.
Fill the first frame with two inches of gravel, leveling it with the six foot board.
Start with the first bag of cement, sprinkling it across the gravel evenly and following with the other four bags. Smooth the cement out over the gravel with a broom, making it as level as possible.
Set the garden hose nozzle to a fine mist, thoroughly saturating all areas of the cement. Wait five minutes and observe the mix. If it still appears to be dry, give it another good misting.
Wait for the water to rise to the top of the cement. Using a flat trowel, work the cement in using 1/2 inch circles, smoothing it out the way you would regular cement. Continue to work it until it resembles a smooth concrete finish.
Continue on to the next frame, following the above steps. Cure your poor man's concrete over the next several days by misting it several times daily.