A cast-off futon plus some new wood and pavers turned our side yard into a fairy tale garden. For a longer VIDEO on this sweet transformation, click HERE. Also, you'll meet our neighborhood ogre!
A Footbridge From a Futon Frame
You'll be surprised at how simple it was to make this bridge. If it hadn't been so hot this summer, we might have completed it in just one day!
The bridge is eight feet long and sits next to a small ditch where we will add a water feature we think you will love (stay tuned and follow us here on HomeTalk!)
The futon does not touch the ground. We used inexpensive concrete pavers underneath which adds the stability needed to carry foot traffic from one side to the other.
The futon was on it's way out of our basement to the landfill — but it seemed a waste of good lumber. Also, we wanted a small bridge in our side yard.
We removed the legs of the futon with a hand saw so that the frame would be square.
We waterproofed one side of new planks. Later we'll mix pigment into the sealer to make a bright, durable finish worthy of a fairy tale garden. Treated lumber will work fine for this project, but since we have pets that will drink water from our spring next to the bridge, we used untreated lumber and a water-based sealer.
The path where the bridge will go is sloped. We used two pavers stacked on the right and single pavers on the left to make a level foundation for the futon frame.
The slats of the futon sit on the pavers and the futon frame wraps around the sides of the pavers which locks it into place. This gives the illusion of a raised bridge while adding strength and protection from rot. A person walking across the bridge is actually walking on the pavers.
It took at least two hours to level the pavers by shimming under them with bricks and stones, but finally the frame could be lowered and was strong and stable — no wobble! If you have level ground, you'll find this step much easier.
We poured two bags of gravel over the bridge and worked it into as many crevices as we could. This will provide good drainage, stability, and suppress weeds too. We also sprinkled everything with Diatomaceous Earth to deter creepy crawlers and trolls.
We cut the new lumber at a length that will overhang the futon frame by about one inch on all sides.
We used a spare board as a spacer and tacked the planks to the futon frame with 2" brads. You can attach the planks closer together, but it will tend to look like a table. We made sure that the spaces between the planks are noticeable from a distance to emphasize the footbridge design.
Brass nails go into the center-end of each plank. We put in a few to show you how … the rest of the brass nails will go in after staining the wood. You can get nails like these in stores that sell picture-framing hardware. We found these brass nails at Walmart.
Follow us on HomeTalk and YouTube because soon we'll be making easy, strong railings and a mountain steam that will look as if it is coming from under small bridge then flows through the garden. You don't want to miss those steps!
Until next time, we'll be in the garden! See more photos of our bridge garden here.