How to Make Backyard Designs With Patio Slabs

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a design in your backyard with patio slabs is a simple, but labour-intensive project. If you are new to cutting and shaping patio slabs, design your backyard space with straight lines measuring evenly with the size of the patio slabs you chose. This will eliminate the need to size the slabs, making the overall project faster and easier.

Designate the area of your backyard where you plan to make a patio slab design. Create a simple square or rectangle or make an L design in one corner of your yard. Measure the length and width of the space. Patio slabs come in a variety of sizes, including 24x30, 20x20 and 16x16. You can also find 90-degree-angle curved slabs, for the outer edge of a simple curved design.

Lay out the patio slab design in your backyard with stakes and string. Take your measurements to your landscape supplier and they will tell you how many slabs you will need for the design you select.

Excavate the top layer of grass where your slabs will be placed. Edge the perimeter with the tip of your shovel, then scoop out the grass. Level the ground within your design about a quarter inch deeper than the depth you prefer for your slabs, removing any roots, rocks or other debris.

Make a 50/50 blend of concrete and course sand and layer it into the levelled area that you excavated. Add a quarter inch of this mixture to help support the patio slabs. Run the jagged edge of the trowel along the levelled sand before you lay the slabs. This will help the slabs fit better into the space.

Lay the slabs along one edge of your backyard design. Keep the slabs level as you go, removing some of the sand mixture if needed. Build out from the edge, one row at a time. Lay the slabs close together, but not touching. Completely fill in your patio design with slabs.

Sweep more of your concrete and course sand mixture into the seams between the slabs. This will only work if the area is completely dry. Moisture may cause the mix to set before you are ready.


Pack the concrete and sand mixture into the seams with your trowel for a uniform fit.


Remove all sand and concrete mixture from the face of the slabs before they get wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Patio slabs
  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes and string
  • Level
  • Concrete
  • Course sand
  • Broom
  • Trowel
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.