Drive your first stake into the ground in the area you would like to make the octagon. Tie a piece of string around this stake, and knot the string.
Pick how long you would like the sides of the octagon to be. Measure this distance from the first stake and insert another stake in the ground where that measurement ends.For instance, if you want the octagon to have six inch sides all the way around, measure six inches straight away from the first stake.
Run the string from the first stake to the second stake. Make sure the string is snug and tie the string to the stake firmly.
Place the base of your protractor on the first line you have made, with the middle mark where 90 degrees is on the second stake and measure 135 degrees. Mark 135 degrees in the ground, and make a line from the second stake to this mark.
Measure another side of the octagon in the direction of the 135 degree line. Put a stake in the ground there and run the string from the second stake to your new stake.
Follow steps four and five another five times. Then finish the octagon by simply bringing the string back to the first stake, and tying it to that stake.