My husband and I have decided that we need to spruce up our backyard and make it more conducive to our style, and the way we want to be using it this summer. We have broken down our projects into sets, and I will be sharing it all with you here!

We have decided to add some new features to our backyard, and we are going to DIY all of them. The first thing we are adding is a picnic table area. At first we thought of just adding a table in the yard, but then we started to realize it would make more of an impact to carve out a specific area and really make it a hang out spot. Instead of just adding a table to the yard we have decided to create a DIY patio area under $100 to have the picnic table live. Then build our own picnic table, another DIY under $100, and then add some plants and decor to make it look inviting and of course pretty!

Step one was creating the designated area in the yard. We didn’t want this to be too far from the deck we have so we chose the specific spot to keep everything close enough that if you are grilling on the deck, you can send down food to your guests, but also not feel like you are miles away and missing all the action. Once that location was chosen it was time to pick the size. We did this by marking out the size of the picnic table, then adding 2′ to each side so you can step in and out easily.

This is the size we came up with, and we went around and dug out the grass in the area where we are going to be placing pavers. We decided to do a paver boarder, and a pea gravel middle. We chose this because it was more cost effective and will be softer on your feet if you chose to be bare feet at the table. We wanted to keep the project easy, budget friend, but also to have it looking nice! If we had decided to do pavers for the entire project it would have required more tools, more labor, and increased the project price at least 3 times.

We chose not to dig out any of the grass in the middle because we were going to use weed barrier before laying any of the pea gravel. If you use the barrier you are not required to remove the grass, because it will all die and decompose underneath on its own.

This is the weed barrier that we are laying out, we one to each corner so that the paver stones sit on top of it as well as the pea gravel. We layered it on the right side, left side and then the middle. We chose to do the middle piece overlaps the two end pieces making for a tighter seal.

Make sure to have the metal stakes to hammer in over the weed barrier and into the grass below, This keeps the barrier in place and it is something you really have to do!

Next we started to add the pea gravel in because we weren’t sure if we needed to go back for more bags, we wanted to see how this was going to work with the 5 bags we had purchased. We wanted to make sure there was about a 1″ layer of the gravel. It’s important not to get any of the stones into the paver area when doing this step, so you want to keep it away for the edges. If you do the pavers first your ok and you can just freely add the gravel. We decided to build the area before going back to buy the pavers that way we knew exactly how many we needed for the size we ended up with.

Once we knew how many pavers we needed we went back to buy them as well as a few more bags of the pea gravel. We went with a grey brick paver, and a mostly gravel gravel. When you place the pavers in place make sure to hammer over them with a rubber hammer to get them level and set into the channel you dug out. After you have them all in place you can fill your gravel in to the edges.

This is the gravel we went with, it has a mix of colors but is mainly grey, it reads more light and white toned from a distance. When you buy the bags they are very dusty and always look darker, but when the project is completed you can use your hose to water them, and the dust rinses away.

This is how it looks after 3 days of sitting, and being rained on a few times. You can see some of the pavers have shifted with the ground settling, so we need to go back through and adjust them a bit, but overall the project turned out great! Now we are on to phase two, which is building a picnic table! Come back later this week to see how that turns out!


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