How to DIY a Stone Walkway for the Backyard
Backyard | Curb Appeal | Gardening & Landscaping | Outdoor Projects

How to Easily Make a Beautiful Stone Walkway

When we bought our first home, we loved the detached deck in the backyard. It was large, well-lit, easy to maintain, and looked like it was going to be great for entertaining guests.

However, as the years went by, we didn’t use it as much as we thought.

It turned out that being detached from the house was more of an inconvenience.

We had to walk through the grass to get to the deck, so when I got behind on the mowing, or after a rain shower, the deck wasn’t as appealing.

Then Eileen came up with the idea to build a stone walkway to the deck, so the deck could be easily accessed no matter the weather or condition of the grass.

So after some online research, we embarked on the stone walkway project.

How Build a Stone Walkway in Your YardHow to Build a Stone Walkway

First, here’s a picture of the yard before we got too far in. Eileen is hard at work with the shovel, and Zeus is supervising.

Digging the Ground to Make a Stone PathwayDigging the Trench

To build a stone walkway, our first step was to dig a 6-inch deep trench from the backdoor patio to the deck. I outlined the proposed stone walkway by pinning yarn in the ground.

Then, staying within the boundaries of the yarn, we dug out the trench.

This step went by pretty quickly. We used a standard round pointed digging shovel.

There were no large trees nearby, so there were no roots to deal with.

After the trench was dug, we switched to a square pointed shovel and worked along the edge to make a nice flush wall.

Then we used a 8 x 8 steel tamper to compact the dirt, making a solid and level surface for the rocks to follow.

Here’s a picture of the dug-out trench. We were on our way to building a stone path πŸ™‚

Building a Stone Pathway TutorialLaying the Stone Foundation

Next in building the stone pathway was laying down large crushed stone.

This layer of stone was to provide a sturdy foundation to support whatever weight got carried across the pathway.

Home Depot sold the stone in 0.5 cubic feet bags. In total, we used about 35 of these bags.

To distribute the stone evenly, we found it best to place the sealed bags at intervals, and open them in the pathway.

Then the stones were spread out using a shovel and metal bow rake.

How to Build a Stone Path for your YardHow to Make a Stone Pathway in Less than Two WeekendsInstalling Lawn Edging & Fabric

After the foundation was laid, we had to install lawn edging against the wall of the trench.

The edging was needed to keep the stones inside the pathway, so they wouldn’t wander into the grass.

To install, we ran it along the inside edge of the trench, nailing in metal stakes at regular intervals and at corners.

Afterwards, landscaping fabric was laid down to help keep weeds out of the pathway.

Here’s what the pathway looked like with the edging and fabric. We were definitely getting the hang of building a stone walkway.

How to Build a Stone Pathway for your YardLaying the Stones

Next up in our stone walkway project was the second layer of stones.

Unlike the foundational stone layer, this was the topmost layer that was exposed to foot traffic.

The rocks needed to be small so they could compact nicely. We went with about 30 bags of white marble chips.

Prior to starting work on the stone path, our yard had some stepping stones embedded into the ground for access to the deck.

They required constant maintenance as grass would grow over them very quickly. In fact, we did not even know about them for the first year of living there because the grass grew over them.

We wanted to incorporate them, so we scattered them across our path and partially buried them with the marble chips to secure them in place.

This turned out to be a very functional aspect in building the stone path.

It allowed us to get to the deck without having to walk on the marble chips.

Although the marble chips were nice-looking, they tended to get stuck in your sandals/slippers, and were not comfortable to walk on if you were barefoot – so it was great to have the stepping stones.

Here’s a picture with the marble chips and embedded stepping stones:

How to Build to a Stone Path that is Easy and Thrifty!Adding a Cove to the DIY Stone Walkway

The stone pathway to the deck was now completed.

However, we decided to build a small addition to it – a pathway to the right leading to a little cove.

The idea was actually tossed around at the beginning, but we wanted to see how the path turned out first before digging up that part of the yard.

To the right of the path, there was a small table with 2 seats. However, it was often overgrown with grass and weeds and difficult to maintain.

We wanted to make the little cove a functional aspect of the yard again.

So, repeating the steps we did for the stone path to the deck, we dug out a trench for the addition for layered the necessary stones.

Here’s a picture of the trench dug out:

Making a Stone Pathway in Simple StepsFinally, here is the completed addition once the stones were added.  All that was missing was the table and two chairs:

How to Make a Stone Pathway to your Detached DeckAnd, All the Leftover Dirt…

You can also see me stressing out about the big patch of dirt in the middle of the yard, leftover from digging the stone pathway.

I was never good at getting grass to grow, so I wasn’t looking forward to that project.

Prior to the large dirt patch was a giant dirt mound from all the digging. While trying to figure out where to relocate all this dirt, our neighbor asked if he could have it – apparently his dogs left a lot of holes in his yard.

So we shoveled all the dirt right over the fence into his yard (don’t try that without your neighbor’s approval).

