How to Make a Brick Garden Border
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How to Make a Brick Garden Border

This step by step guide shows how to make a brick garden border to create a beautiful edging for your garden beds. This is an easy DIY project which won’t cost much if you can source old bricks for free or at a reduced price.

Finding Old Bricks and Pavers

Local Classifieds

People who may be taking down an old chimney or may have old bricks and pavers they want to sell or give away will advertise in the classified section of the local paper or online marketplace.

Scrap Yards or Second Hand Stores

If you don’t see any in the classifieds try the local scrap yards or second hand stores. It doesn’t hurt to ask as even if they don’t have any, they might know of someone who does.

Local Builders or Farmers

Local builders may have bricks left over from a building project which the owners may be willing to sell to you cheap. Farmers tend to have their own scrap yards with things they’ve collected over the years. Always ask permission before entering private property.

Brick and Paver Suppliers

They may sell brick or paver seconds for a reduced price. Remember, part of the brick will be in the ground so imperfections on one end can be easily hidden.

Creating a Brick Garden Border

There are different ways of creating a border with bricks. It is really up to personal preference as to which style you prefer.

Laying Bricks Flat

In this style the bricks are laid flat either longwise creating a thin border or laid with the long sides together creating a thicker border but using more bricks. It is important to make sure the ground is level before laying the edging.

Laying bricks flat on their edge in a line.

Laying Bricks on Their End

This method takes more work as you will need to dig a trench to place the bricks in but it makes a beautiful edging. The bricks can be placed in the trench on their end straight up with each brick at a different height for an interesting effect.

Old bricks laid in a trench straight up and down at different heights.

They can also be placed at an angle giving a zig-zag effect along the top. This is also an easier method for edging around curves. The step by step instructions for this method is given below.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Bricks or Pavers
  • Shovel
  • Trenching Shovel or Trowel – This top rated Trenching Shovel is the perfect width for brick edging. (Paid link)
  • Stringline for Straight Edges – This Reloadable Stringline is great value and easy to use. (Paid link)
  • Rubber Mallet(Paid link)
  • Level (Optional)

Instructions


How to Make a Brick Garden Border

  1. Mark Out the Edging

    First mark out where you would like your new garden edge to be. Tying a string tightly between 2 points is an easy way to keep a straight line. Tie it high enough so it doesn’t interfere with your shovel.

    Using a stringline to get a straight line for the brick edging.

  2. Dig the Trench

    Dig a trench an inch or two wider than the width of your bricks in line with the stringline. The depth will be half the length of the brick.

    Digging the trench for the brick edging.

  3. Place the First Brick

    Place the first brick in the trench on its side on a 45º angle. This doesn’t need to be exact and the angle can be adjusted to personal preference.

  4. Adjust the Stringline to the Required Height of the Bricks

    Adjust the stringline so it touches the top point of the first brick then place a level on the stringline. This will help to keep the bricks at the same height as long as the ground is level otherwise you may need to adjust the bricks to the level of the ground.

    Using a stringline to make sure the top of the bricks are level.

  5. Tap the Bricks into Place with a Mallet

    Place the second brick against the first then tap down with the rubber mallet so it is halfway along the side of the first brick. Make sure the sides are level and the top point is touching the string if using.

    Tapping the bricks into place with a mallet.

  6. Check Your Work

    Continue for several more bricks then stand back and check your work. Adjust the bricks if necessary, before continuing. It is a good idea to check the bricks every so often as an old brick may not be uniform and adjustments may need to be made to compensate.

    Checking the bricks for height and level.

  7. Backfill the Soil

    Backfill the soil around the bricks then firm down.

    The soil is backfilled around the brick edging.

Creating Curved Garden Edges with Bricks

Gradual curves can be achieved with bricks however for sharp curves consider making a corner or placing a feature stone at the bend.

It is simply a matter of following the curve around. There will be a small gap between the bricks.

Curved brick garden edging with a gentle curve.
There will be a small gap between the bricks around the curve.

You won’t be able do make a curve with bricks placed in a line lengthwise. They will need to be on their end so this will need to be taken into consideration when choosing the style.

Tip

Bricks with holes can be used but grass will grow through the holes and into your garden bed. It is best to put in a length of weed mat along the grass edge beside the bricks in the trench to prevent this from happening.

Do you get sore knees? This top rated thick Kneeling Pad is great for garden work and exercise. (Paid link)

Do you have bricks left over? Try this guide to creating Bird Baths from Scrap Materials or Making Garden Pots from Recycled Materials. You might also like these guides to Using Old Tyres in the Garden or Creating Recycled Raised Garden Beds.

For more inspiration see this guide to home DIY Projects or this Homesteading guide.

To Print or Save this guide on How to Make a Brick Garden Border, click the button below for the PDF file.

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