Introduction: Custom Spiral Stone Brick Patio

About: Neo-Renaissance Man
Ok This is how i made this10 foot by ten foot patio in my backyard. i made the bricks myself in a custom spiral pattern
i made this last summer and the hard drive in my computer died and my backup didnt have any of the pictures i took of this BUT luckily i just found some on a SD card.
  So i dont have any pictures of how i made the bricks so im going to describe it as best as i can to and there are full picture steps for how i put those bricks into place.

Step 1: Step One: What You Need

Here's a good way to determine how much you will need buy a imagine how many 80 lbs bag of concrete could fit into that space and buy that many.
  It took twelve  80 pound bags of finishing concrete  for the bricks
and another ten 80 pound bags of contractors concrete
then another ten 40 pound bags of mortar, plus the mortar mixing solution.
if you can buy it mixed or a mixing machine do it this was soo much work to mix by hand, and buy hand i mean a mixing drill.
alot of small rocks , i started out collecting them from a creek on my property, those small white stones, im not sure what there called. but then at lowes i found you can buy them in 6 pound bags. (saving me about 3 months of gathering rocks)
it took about 6 of these bags for the bricks.
  then your going to need, boards, concrete tools, some plywood, a bunch of cardboard industrial stapler. Nails and a hammer
spray paint, a tamper gravel shovels  a steel rake and other digging tools, mason sponges
check out my other instructable for the concrete smoothing rake i made for this project.

Step 2: Step Two: Making the Mold for the Bricks

ok i lost the pictures for this but this is how i measured the space.
i took some boards and made a box the size of the square where the patio is going to be. Then i set out the boards and nailed them together, into a box frame. these boards are about 10 feet long and a inch thick, and about 6 inches wide.
   Then i got some large plywood boards laying them out on the floor of my garage.
 Then moving the nailed together box frame into the garage onto the plywood. And nailed the box frame to the plywood.
So you got a about ten foot square box with a plywood bottom.
  Now that you have the frame you have to make the pattern of the bricks. I wanted a large spiral. So i took a can of spray paint and made a single line downward spiral spacing the lines about 6 inches apart.
     Now that you have your spiral line painted,  take your nails and pound them into the plywood about 4-6 inches apart.
Ok now you got a wood frame square, nailed to plywood with a spiral spray painted onto the bottom and dotted with nails in the shape of a large spiral.
   The Next step you have to take all your cardboard and cut it into long strips, about 4 inches wide.
Take your cardboard strips, and roll them up, this will soften the cardboard and make the spiral shape more smooth.
Now take two of your rolled cardboard strips, and staple them together on either sides of the line of nails you drove into the plywood.
  Once your finished with the spiral cardboard walls, Start making the individual bricks, by making little "brace" or horizontal walls.
 I made the size fo the bricks in the center smaller and as the spiral goes outward the bricks get larger. so spacing the horizontal walls further and further apart as the spiral gets larger.

 SO now that thats done took me about a 2 weeks at this point, you should have what looks like a rat maze or a nautilus shell split in half.

   This will be the mold for yoru spiral bricks.

Step 3: Step Three: Making the Bricks

 Ok now you need your small rocks,
i started out trying to gather all the rocks from a creek, but then found i could buy them at a store so this saved me some months of gathering, but i did find a lot and there where of larger sizes then the store bought ones, so i tried starting out sorting them so that the smallest rocks where in the center and the larger where on the our side of the spiral but this became a just crazy after a week so i just poured the rocks into the bottom of the mold.
   Here's the tricky part.
Your going to spread the rocks out on the bottom of your mold in ONE LAYER! at first just pour the rocks in as evenly as you can in the brick mold.
  Then how i did this was spend hours and hours patting down the rocks into a solid one layer of small stones, this is not as easy as it sounds. It took me week.
  You just keep patting and patting and moving your hand around smoothing them out then patting them down.
  But finally what i ended up with is your cardboard and wood spiral brick mold, and on the bottom is a single layer of stones covering the entire bottom the mold.
 Now the layer of stones will become the top of your bricks, JUST ADD CONCRETE.
pour the concrete in each brick starting with the center and working your way out to the edges. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A THICK LAYER BEFORE SMOOTHING IT OUT!! THE CONCRETE STICKS TO THE STONES AND IF ITS NOT THICK WILL YOU START TO SMOOTH IT!  if your our it in thin and touch it the stones will be picked up by the concrete and create pockets or just ruin it.
so pour it in think about at least a inch, i made these about 2 - 3 inches thick.  a inch is thick enough for this project.
Now once that the concrete is poured and hardened at least a day or two. It time to dig a big square hole!.

Step 4: Step Four: Digging a Hole

 Ok your half way there! :)
Now while your bricks are hardening time to dig a big square hole.
 there where some large flat stone where i planned the patio, so i pulled them up with a pry bar and used them as stepping stones for the porch.
   And started digging i dug it down about two inches, then got my tamper and started to tamp it down then got a steel rake and raked up any of the lose stuff, then pounding it flat.
  I did this over and over until i had as flat and as solid as a surface i could get from dirt.
 Then i got some bucks of tiny gravel then pounded that flat with the tamper and raked that out until that was as smooth and as solid as i could get.
once thats done its time to pour the slab your going to set your bricks into. 

Step 5: Step Five: Pouring the Slab

 ok now your got your bricks hardening, and your square hole is tamp down with small gravel and tamped down as flat as you can pound it.
 Now start mixing your concrete and start pouring i poured out about a half inch and smoothed it out with my makeshift leveling rake 9that worked pretty good)

Step 6: Step Six: Setting the Bricks

 Ok the bricks are hard, and your slab is hard . Its time to lay the bricks. (about 6 of the bricks broke while moving them, but they broke in half so it worked out)
First break apart the wooded sides of the mold and take the bricks out and lay them where they go onto the slab starting form the out side working in.  Once the bricks are set out onto the slab, in the right order.  Its time to set the bricks onto the slab.
Ok i started in the corner where the house meet the brick wall.
  Do this one brick at a time, so mix some concrete, move the brick out of the way spread out your concrete, set your brick level it, and just keep doing that making sure to level it at every angle with every other brick, once there set that it. Or get a sledgehammer to fix it.
  If you get concrete on any of the bricks use the sponge to get it off asap, and completely off or you will end up with discolored bricks, and a bad looking patio.
and make sure when your doing this its into going to rain, a corner sunk a little because of a down pour when i was almost done.
Instructables Green Design Contest

Participated in the
Instructables Green Design Contest

Epilog Challenge V

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge V