A garden flowers with a gardener's artistic impressions of color and design. The glorious intricate designs that shape each flower as a whole work together to create a unique portrait of a gardener's vision. Mosaic designs create their beauty based on the same principle. If cookie-cutter gardens aren't your style, and you appreciate the complexity and cohesiveness of mosaic design, mosaic stepping stones will give your garden the stylish flair you're looking for.

Creating mosaic artwork can quickly become an addicting hobby, and you might find yourself searching for objects that have just the right color, shape or texture. Many mosaic artists develop a passion for collecting only certain colors or patterns but use those colors and patterns to create incredible new designs. If you're ready to make your first mosaic stone, start breaking plates and collecting broken pieces that pique your interest.

You will often see china used as a mosaic material, but that's not the only material that mosaic stepping stones can be created with. Glass pieces, ceramic tiles, marble, broken shells, small rocks, mirror pieces, and a host of other materials can be used to create stunning designs and color palettes.

Once you get a collection of broken items together, you might need to break things up a little more. If you still have half pieces of plates and quarter pieces of pitchers, you can easily break them up into manageable pieces for a mosaic stepping stone. Just put them in a box, cover the box with a cloth, and use a hammer to fraction up the pieces.

Before you start preparing your stepping stones, lay out some patterns ahead of time. This way you don't have to worry about the mortar drying, and you can change your mind as many times as you want.

To make your mosaic stepping stone, start with a concrete stepping stone. This will act as your canvas. Take your “canvas” and dunk it in water, making sure that every part is wet.

The glue that holds the mosaic material to the stone is mortar. Mix up the mortar using the ratios listed on the package until it turns into a peanut-butter like consistency. Then spread it onto the concrete slab until it's between 1/4” and 1/2” thick. Use a notched trowel or similar tool.

Now you can gently press your mosaic design onto the stone. You might need to add a little mortar here and there because of uneven pieces. Don't put the pieces perfectly close to each other, because you'll need to add a little grout once everything is positioned in place. Once all of your mosaic pieces are in place, wipe off any messy mortar that doesn't belong and leave the stone alone for at least twelve hours.

Once the mortar is dry, you can spread on the grout. As much as it might pain you to do so, put a large hunk of grout onto your mosaic design. Spread the grout over the stone and press it into the crevices that exist between mosaic pieces. When you see the grout stiffening up, wipe it off using a wet sponge, but make sure it stays tight in the crevices. Make sure you grout the sides of the stone as well. You want all sharp edges covered up, and it should look like one cohesive design.

Don't step on the stone or put pressure on it for at least a day or two. Then you can rub a soft cloth on it to buff it up like you would a car. Be forewarned though, the stones will get slippery when it rains. Surrounding the stones with gravel will provide some sure footing when needed.

It's fairly easy to create a trail of mosaic stepping stones, but they do require an artistic bent and attention to detail. If you love how the intricate designs of nature come together to form a blanket of beauty, you'll love the beauty of mosaic stepping stones. Start collecting those miscellaneous broken pieces of glass and china and let the delicate patterns of your mosaic decorate the natural beauty of your garden design.