DIY Gravel Patio With Solar String Lights

10 Materials
$500
3 Hours
Medium

This post is sponsored by Worx. All opinions are my own.Our backyard has been a project from day 1 of moving into this house. I'm happy to report that we are almost to the finish line. One of the last DIY’s we finished for this outdoor space was adding a gravel patio with solar string lights. Who would have thought that a little rock could make such a difference! I've always wanted pretty string lights and I can't wait to share my new lighted gravel patio plus an awesome robotic Worx lawn mower that automates our yard maintenance! Let's rewind and look at our backyard right after we moved in.

Our backyard BEFORE the gravel patio

You see the space next to the porch with the grinder pump well? That's the space I'll be transforming into a gravel patio.

DIY grinder pump table

A few months ago, in an effort to hide that round thing in the ground, I made a DIY outdoor table to hide the ugly grinder pump well. I couldn't think of anything else that was removable to cover up that unsightly round thing in the ground. It works well to hide the well, but the rest of the area still needed a facelift. That's where the DIY gravel patio with solar string lights come in!

1) Install post for the solar string lights

Since I wanted to add the string lights, I knew I needed to find something to attach it to. I thought if I added another 4 by 4 post and attached the lights from it to the roof that would look nice.How do you hang string lights in an open outdoor area? Installing large posts like 4 by 4's and stringing the lights from the top works well. We used concrete to secure the post in the ground. Then I painted the post white to match the rest of the posts on the porch.

2) Attach screws to the side of the house for solar lights

I screwed small hooks into each side of the house and the 4 by 4 post. I wanted the lights to hang in a triangle configuration.

I love how it matches the other posts on the porch. It makes this space look more cohesive and planned like it was always a part of the porch.

3) Plan and mark the gravel patio border lines

We drew a line with white spray paint to visualize where the end of the gravel would sit.You can see we opted for a more "decorative" line around the post rather than a straight one.Once we knew where the gravel patio would start we proceeded with plans for the sprinkler system. I won't go into details about that, let's just say it's labor intensive and time consuming!

What a mess! It's got to get worse before it gets better right? After the sprinkler system was complete, we proceeded with the gravel patio before laying the sod.

Gravel for the gravel patio

We had gravel and metal edging hauled in. We opted for regular gravel (specifically Bahama Rock and not pea gravel. In our previous home we added pea gravel around our fire pit. It looked great, but it moved with every step you took. My OCD got the best of me and I found myself constantly raking it. Also, some of the neighborhood cats thought it was a litter box. EW! Not to mention the fact that I had two toddlers who also used it like a sandbox.Due to this, we decided to put down a larger rock that would stay put better AND not resemble a litter box (let's hope!).

We chose metal edging (over plastic) because it's easier to weed around and more durable. Also, don't forget about that weed barrier! THIS is so important or you will be pulling weeds out of the gravel from here on out.

4) Prepare the ground and apply the weed barrier

You will probably need to remove existing sod or weeds. Make sure the ground is bare.  Then start at the edge and roll out the weed barrier on the ground.

5) Cut the weed barrier

I started at the edge of the house and rolled out the weed barrier. I used regular old scissors to cut the weed barrier around the DIY grinder pump table.

6) Install metal edging around the patio perimeter

Before you get started with the metal edging determine if (and where) you need to bend it first. We started installing the edging at the corner of the house near the walkway. You can see where we measured the length from the edge of the house to the walkway. Here's how you bend the metal edging.

Once you measure where the bend should be, lay a piece of wood on it.

Hold your foot on the wood and use your other hand to bend the metal. It's pretty easy!

Once you've made a good bend, see if it fits!

We used the same piece of wood to hammer the edging into the ground.

Once the metal edging is where you want it to be, hammer the stakes into the slots on the edging.

Progress!

We stopped the edging on the side of the house at the porch. We used a hack saw to cut the edging. Once the edging is installed, go back and make sure the weed barrier sits tight agains the edging.

7) Lay the gravel inside the edging

It's time for the gravel! Lucky for us we still had the front loader. We brought in 1.5 cubic yards of gravel.

8) Rake smooth the gravel

Once we hauled in enough gravel, we used rakes to smooth everything out.Side note; I purchased a "outdoor screen" to hide the old grinder pump light.

9) Lay sod around the DIY gravel patio

We also hauled in top soil to lay on top of our old ground before we put the sod down. This isn't necessary, but our soil is so sandy we wanted to add a little more dirt. We started at the edge of the walkway and worked our way around the gravel patio.

9) Add a few final touches

I did decide to give the wood top on the DIY outdoor table a new look. I wanted to tie in the blue tones I decorated with on the porch. I also hung a few flowers and added a few pillows.

10) set up the new Landroid robotic lawn mower

The Landroid; our new robotic lawn mower.After waiting about two weeks, it was was time to mow. I think we were as excited to try the robot lawn mower as we were for our new backyard!First we set it up. Let me explain how awesome this is;





  1. The Landroid adapts to the size and shape of my lawn and automatically decides when to cut it!
  2. It’s super quiet so it can run at night and we can’t hear it!
  3. When it’s done it automatically returns to its charging station. 
  4. It has a rain sensor so it knows when (and when not) to mow.
  5. Best part- I can control everything from my phone! 

After the barriers were put down around the perimeter of our yard, I downloaded the Landroid app and we put it on autopilot! 

11) Use the Landroid to mow the lawn!

Having new grass is amazing, but having new grass AND not having to mow it is a dream!

Our new lawn mower is set on a schedule and I don’t have to think about when to mow. It’s completely automated.


My new gravel patio!

Ta Dah! What do you think?Who would have thought that a little gravel would make that much of a difference?I love my new DIY gravel patio with string lights. You know what I love even more? Having a yard that mows itself! 

Thanks for following along my backyard renovation friends. Make sure to check out Worx.com to see all of their robotic lawn mowers. Lindsey 

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Lindsey

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Nancy
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Where did you find the screen panel behind the fire pit?

    • Ellen
      on Jun 10, 2020

      That's not a fire pit! It's the grinder pump!

  • Wdp16264364
    on Jun 10, 2020

    We just moved 10 yrs of gravel with just a wheel burrow . ! your spoiled .


  • Pr
    on Jun 11, 2020

    I am considering laying sod in a small area of our yard.

    Why does your new grass look so burned out?

    The sod pieces are very easy to delineate and not especially attractive.


Join the conversation

3 of 24 comments
  • Melody
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Looks great!

  • Debbie in Atlanta
    on Jun 16, 2020

    Lindsey, I don't mean to harsh your buzz, but be careful with your children on the metal edging. A neighbor had the same and their little one fell and cut his knee open to the bone. Yikes!

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