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DIY Hand Painted Stepping Stones

DIY Garden Crafts | Spring Crafts | Summer

Learn how to paint beautiful stepping stones using outdoor acrylic paint. The vibrant colors will brighten up your garden! 

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Hand painted stepping stones.

Hello Crafty Friends! This time of year I love creating crafts for our garden and today I’m excited to share these sweet stepping stones with you. Last week I finished up five new stepping stones and added them to a new area of our garden. They are so bright and colorful and they really pop outside. 

This new area of our garden had been overrun with prickly, icky weeds and was in desperate need of some TLC. We transplanted hostas and Pulmonaria (lungwart) and I added this cute stepping stone path. The path is so cute and creating each stone was a really fun project.

Painted stepping stones leading up a dirt path with lungwart along the sides.

How to Make Garden Stepping Stones

Supplies Needed:

Inspiration for the Stepping Stones

The first step to creating your own stepping stones is figuring out what you’d like to paint on them. Here are some tips to consider!

  • Look to books and nature for inspiration.
  • Consider the landscape where the stones will be placed. My midwestern garden will have a different vibe than a coastal home or southwestern garden.
  • Consider who your stones are for – a playful children’s garden or maybe a quiet sanctuary. Design the stones to fit the atmosphere you are trying to create.
  • If you are creating your own designs, you may want to sketch them out on paper first.

The inspiration for my stepping stones came from my children’s garden-themed books by Usborne. They are some of our absolute favorites and have beautiful illustrations. I wanted our stones to be cheerful, bright, colorful and playful since this path leads to an area my kids play.

Three children's books on gardening.

I chose to make stepping stones featuring a bird, butterfly, bee, snail and toad – all things you can find in our yard!

How to Paint the Stepping Stones

Start by sketching a quick outline of your design onto the stepping stone using pencil. Use outdoor acrylic paint to paint your stones. You will need several coats of paint to get good coverage. Be sure to saturate your brush and get the paint into all the nooks and crannies on your stones. 

Bird painted on the top of a stepping stone with outdoor paint.

To add a little extra dimension to my stepping stones, I added a deeper shade of the background color to the edges of the stone. It’s an easy step that adds a lot of interest to the stones!

Bird stepping stone sitting on a desk next to paintbrushes and paint.

I decided not to paint the sides of my stepping stones to save on paint. I knew the sides would not be visible once set into our path. If the sides of your stones will be visible, be sure to paint them. 

Stepping stone painted blue with a bird and vine on the top.

Below you can see the five stones I made ready to be set into our path. 

Colorful hand painted stepping stones lay outside on a patio.

Creating a Path with your Stepping Stones

I let the paint cure on my stepping stones for at least 72 hours, as the directions suggested, before putting my stones outside. The bottles of paint say they are self-sealing so I didn’t apply anything on top of the paint design. I was a little nervous, but so far the paint hasn’t faded.

Below you can see the stones added to our garden. The colors are so rich. Unfortunately my pictures of the stones in our garden don’t really do them justice. I surrounded the stones with pine needles to keep the path from getting too muddy after rain.

A path of colorful stepping stones surrounded by lungwart and hosta plants.

How the Painted Stones are Holding Up

I like to post updates on how my outdoor projects are fairing! These stones are in a somewhat sheltered area of our yard under trees but I have left them outside throughout the year. So they have been through some big midwestern winters.

>>1 year update: I left the stones outside for the entire winter and the colors have not faded at all! I am actually a bit shocked but very happy!

>>3 year update: The paint has faded a little bit after their third winter outside. They still are colorful and pop in our wood chip path but are less vibrant than when I first put them out. 

More DIY Garden Crafts

View more outdoor garden crafts under my Garden Crafts Section on my blog!


Happy Crafting! -Kim

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