It’s the weekend, and the weather is gorgeous, so you’re ready for some outdoor reclaimed brick projects. What can you do with those reclaimed bricks you recently acquired? Any of these DIY brick weekend projects are the perfect way to spend your day off.
Layout a Garden Pathway:
Depending on how long you want the pathway to be, this might take two weekends, but laying reclaimed bricks for a garden path is a simple project that’s well-worth the time.
You will need:
- marking paint or sand
- plastic landscape edging
- leveling plank
- hand tamper
- dead blow mallet
- mason’s chisel
Begin by making a quick sketch of your design. You do not have to make a scale drawing; just plan the curves , if there are to be any. If you’re just making a straight path, you can skip this step.
Now, use marking paint or sand to lay out the course through the garden. To keep things balanced and in proportion, plan for it to be about 36 inches wide. You can use a garden hose to lay out the path to be sure you like the lines before using the paint.
Now, dig out the space between the lines to a depth equal to the depth of your bricks plus 2 inches; haul the removed dirt away from the work area in the wheelbarrow. (This removed soil is great for building a berm in the garden.) Cut the path edges vertically with an edging spade, and use the shovel to make the bottom of the trench smooth.
Set the edging along the sides of the path, placing it slightly above the top of the surrounding lawn to help water drain off the bricks.
Add two inches of slightly damp sand and tamp it down to compact it into a stable base for the bricks. Pull the leveling plank across the top to level and smooth the sand.
Lay the bricks in the pattern you chose or in a half-brick offset, setting them into the base with the dead blow mallet. Use the mason’s chisel and hammer to cut bricks as necessary.
Fill the joints by sweeping sand over the surface until the spaces are filled. You may need to add a bit more after the first rain.
Brick Bird Bath
Attract avian visitors to your garden with an easy birdie pool that requires no mortar.
- shovel and/or hoe
- terracotta saucer(s)
- fist-sized flat rocks (optional)
Begin by leveling the ground where you plan to place your bird bath. To add extra stability, dig a square the depth of the bricks plus two inches. Fill the area with damp sand and tamp it down before adding the first layer of bricks.
Start by laying out a square of bricks in one direction. (If you are using the sand base, set them with a mallet.) Next, arrange a layer of bricks running perpendicular on top of the first layer.
Continue adding bricks in perpendicular layers until the base reaches the desired height.
Set a terracotta saucer on top of the base. If you prefer, stack two or three progressively smaller saucers. Add rocks to the top saucer and fill them with water.
Use the last of your reclaimed bricks to make plant markers to identify your herbs, flowers, or vegetables. This project takes about 10 to 15 minutes, and it adds a whimsical touch to your landscape.
- printed lettering or alphabet stencils
- graphite paper
- paint or permanent markers
Brush the bricks to remove any dirt. You can remove old mortar, but that’s part of what adds character to your markers, so it’s also fine to leave it alone.
Print the plant names from your computer, using a simple, fun font. Use the graphite paper to transfer the lettering onto the brick. If you are using stencils, it may be easier to trace the words onto paper before transferring them.
Use the paint or permanent markers to trace the letters sketched onto the bricks. You can add an acrylic sealer over the surface, but it really isn’t necessary. As the sun, wind, and rain begin to cause the letters to fade, you can simply write over them again.
Contact us for more great DIY weekend outdoor projects and ideas about using historic or reclaimed bricks for your home and garden.