Pathway Materials

onewithnonameApril 21, 2012

Hi everyone~

I'm in need of an inexpensive pathway material. I want to put in a garden path around 2 sides of my house connecting one deck with the other but I simply can't afford to go out and buy the number of patio pavers/bricks I would need to do it and certainly can't afford that much cement. The only thing I can come up with is using 2 or 3-inch slabs of log cut from a fallen tree (of course, right now I don't have any downed trees in our woods). I was also thinking about using sections of slab wood cut in the same lengths and placed with the rounded side down exposing the wood side. But I wonder if anyone else has any other ideas for inexpensive (or free) items that I can use as pathway pavers. I'd be grateful if anyone can share their ideas with me.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
concretenprimroses(4B NH)

You could look for places that are being renovated and see if there is any likely materials they are throwing away. Here in NE there are always stones when a hole is dug, probably not so much in WI, but when people are doing reno they get rid of old materials. We got some flag stones that way.

I don't think wood would last long with your winters plus there is the splinter problem.

What if you made concrete stepping stones and then filled in with mulch? Or just had a narrow stepping stone path for now. Here are pics of a couple of stepping stones I made, using cheap cake pans from yard sales or discount stores as molds.

good luck and be sure to let us know what you do (with pics!)


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been using old carpet. Got if for free off craigslist. When people are ripping out carpet they often post for free on CL - since trash disposal costs are so expensive here in metro-Boston. Cut it into 3' wide strips and lay it down to make a path. I then get woodchips and line each sides with it. This is a path way out back down by the edge of the brook so isn't really visible.

When we had our stamped concrete patio installed, I had the installers save all the old slates. I've used those as stepping stone to make a path in the more visible gardens. Again, using wood chips to fill in between.

We had a huge pine tree fall a while back. I considered cutting the trunk into 2-3" slabs and using those as stepping stones. But I've had enough carpet and slates that I never got around to it. Instead we cut the trunk into toad stools for my daughters play area/whimsy garden.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marlene Kindred

I've actually seen pathways with the wood laid down, both crosscut pieces of a log and wood slabs. The people filled in with mulch and it looked very nice. Another option is to lay down newspaper and just cover with mulch. The only thing about the wood pieces is that they tend to get slippery when wet especially if they are in a shady area.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would say check craigslist in your area for free or cheap materials. People often get rid of excess stuff that way, especially if you go get it. I used a broken up concrete sidewalk to make a pathway for my outhouse.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've just been using driveway chip, as it is only $15/yard and I get 15-20yards delivered so only have one delivery cost($70) I plan to add a nice top dressing of crushed granite some day....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

I posted the thread below here on GJ a while ago. A friend called me and said the church near her house was taking the rocks off the building and hauling them to the dump. I drove over and they cheerfully dumped 3 huge loads to my driveway. Amount spent $0. (My friends also got tons of rocks.) It took awhile to get a lot of them put into action, but a path made from them is on the link below, along with some on my back yard floor.

There is free stuff everywhere. The first thing to do is to tell everyone you know that you need bricks, stones, gravel, stepping stones, broken cement or whatever for your path. You might be pleasantly surprised to find some on your porch one day. I found a load of flagstone in a dumpster. Some friends gave me old bricks and I also found a lot of them on the curb. Habitat Restores have a lot of construction materials cheap, and sometimes free. Craigslist is a great resource for cheap or free stuff. If you see someone tearing out paving materials, ask if they'll dump it at your house. They love to take it somewhere close since they have to haul it somewhere. If they're using a jackhammer and the pieces are to big for your liking, they'll likely be willing to break them smaller for you. There are old tools, barbell weights, and pieces of chain in my path. It's likely that you own something that can be used. There's a chance someone here lives near you and has some stuff to share. If you're near Los Angeles, email me and I'll give you some rocks.

The photos below are my friend, Edna's side yard. She drug bricks home for years and built her driveway out of them. These were leftovers. The small fence alongside the pathway is made from the guts of a curb shopped mattress.

The link to my path is below the photos.


Here is a link that might be useful: My Free Pathway

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 1:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX(8b)

Not sure what crusher run costs in your area but it generally is not terribly expensive. Clear and level the path well then lay the crusher run stone, compact it in, that's about it. You can edge it if you like. Some people put a barrier fabric down before the stone.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love Edna's randomly placed bricks and how she worked in the broken pieces. I am currently working on a large area beside my house and was trying to put the bricks in a "pattern" and because of the irregular borders that I have it is becoming difficult and I just got started! I also have lots of broken pieces that I couldn't really figure out how to use. THANKS for posting just what I needed!!! Thankgoodness I am not very far along and I can re-do what I have done so far.
Kathy.....your stepping stones look nice. Good idea to use as a fill-in if I run out of bricks. And Luvs....I'm still luvin' your out house and the path to it!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great ideas! The best thing is getting the word out there! So many things are just 'hauled to the dump'...lots of people post on Craigslist look in your area. I wouldn't recommend the wood logs cut...they don't last long enough...but I like a few for garden decor anyway. Good luck! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used wood slabss one year and they soon rotted and the slugs loved to hide under them. Good luck! Looks like you got some great ideas.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 3:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Glass Totems at Longwood Garden
I was amazed to see several glass totem bird baths...
Changing Landscape part TWO
The time has come. A new idea is a must come spring....
Flower Bed Bed Ideas
I was given two white plastic fence panels (similar...
xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska
A Birdhouse Trellis
Here is a birdhouse trellis I made this summer from...
Re purposing A Window
Hi, I just got all new windows for my house, and don't...
gabby811 6 NJ
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™