Pavers with personality

Steppingstones can give character to a garden path. Here are two ways to make your own.

Embellished bricks. Designer-artist Kit Davey makes her own minipavers, decorating common bricks with found objects such as pebbles, bottle caps, tiles, dominoes, and sea glass. She creates a shallow form by wrapping the edge of each brick with thick gaffer's tape (available from a hardware store) so that it extends about 1 inch above the brick's top surface. Into this mold she puts a ¼-inch bed of mortar, in which she embeds the objects. Another application of mortar or grout creates a level surface. You can also glue the objects in place with a dab of structural adhesive, then grout around them.

 

Pavers from molds. These stones ― featuring detailed, bas-relief sculptures of irises, tulips, and calla lilies ― are cast of concrete in manufactured molds. A simpler mold is also available.

The molds produce 15- by 15- by 1½-inch pavers; one 60-pound bag of concrete will make two. For colored pavers, add powdered or liquid pigment to the concrete mix. The molds are available from the Florastone Collection ($19.95; 800/935-6722).

We tested the molds and have the following tips.

• Cover the mold interior with silicone spray to make removal of the paver easier.

• Create a slightly soupy concrete mix to get maximum detail from the mold.

• Use a paintbrush to coat the mold with a ½-inch-thick layer of cement before filling the rest of the mold body.

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