Create a unique, rustic wooden garden path for your garden or yard in a quick afternoon, with a clever frame that won’t easily rot!
Since I removed all my flowerbeds out of the backyard, that area is so easy to keep up! But my front yard is quite another thing…
Most of the area by the front door is surrounded in flower beds… which makes for very pretty focal points! And more effort to maintain, it’s certainly worthwhile!
It’s in this area I like to add a little extra low maintenance garden design with walkway ideas. Little garden path ideas that weave through flower beds really make you feel like you’re entering whole new destinations, don’t you agree?
Previous garden path
And I’m certainly no stranger to adding a quaint wood walkway. I find it a fun challenge to come up with a unique and easy way to create wood walkways that don’t break the bank using specialty deck boards, composite decking, fancy brick-laid path ideas or a layout that’s complicated.
Wood from pallets or simple reclaimed wood planks do the trick for me offering a ton of versatility through how I wanted the garden walkway to look like. They also really enhance patios and garden shed areas as well like I did with THIS PALLET WALKWAY by my garden shed.
Other unique and easy garden path ideas to make:
The above garden path lasted for a GOOD long time, despite me not protecting the wood with anything!
But once the wood eventually broke down, I threw a few cement walking stones in its place until I could come up with some other unique garden pathway once again.
And of course, over time, things got messy…
The current situation!
Welcome to reality. LOL
The spring flowers happily pushed their way up in between the concrete stepping stones any which way they could. And weeds that compete for space. It was time to tap into the landscape designer in me and create a fresh and new garden walkway!
Bringing out some reclaimed wood planks from my very substantial stash, I dry-fit boards over top of the mess until I came up with an idea I love even more than the last garden walkway!
My goodness… the new walkway design is SO easy to make and is much better protected from the elements too thanks to the unique way the top planks are placed! This new look made quite an impact for the front garden that was not only beautiful, but so useful too!
Desire a new, beautiful garden path that’s easy to make in a quick afternoon with any reclaimed wood you may have? Here’s how!
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DIY a beautiful and easy reclaimed wood garden path that won’t rot!
Supplies I used:
2 long treated support boards cut to fit – mine measured 2″ x 4″ cut at 6′ long
Stencils from Funky Junk’s Old Sign Stencils:
- Locally Grown Herbs
- Garden Shop
- Wild Flower Seeds
- Shipping Crate Stamps
- Welcome to my Garden (for Tours Until Dusk)
Cordless drill and screws
Outdoor durable paint – I used Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash (get 10% off HERE)
Optional: some kind of ground cover path materials such as landscape fabric under mulch, pebbles, pea gravel etc.
Preparing the area
1. Clear out the garden beds you wish to place your garden walkway, then lower the depth of the sod.
The soil was scooped out to lower the level of the pathway, so once the wood was in position, the garden path would be level with the attached driveway and lawn.
This also makes for easier lawn mower positioning.
2. Add a weed barrier of some kind if desired.
To keep the weeds down, one could add some landscaping fabric first, then cover with some kind of cover such as mulch, pebbles, pea gravel, etc. These materials may also further protect the wood you will put down first.
I personally chose to leave under the walkway soil for ease of weeding.
Dry-fitting the reclaimed wood boards
3. Dry-fit two long baseboards to the length of your walkway.
The best material for this would be treated wood planks.
4. Cut random planks to the desired width of your walkway, sanding them well so they are safe for bare feet.
5. Rotate boards and positions to style your walkway as desired.
This part of designing your walkway is a little like playing with blocks. Simply place the support boards into position, then decide if you’d like your pathway to have straight lines or curves.
Two support boards – 2″ x 4″ cut at 6′ long
Cedar fence planks for top – cut to 6 deep” x 20″ long
Garden pathway shapes to try:
- place down all the same looking boards
- use random boards in different tones
- zig zag the boards
- line up the boards different from each other like THIS PATHWAY
How to curve a garden path:
Since my own path was to be slightly curved, this took a little fiddling to get it right, but it turned out awesome!
- Position support boards on a slight angle and wide apart, close to your adjoining sidewalks or driveway.
- Lay walkway boards on top, having them touch on the inner sides, and slightly spaced out on the outer sides to create a gentle curve.
- Double check that the support boards don’t show, while still offering maximum support, so the walkway doesn’t tip if you step on a plank edge.
Painting the support planks
6. Cut support boards to fit, then paint or weather-treat if desired.
I used reclaimed treated fence posts, and set them direct on the soil.
