This garden walkway made from an old pallet is one of my most-pinned, and I've been meaning to make something similar since I pinned it -- that IS the point of Pinterest, right? That and the eye candy. So anyway, when the Pinterest Challenge from Young House Love and Bower Power came up this time around, I decided that I finally needed to DO THIS ALREADY. The original project,was from Funky Junk Interiors, though the link in my Pinterest photo was from DIY Home Improvement.
Now, my Charles and I both work in grocery, so pallets abound. However, the wood of those pallets is questionable at best -- beat-up, old pine boards that are rather thin and sad. Funky Junk's pallet boards were remarkably thick and hardy-looking. I was impressed.
Instead of pallets, I decided to use the last of the salvaged wood from our old front steps. Though most of the wood was rotted, I didn't have the heart to throw out anything that could be reused. It was old growth redwood for Pete's sake! Since this wood had been hanging out in the elements since 1977, I knew that it could stand to become a walkway.
The first thing I did was to measure the width of one of the cement stairs. I figured that having the same width for the walk would create a nice continuity. Bonus, the stair was exactly two feet across, so easy peasy math for me!*
I used our miter saw to create nice, straight cuts.
Then I removed the stone walkway I had made last year. It was just a placeholder, as I always had the intention of recreating my pinned image. Thank you, Sherry, Katie, Emily, and Renee for actually giving me the inspiration to get it done.
With the rocks removed, it was time to take my flat shovel and create a nice, even surface for the boards to go. I retained a couple of the purdiest rocks to use at the end of my boardwalk as a kind-of "this is where the walk ends and the plain ground begins" visual indication. I then did a rough layout of the walk, just to see how far it would go and to give me an idea of how I wanted the walk to curve and meander. Spy that white rock at the end of the dirt path in that middle image? That's how far the boards would go, so I knew I didn't have to dig any further than that. Once I figured out the layout, I chopped into the sides of the slope to get my curves.
*A note on safety -- always wear your safety glasses when using power tools. And remember, no one said that safety couldn't be stylish. Flaunt those safety glasses, knowing that those gorgeous eyes of yours are being protected.
Next up was the technical stuff, i.e. getting the soil compacted and level so the garden path would be a pleasure to wander upon instead of an aggravation. No one enjoys having boards pop up when they're gazing at flowers. Just say no to shoddy craftsmanship! My walk had a slightly upward slope, so after getting the first few planks nice and level, I worked with a slight angle until the walkway was complete.
Like the tortoise I was, laying everything out slow and steady, board by board, testing each piece and making sure it was good and solid before progressing to the next. Though methodical, it wasn't arduous, and I was finished within a couple of hours. Isn't it just the most adorable little thing? I'm quite in love with the way it came out.
If you squint, you may be able to make out the narrower pieces that I placed after three of the regular sized boards. I had just enough narrow planks salvaged to go three-one-three-one until I got to nineteen reclaimed once-were-stairs.
I've walked up and down the garden path a ton of times already, glorying in the even surface and enjoying how luck allowed the boards to end right at the bench. It's also been through a thunderstorm and a moisture-filled spring storm, and it's holding up like a champ. I love how it draws the eye down into my garden when you're descending the stairs to the house. The walkway gives our woodsy lot one more feeling of intention, and it's a lovely place to stand and gaze at our colorful display of blooms.
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