Making a Stone Walkway in Less Than Two WeekendsAnyway, our hard work on the stone walkway paid off! We had a wonderful looking stone path providing easy access to the deck.

The walkway was very low maintenance, and even our dog used it instead of running through the grass – he hates to get his feet wet – oh Zeus.

Here’s the before and after pictures of the stone walkway:

Making a Stone Pathway in Your Yard with Before and AftersIn just two weekends, Eileen and I made this stone path that connected our patio to our detached deck. If you are looking to build a stone walkway, it’s an easy project with a large payout! And, the total cost was around $250.

Eileen and I, as well as Zeus, used the pathway more than we ever thought, so it was worth every penny. β€‹

47 Comments

  1. Bill Carroll says:

    nice presentation. I am doing something similar and your ideas are useful. thanks

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Bill! Glad to have helped πŸ™‚

  2. Looks like a lot of work, but it really paid off. Thanks for the clear and detailed tutorial.

    1. It wasn’t too bad! Carrying the stones through the house (because we lived in a middle townhouse) was the hardest part πŸ™‚

  3. Love how your walk way turned out. I always find it gratifying to do the work ourselves.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    1. Thanks Bev! I do too πŸ™‚

    1. Hahah yes we can!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Lindsay! It was way more functional than we even thought it would be πŸ™‚

  4. This makes a huge difference and I can only imagine how much you’re enjoying it. For years my husband said he wanted to make a stone path from our back door to the attached deck. That never happened. We installed a sidewalk. It came out great but it was tons of work. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great week.

    1. Thanks Sandra! Wow – that’s impressive that you installed a sidewalk! We were so pleased with the stone pathway and it got more use than we ever thought πŸ™‚

  5. Your pathway looks awsome! We have a lot of those marble rocks in our yard as edging for our mulch pits, and I definitely agree that you wouldn’t want to walk on them barefoot. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Thanks so much Leslie! Haha yes the stepping stones were perfect πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

    1. Thanks so much! I agree with the no more mud πŸ™‚ We had no idea how much we would love it (especially when I was digging that trench :))

    1. Thanks so much Roseann! :))

  6. That turned out nice! I love the picture of you digging the trench. Go girl πŸ™‚ I love working with pavers, because they are such an easy fix up for so many things! Thanks for sharing this at the #happynowlinkup

    1. Haha thanks so much, Jen!! I didn’t want to include that picture but Ash put it in :)) Have a great week!

  7. Wow! What an amazing project you took on! Looks great! I am sure you will handle the dirt spot in the yard in no time at all if you can accomplish that amazing walkway! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    1. Thanks so much, Chloe! Hahah, You’re right, the dirt spot wasn’t too bad!

  8. Great job guys – I especially love the photo of Eileen digging the grass out (#girlpower!). Thanks for sharing. xx

    1. Hahah thanks Kate! I might not be able to use all of Ash’s fancy tools, but I can certainly dig some holes πŸ™‚

  9. It looks great you guys. The walkway makes such a difference to the look of the garden. Wishing you lots of lovely hours on your deck with Zeus

    1. Aww thanks so much, Michelle! πŸ™‚ It definitely was a huge difference!

  10. That turned out beautifully! We’re getting ready to do this in our backyard, too – so thank you for the tips! πŸ™‚

    1. That’s great, Jamie! You’ll love it πŸ™‚

  11. This is so lovely! It’s funny what a little gravel will do. Thanks for sharing for #iDIYedthat. I will be featuring you tommorrow!

    1. Thanks Lindsey:) We had no idea how much it would help the backyard look nicer!

  12. Nice job, guys! Your hard work really paid off; the pathway looks fantastic. You’ve inspired me to get working on a similar project I have on my “to do” list πŸ™‚ Thanks for linking up your project with us at Vintage Charm!

    1. Thanks Diana! πŸ™‚ It was definitely some hard work – but we used and loved the pathway more than we thought! It also was a great for when we put the house on the market. The new homeowners loved the pathway through to the grill and deck:) Good luck on your project!

  13. What a lovely way to add lots of beauty to your outdoor space. Lots of work, but definitely worth it! Thanks for sharing your how to with us at Snickerdoodle. Pinning to my Outdoors Board.

    1. Thanks so much Beverly for the compliments and the pin πŸ™‚ It was a lot of work when you look back on it, but all those projects pay off in the end πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

      1. Popping back by to let you know we’ll be featuring your walkway at Snickerdoodle this week. Hope to see you at the party!

    1. Thanks Jennifer πŸ™‚ We just saw it and were so excited!! Wishing you a lovely week!

  14. Always nice to have a walkway. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party.

    1. Thanks Theresa – it did work out well πŸ™‚

  15. This looks incredible! We need to makeover our entire backyard and I have been SO intimidated. This DIY looks totally do-able. Thank you for posting it!

    1. Aww thank you so much Lisa! It is totally doable! I did a lot of it myself! We had no idea how much use it would get. Definitely go for it:)

  16. Wow! What a great step by step guide. So cool. We were thinking of doing something like this for our home next year. Thanks!

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