How to Create an Inexpensive Gravel Pathway
Gravel is an inexpensive material to use in your driveway or yard for a walkway. Follow these steps to create a low-maintenance gravel pathway using 1x4s and landscape fabric.
This easy DIY walkway was made even easier for me since I had everything but the 1x4s on hand already! But even if you have to purchase most of the materials, it’s relatively inexpensive. *Affiliate links are used below. I receive a small commission without increasing the cost for you.*
- landscape fabric*
- pressure-treated 1″x4″x10′*
- exterior screws*
- stepping stones*(similar)
- reciprocating saw*
The first step in any project is to lay it out, right? Since my somewhat-already-established walkway is bordered by a flower bed on one side and the small gate on another, I’m going to replicate those borders for the other 2 sides.
I used my edger to mark the long sides of my new gravel pathway before I began removing the sod and layer of dirt with a flat shovel. The 1x4s that will border the easy DIY walkway will need to be recessed a bit, so digging with an edger I already had on hand made it a bit easier!
My walkway will flow off our existing gravel driveway, so I’m removing a section of the 1×4 there to re-use on the opposite side under the gate. To do that, I measure off the garage to both sides of my gate opening. Then I transfer those measurements to the 1×4 at the driveway.
Using a reciprocating saw for this was an easy DIY. But a jigsaw or even a wood chisel would work too. Whatever you’ve got on hand will work!
Now that the walkway is laid out, we need a border to keep the gravel in place. This was my only expense for this project, (2) 10 foot 1x4s. I cut them to length for the long sides. Then I had a little leftover I was able to cut into stakes with 45 degree angles.
Put your 1x4s up on end in place, then drive the stakes against them into the ground. Hammer the stake below the 1×4 so the gravel will cover it up later.
Attach the stakes to the 1×4 border with 1-1/2″ or 1-5/8″ exterior coated screws. I had 3 stakes on the long ends and 1 stake on short border under the gate. It was also attached to the edge of the long ends to keep it upright and in the right place.
Make It Low-Maintenance
Something we did when we created our gravel driveway was add landscape fabric before adding the stones. It has stayed relatively low-maintenance over the past 8 years, so I’m not going to skip that step this time!
You can watch the full episode of my home’s exterior makeover here. The driveway is at the 10:25 mark.
Just use regular household scissors to cut it to length and lay it down in the walkway area.
I mentioned re-using the paver stepping stones earlier. This is where they come back into play. If you don’t already have some on hand, it might be a fun option to pick up a few. I love the variation and color they add to the gravel.
Space them evenly throughout the length of the walkway and center them too! Carefully placing them will also help keep the fabric in place for the final step!
What makes this an easy DIY walkway is that you don’t need heavy machinery or big tools. Just a shovel to scoop the gravel into place! Now I used gravel from the thicker parts of our driveway since this is a small area to fill and we didn’t even miss it!
But if you don’t have extra gravel around your yard, it comes in bags at the home improvement store. So just check out the chart on the bag and buy the number of bags you need to fill your area. Then slit the bags and pour into place! It doesn’t need to be very deep, so you won’t need as many rocks as you would think!
You could also use smooth rocks or pea gravel for a different look!
Be sure to check out my tutorial for building gates for our deck. You can use the same steps to create a regular ole gate like the one by our new gravel pathway.
Ahh! Much better!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
*This post contains affiliate links.*
Caryl Stillings says
When she laughs, I laugh ♥️🤣!
Jean Major says
This is what I thought of doing, but I didn’t know if rocks as small as gravel would work, now I see that it will work. Thank you
Chelsea Lipford Wolf says
Yep it’ll look great! ~Chelsea
Mike Robinson says
How long can you expect the landscape fabric to last before it rots and allows weeds/grass to start growing?
Chelsea Lipford Wolf says
We did not notice any rotting in our driveway where we had it for over 9 years before we moved. ~Chelsea
Mike Robinson says
Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve had a project I’ve been meaning to do for many years but the thought of the fabric wearing out in a few years and having grass or weeds grow up through it and the gravel put me off from doing it. I just threw pavers down and every few years, I have to dig them up because they slowly sink into the ground. Now the time has come that I have to redo my front porch and I’m changing the size of it and how you enter the porch so the original project is on hold. When done with the porch, I hope to do a concrete walkway. Thanks again.