Our patio using Quikrete Walk Maker Mold to form the patio pavers
I originally posted about using plastic stone molds back in 2005 and then again in 2007 (when no one had blogs and didn't take pictures of the steps involved... sorry) and because I was still getting emails about this post; posted again in 2013.
This morning I (in 2015) I got another email about it so I thought I would repost it again.
Here is a repost 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 bags of cement, a bag of play 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 to a good consistency that held form
- Pour the wet cement into the plastic brick molds until the mold was full
- Fill all the spaces, let it set about 10 more seconds, give it a little jiggle and lift.
The bricks should be perfect and stay in shape assuming your mixture isn't too wet and runny. Place the mold down again immediately next to the new bricks to continue the correct layout and spacing using the mold as your spacer.
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.
The different shades were made by adding a bit of color to the concrete in the large bin, making a paver stone or two in the mold, adding a bit more color to the wet mix, making another stone, and adding additional concrete tint to the batch until that batch was gone and starting with a fresh batch. You add a little color at a time to go from lighter paver stones to darker as you add a little more tint (and different shades of charcoal, brown and red) to the batch. By the time you are done your patio has various shades of paver stones all in the same shade family.
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!
Note: Here is what I used to color (tint) the different colors of the bricks;
QuikreteLiquid Cement Color, Red
Quikrete Liquid Cement Color, Brown
Quikrete Cement Color, Charcoal
I would mix up a large batch of concrete in the plastic bin; add some color to the mixing bin as we mixed the concrete. As we would fill 2 of the spaces in the mold, I would then add some more color to the concrete to get a darker hue or change the tint. Another stone or two and I'd add more. Using red, brown and charcoal I just continually added various amounts as we mixed and poured. When the mold is full of different shades of bricks, I'd wait about 10 seconds, give a jiggle and lift. Continue with a new big batch of concrete, adding the tint after one or two bricks. The end result was an array of colored bricks all in the same tones as I used the same 3 colors over and over different amounts. Some concrete was not colored at all and was left the natural gray.
Links to Amazon for stone molds (although I found mine at the local hardware store):
Pathmate Concrete Stepping Stone Mold, Random
Quikrete 6921-34 Walk Maker
Quikrete 6921-32 Walk Maker
Other shapes available:
LINK: I didn't have any instructions when I made our patio, I just 'wing it' when I do projects. But this morning I checked and Lowe's has a link on their site to instructions and products to build your own walkway. Here is the link to Lowe's for some basic instructions.