We are currently in the process of installing a 15 X 20 foot patio off the deck in our backyard. We are using stones we purchased on sale at the hardware store, but I admit I have a soft spot in my heart for the patio we built by hand using concrete and paver stone molds. I originally posted about using plastic stone molds back in 2005 and then again in 2007 I believe. However, it's been a long time so when I checked back on one of my old posts, I noted all the links I provide 6 or 7 years ago had expired.
This morning I added updated links to the old post and decided it was a good time to repost the idea for anyone wondering what a patio made out of 'faux stones' looks like. I use that term loosely as they are real stones of course, after you've poured and tinted the concrete and let them dry! I loved this patio and smiled every time I sat outside enjoying it as I knew we had built it completely on our own and for under $100.
Here is one of the reposts from 2007 - links at the bottom of the post
We moved into a home that was new construction. Although we had a deck in the backyard, that was all we had. A deck with stairs that just went to the grass. I pictured a small cement area at the base. The problem is that we almost no funds to work with. If I could do an entire patio for about $50-100 we could talk, but otherwise? It just wasn't happening.
Walking through the hardware store one day I saw a plastic mold that you use to make your own patio bricks with out of cement. Knowing bags of cement were cheap, my brain started to kick into gear the next thing my poor husband knew, I was determined to build us a patio.
The investment was a, bags of cement, a bag of sand, and just because I wanted to, I also bought Liquid Cement Color to tint the bricks to give a nice varied look to the finished patio.
The work involved was to remove the grass in a square area as large as we wanted our patio to be, smooth it out with a rake to a flat surface, mix the cement in a large plastic container, and then pour the wet cement into the plastic brick molds. After letting it set for about 10 seconds I would lift the mold and there was my newly made patio brick! They were hard within 24 hours and cured within 48. We spread play sand over the entire patio and using a large broom, swept it into the cracks between the bricks.
Our patio is now in it's 3rd summer under the hot sun, the rain, the long Midwestern winters with bitter cold temperatures and piles of snow, but it's still as fabulous as ever and it's an investment I'm happy we made!
Links to Amazon for stone molds:
Pathmate Concrete Stepping Stone Mold, Random
Quikrete 6921-34 Walk Maker
Quikrete 6921-32 Walk Maker