This is an easy and fun way to make your very own pavers!
- A tray/mold to make your pavers. Plastic is better
- Medium to large sized colorful landscaping rocks/stones
- Quikrete or mortar
- Cement mixing tub and pointed trowel
- Garden hose with shower attachment
Step 1: The Gardening Trays!
I found these badboys at my local gardening center and they work perfectly! Use a tray deep enough to be 25% rocks and 75% mortar. Plastic trays work the best, because the mortar won't stick to them. You won't need to coat or grease up a plastic tray. I have used the same trays for years! When deciding on a tray keep in mind it's just a form to keep the shape of the paver until it is dry enough to remove.
A silicone tray might work too just as long as it can take the weight inside without warping.
These pavers are made upside down. The rocks go in first followed by the mortar. The paver slides out like a big ice cube and the bottom becomes the top.
Step 2: The Designs!
The designs go in the bottom of the trays. Doing it this way gives you a flat paver and the mortar seeps into all of the little spaces around the rocks. It's also easier making a design!
It's better using medium to large sized rocks. Small rocks have a higher chance of coming loose from the paver.
Arrange the rocks in away that lets the mortar touch all of them. Don't stack the rocks.
Spray the rocks off gently to clean off dust and dirt before pouring on the mortar.
Step 3: Why Mortar?
I live in Japan and we don't have a large selection of ready to mix concrete and mortar available. What's the difference? Concrete is a mixture of water, cement, sand just like mortar. However concrete also has gravel and other coarse aggregates that makes it stronger and more durable.
I tested the concrete first and it didn't hold up in my drop tests. We don't have Quikrete in Japan, but I like it and recommend it.
Step 4: Smooth the Mortar!
Be careful not to move the rocks when you put on the mortar. It goes on easily and be sure to smooth the top with a pointed trowel or something similar.
This tray was a little too deep, so I didn't fill it to the top with mortar. Be sure you make this as smooth and level as possible, because it will be the bottom of your paver.
Step 5: The Finished Pavers!
I drop tested them and they hold up! If a rock does come out, glue it back with a landscaping adhesive.