Any tool or technique that makes landscaping more foolproof is a good thing, and Pathmate brand concrete molds fit the bill. The molds are sturdy and reusable, use premixed concrete and require just a trowel. Even if you use the molds for their intended purpose as pavers for making paths, stepping stones or patios, you can personalize the molds to make them distinctive. If you reposition the molds, you have even more potential uses.
While concrete mix comes in a variety of colors, you can also buy products to tint separate batches of concrete. If you do this, test some of the tint with the concrete first outside the mold before making the entire mold. For an interesting and varied approach, vary the colors within each section of the mold to create a random pattern of colors. Choose a similar color family, such as shades of browns and tan, or mix colors, such as grays and earth tones.
Adding texture to Pathmate molds can add drama, with large rocks embedded within each section of the mold, or subdued with a few small stones embedded here and there. Personalize the molds with colored sea glass, broken pieces of ceramic or marbles, either plain or glow-in-the-dark varieties. In all cases, add extra concrete mix or mortar around the edges of the embedded objects to keep the surface even.
Simple geometric designs, such as concentric circles outlining the outer edge of each stone, make your Pathmate molds distinctive. You can also hand draw designs or use stencil patterns, such as flower or leaf shapes, or write inspirational or fun words on each stone. Let the concrete become almost set before drawing or tracing into the concrete and simply trowel over your design if you make a mistake and need to redraw.
4. Enhancing Paths
Varying the placement of Pathmate molds personalizes your paths. Leave large spaces between each mold to create large stepping stones nestled into sand, bark or pebbles. Or leave a small gap between the molds and tuck small, ground cover plants in the spaces, softening the look of the path and integrating it with the plants on either side of the pavers.
5. More Projects
Pathmate intended the pavers to be made in place, at the spot where you want your path or patio to be. But if you make the pavers on a piece of heavy plastic, you can then use them anywhere in your yard. For decorative edging for flower beds, fill half of the mold to set on its edge in a shallow trench. Or, build garden stairs using the molded concrete as the tread above brick or stone risers.