Mickey Mouse Walkway and Garden
Although this may be a bit detailed, it is my intention to provide enough information to hopefully help others avoid some of the learning curve difficulties I encountered with our colored concrete pavers patio project.
Cement Mixer for larger projects
Access to table saw will make project much easier
2 Sheets 3/8 x 12 x 10 Masonite
Crushed Concrete or Crushed Gravel for Base. (I have found the crushed concrete to be much less expensive and packs better)
Ready Mix Concrete or:
Mason Sand (Mason sand provides a much smoother finish than coarse sand)
Sand / Topping Mix
Direct Colors Concrete Pigment : I used 1115 (Red), 230 (Black), 649 (Brown) and 543 (Orange)
Direct Colors Sprayable Satin Finish Sealer
3 – 3/8 x 4 rebar
Concrete Recipe: I use the traditional concrete recipe of 3:2:1 by volume. That is:
3 Parts of masonry sand.
2 Parts of pea gravel
1 Part Portland Cement
The first and most critical step in creating any project is planning. Things like the grade of the property and determining if the walkway will be used solely for foot traffic, occasional crossing with vehicles or continuous vehicle traffic must be considered. In my project we had areas for foot traffic and other areas I would have to drive across on occasion.
Living on somewhat of an incline, we choose to level off the area where the Mickey Garden would be and create steps going down to the bayou to avoid any steep inclines where someone may slip on the wet concrete.
Planning and Layout
For the circle we decided on a 25’ main circle for Mickeys head and two 14’ circles for the ears. Here is what we did:
Ok, the easy stuff is done. Time to start digging.
If you are going to edge your project with a brick edger like I did, it does create a lot more work but in my opinion is well worth the effort. So I am going the start with that.
Due to the size of the bricks, if they were to be poured as individual pieces they would eventually fall away from your project of just sink. The following instructions will allow you to pour what appears to be individual bricks while creating a much larger and thicker curb. I use the same method whether I am going to drive across it or just walk on it.
There, that wasn’t so hard was it. Now we just have to wait a little while and we can remove our forms. Depending on weather conditions this usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour. I remove my forms while the concrete is still relatively wet to allow me to dress the edges. Whether you want the rough rounded rustic look like I did or a sharper cleaner edge remember; Sharp concerns on concrete chip very easily and they usually chip very deep. So you must either round them, brush them or strike them before they harden.
To determine if the forms can be removed, using my finger, I lightly press on the surface. If it leaves a small impression and is not wet, I begin removing forms. Remember the concrete is still wet and easily damaged.
Dressing the Edges of Your Brick
As described earlier there are numerous ways to dress the edge of concrete and regardless of the appearance you chose it must be dressed to prevent chipping. I wanted the natural rustic look so I brushed mine.
I brought that up to remind you your freshly poured bricks are very soft and will remain that way for about 24 hours. They will not be ready for foot traffic for at least 4 days depending on your concrete mix.
Walkways and Paths
Here I will not go into as much detail since most of the processes are the same as brick. Like I said the brick is the most difficult and once you have mastered that the rest is a piece of cake.
The biggest difference is the lack of the need for a deep footer and continuous pour.
Stepping Stone Walkway
Having decided to create a very large concrete walkway and garden project, my biggest fear was creating the appearance of a “Sea Of Concrete”. That’s when I decided to incorporate bricks, stepping stones and flagstones.
The larger circle, Mickey’s head was done using premade forms I purchased on line. To create the head: If you did not pour the brick edge you will need to follow the layout and planning steps in the beginning of this article steps
Creative, One of a Kind Flagstones
Probably the most rewarding is creating your own flagstone. You are only limited by your imagination.
In my project I didn’t want it to look like cookie cutter stones so here is what I did.
OK, you’re done right? Wrong!!!
Now you have to protect you efforts. Do this by first sealing your concrete.
The final thing you will probably want to do is grout your walkway. The grout not only prevents weeds from coming up through the gaps it also locks all of your stones in place. This can be very important especially on smaller stepping stones.
The process I used is simple.
Ok, now you can go for a walk on your new pathway!