To assist in your stacking, sort the stone by size; setting aside the smallest pieces to use as shims (these will help level unsteady larger stones). Prepare for this activity by stretching well and always lift using your arms and legs, not your back Shims (shown far right), or smaller stones, help level unsteady larger pieces.
Map out the design by digging a trench about 6" deep and as wide as your largest stone.
Pack down and level earth. Cut filter fabric at least 3 feet wider than the trench. Lay down filter fabric inside trench so that excess is on the backside of trench. Filter fabric keeps dirt from migrating while allowing water to drain through your wall.
Place a thin layer of crushed stone (1"-2") in the trench to help level stones and assist drainage.
Start with the largest stones first. Lay them flat from one end of the trench to the other. Continue to stack stones, working back and forth, one level at a time.
As you stack your wall, make sure that it slopes back slightly to ensure stability. Position stone tightly together, mixing small and large pieces. Stagger joints between stones to create more stability.
As you build up, fill in the area behind the wall with crushed stone, and then fill dirt, compacting as you go. Keep your filter fabric between the fill and stonewall.
When wall is stacked to desired height, fold the filter fabric back over the fill dirt area and finish with your choice of top soil, mulch, gravel, etc. Run water to settle dirt behind the wall and into its service.