However, as previously mentioned, you could also place landscape fabric underneath if desired topped with other landscaping ground cover such as mulch or pebbles.
However, I do find the wooden garden path easy to tip to weed as-is.
I ended up painting the tops in Fusion’s Ash so they’d visually disappear once the top planks were in position. It looked way better!
Weather protection ideas:
- use treated wood
- garden fabric
- treat the boards first
Designing the wood planks
7. Design / decorate the top planks as desired.
I ended up painting random top planks in Fusion’s Ash.
Stenciling the planks with garden stencils
Then garden inspiration vibes hit, so some planks were stenciled with some garden stencil designs as if the pathway was made from garden crates! Fun!
The designs were stenciled in Fusion’s Ash.
At the time, I chose not to topcoat to further protect the stenciled designs, but I would suggest to do so as future pressure washing removed most of the lettering on these.
How to stencil with flawless results
- Position stencil into place with masking tape.
- Load stencil brush with paint, then remove most paint onto a rag to create a dry-to-the-touch stencil brush.
- Tap paint through the stencil to achieve the desired effect.
Learn more about how to stencil from THIS POST.
View a short video near the bottom of this post so you can see how the pathway was stenciled and built.
Attaching the stenciled planks
8. To prepare for heavy foot traffic, position the stepping planks on top of support boards where desired, then attach with screws from the top, using outdoor deck screws.
Because the walkway was curved, the right side of the boards touch while the left side of the boards are slightly spaced.
And as you can see here, the black support boards practically disappear! All you see is a pretty walkway along the mulch path. Perfect!
So are you even ready to see how cute this turned out?!
The finished garden path!
All ready for pedestrians! How fun, right?!
This garden-themed reclaimed wood walkway is rustic, easy to make, totally customizable and it works awesome! I love all the textures the rustic wood gives with the different plank treatments!
And it’s built to last for an outdoor space, thanks to the top planks sitting on top of support planks! I found this design the best choice that lasts much longer than the previous designs.
Where to find garden stencils
I personally love theming the wooden pathway with garden stencils, however you could design your timber walkway any way you wish!
Stencil design tips:
- use random stencil placements
- rotate the stencils in different directions
- stencil bits and pieces of whole stencils to create custom stencil designs
No need to worry if the entire stencil doesn’t fit on a step plank. A trick I use is to simply use bits and pieces of the stencils to achieve the perfect fit, which ultimately further customizes your projects anyway!
Try different stencil positions. Moving 10 LB off to the side made this look like more of a random stamped crate. Just what I wanted anyway!
Locally Grown Herbs was teamed up with part of Shipping Crate Stamps for a random crate stamped look.
I like to angle some stencil images and even run off the edges of projects when attempting a random stamped look.
Easy to customize for any garden space size
Aside from looking totally adorable, I think the best thing about this garden-themed reclaimed wood walkway is the fact that you can so easily customize the size desired to suit either large or small gardens.
I just love how charming this easy DIY project turned out, and really adds a touch of rustic appeal to the garden, don’t you think?
The reclaimed wood sure adds warmth to surrounding concrete walkways.
As for how it fits in with the rest of my front yard?
Nestled amongst all the shrubs, ferns, ground covers, flowers, ornamental grasses and other greenery, I’d say it fits like a well designed glove! It’s beautiful!
It also provides a great focal point from the bench to truly enjoy it!
Video – How to create a garden path from reclaimed wood
Click above to watch a short video to share some of the walkway steps!
Other garden pathways made of brick, pavers, natural stone or gravel paths, wood chips, mosaics, sand or other loose materials are all great ideas too.
However if you’d like a DIY project that’s something a little different that’s also super cost effective, I personally think this reclaimed wood garden pathway is one to make! It’s my personal favorite one to date.
Think you’ll give this idea a go?
DIY a beautiful and easy reclaimed wood garden path that won't rot!
- Clean out and level the area you wish to place your garden walkway.
- Position two long treated posts or planks (for left and right sides) along entire length of your walkway. Paint in black so they disappear. (option: place landscape fabric underneath to keep the weeds down if desired)
- Cut smaller walking planks to the width of path desired and assemble to support boards with screws from the top. Stagger the colors of the boards if they differ.
- Paint the boards where desired.
- Stencil images on the boards in random places.
- Treat the tops of the boards with a weather protectant in a non-slip variety if desired. I didn't treat mine with anything.
Other beautiful garden path ideas to make
from reclaimed wood:
Other garden project hits:
Visit many other garden-themed projects HERE
Check out all other stencil projects HERE
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