Here’s how to create a simple and striking wooden walkway for your garden, just in time for spring! All you need is a little scrap wood!
I love creating price efficient projects in my garden that enhance the landscaping. And one of those projects happen to be garden paths.
The benefits of a garden path
- easy to build
- free if using scrap wood
- keeps your feet clean
- create meandering pathways for added charm
In particular, wooden walkways made from scrap wood. DIY wooden walkways are so easy to build, and are easily replaced to create new ones when the desire hits!
They also really enhance a flower bed as well, especially if you create a gentle curve, which appears to take you through a meandering garden. Not to mention how pathways keep your feet clean!
Sounds enchanting, doesn’t it?
If you’ve ever desired a meandering wooden walkway in your garden somewhere, you will love this easy tutorial!
Since this pallet wood garden path is so easy, you can make it in an afternoon with pretty much any scrap wood you may have on hand!
Here’s how I created mine…
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Make this easy wooden walkway
Supplies I used:
reclaimed wood or wood planks with thickness to it
pea gravel or mulch for underneath if desired
This little project began in July 2011, HERE.
Creating a pallet wood garden walkway came to mind one day.
The yard was getting a major revamp with the help of my wonderful neighbours. Since some overgrown shrubs were being pulled, and new soil hauled in, I desired a pathway…
…from the driveway to the lawn.
Let’s build a pallet wood garden walkway!
Preparing the area
1. Decide where you wish your garden pathway to go.
Because I decided to create easy access from the driveway into the front yard, the removal of some overgrown shrubs was first.
2. A nice flower bed edge was cut, then created so it had more curb appeal.
Video – how to edge flowerbeds
Visit above to view a short video on how to edge your flower beds like a pro!
Read the original post: How to edge flowerbeds like a pro HERE
Adding new soil for added cushion
3. With the removal of some shrubs and greenery, an empty space was created in the flower bed with plenty of space for a wood pallet garden walkway.
4. Some new garden topsoil was added to create a nice cushion for the planks.
Choose your planks
5. Collect reclaimed wood, then cut the wood slat length to the appropriate path width desired.
However the particular boards I found were thicker in depth, much like a 2×4. This created a great way for water moisture runoff and allowed part of the boards to embed in the sod for added stability.
You could also choose other boards such as weather-resistant hardwood planks, thinner pallet slats, or otherwise. Different lengths for boards could also be interesting!
However if using thinner boards, I suggest building your wooden walkway as per THIS GARDEN THEMED wood walkway design.
Starting the path
6. Using a shovel and garden rake, create a specific path (lower than your adjoining surfaces) for the boards to sit, ensuring once boards are placed, they are level with the attached driveway, sidewalk or grass.
This will help the pallet pathway to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
And this would be a good time to place weed control fabric, then mulch, pea gravel, or another weed deterrent before installing a DIY pallet path if desired for a more permanent solution.
I went right over the soil though and this walkway lasted YEARS.
Positioning the wooden slats
7. Leaving some soil cushion in the pathway, position each wood plank, then slightly wiggle them into place so they are slightly embedded into the soil to help hold their position.
The extra soil cushion really helps stabilize the boards.
And leaving a bit of a gap in between each board helps to slope rain water off the boards as well. Spacers of some kind could be used if you wish for perfect spacing. I did mine by eye.
8. Keep adding boards until you’ve completed your path.
Consider a slight curve, or stagger the lumber along the sides of the walkway so they aren’t perfectly smooth, whatever look you wish! There are unlimited ways you can design your walkway!
9. Push a little bit of soil in between the boards to help hold them in place.
10. Walk on the boards and perhaps pound them down a little with a mallet to ensure they don’t rock.
Add more soil to stabilize if required.
11. Leave the boards throughout the entire space loose so they can easily be lifted up for pulling weeds.
And they are easy to weed! Lift a couple boards up at a time, weed, then replace!
Adding flower bed accessories
Random rocks and rusty junk acting as garden art were then positioned around the wooden walkway, creating a rock garden effect.
Some perennial rock garden plants were added against the rocks so they’d return each year. Aren’t those flowers pretty?
From a crowded, overgrown flower bed before…
To this very pretty pallet walkway after! What a difference!
Questions / Answers:
Do you use treated wood?
The wood planks I used were not treated wood, however they did end up lasting for 3+ years before the wood started to show rot. But I don’t mind, I simply replaced the planks when it was due time.
HERE’s the newer garden themed wood walkway design, which includes a clever fix so the wood doesn’t rot as easily!
How should you protect the wood?
You can of course use an outdoor water protection product to further protect the wood against the weather elements or eventual rot. This will help keep the walkway more durable. However I choose to leave my wood as-is and just replace it with other free wood when the time came.
What about termites?
Since I don’t have serious bugs or a termite issue where I live, I wasn’t concerned. However if you do have termites, I’d suggest to keep this garden pathway located away from your home and to use treated wood.
Is the wood slippery when wet?
Because wet wood can be slippery, you could always add sand to your wood sealer if you choose to seal your garden path. I personally don’t have issues with the pathway being slippery as-is.
Do the boards stay in place?
They do! The pathway boards stay in place thanks to slightly embedding the thicker boards into the soil.
If you only have thinner boards, I suggest creating THIS GARDEN THEMED WALKWAY instead.
Should you put gravel down first?
I think placing this pallet walkway on top of the gravel is a good plan if you wish for the boards to last longer. I don’t mind the fact that these garden path planks will eventually rot. The plan is to replace them when needed.
Another thought is to stabilize the boards from underneath and embed those boards instead so the top boards don’t rot, much like you were building your own pallet. In fact, I may try that next!
Update: And I did! Check out THIS new walkway!
The little curvy pallet wood garden walkway was one of the easiest DIY projects I’ve done yet, and is the perfect solution for getting into the yard now. Such a simple project made such a big impact on the way we use our yard!
And I love that bench we plunked in the front yard. It entices lots of neighbourly conversation and is a really nice spot to sit with a coffee and watch the kiddos play. However this garden walkway would also suit a backyard so nicely! Or even located by the front door.
The good news is, you get to choose what parts of the yard you’d like your wooden walkway to go!
I’m so glad I gave this pallet wood garden walkway a new home! Just collect those in-expensive pallets or reclaimed wood to make one of your own!
Think you’ll try one too?!
Other garden projects you may enjoy:
Visit many more pallet projects HERE
Read more gardening tips and ideas HERE
Check out more garden junk projects HERE