How to Build a Zipper Garden Path

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

A garden path built in a zipper pattern crosses a lush, green lawn.

This eye-catching garden path is easy to build in just one weekend. It’s practical and pretty, too. Here are the step-by-step instructions. (No pun intended.) We have printed instructions that you download, too.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate
TIME: One weekend
COST: About $200


• 20 12-inch x 12-inch paver stones
• 20 bags of sand paver base
• 6 bags paver leveling sand
• 2 large bags of garden soil
• Ground cover of your choice
Rubber mallet
Shovel or tiller
Measuring tape
Hand trowel


Determine your project area, paver size and type, and quantities required. For our purposes we will be creating a path 10 feet long and 4 feet wide using 12-inch x 12-inch paver stones.

Since we know the length and width of the path we’re creating, finding the square footage is a simple matter of multiplying the length (10 feet) by the width (4 feet), giving us a total area of 40 square feet.

The 12 x 12 pavers are going to be laid out in pairs of two with an empty space on one side. The empty space will alternate between the left side and the right side. With this pattern you’ll need a total of 20 pavers.

Prepare the area by plotting out your path and clearing away any grass to a depth of around 4 to 6 inches. Use a combination of stakes — hammered in with a rubber mallet — and string to mark out the course and finished elevation of the path. Then, using a shovel or tiller, begin clearing the area.

Adding a line to a stake in the process of building a garden path


Fill in the path with paver base at a depth of about 4 inches, which means you’ll need about 20 bags of paver base.

Pouring paver base in a garden path project


With the paver base in place, the next step will be to use a tamper to level out and settle the base into place. Depending on the size of the working area you are dealing with, you may also want to consider a powered tamper.

Tamping the ground in a garden path weekend project


After finishing off the paver base, apply a layer of leveling sand at a depth of about 1 inch. Just as before, tamp the leveling sand into place. You will need six bags of leveling sand for the walkway.

Pouring sand in a garden path DIY project


Using the measuring tape, begin laying out your paver stones, double checking distances as you go.

Measuring the space between pavers in a garden path weekend project


Use the trowel to fill in the alternating voids with garden soil. This will help your moss, ground cover or whatever you choose to plant to get a strong root system established.

Choose your ground cover based on your climate. A Home Depot Certified Nursery Consultant will be happy to help you decide. You might consider thyme, creeping phlox, dwarf periwinkle, moss, ajuga, or Dwarf Mondo, which we used.

Filling in soil between pavers in a garden path project


Enjoy your new Zipper Path!

Download the printable instructions for this DIY project and get started, or take a look at more DIY projects here on The Home Depot blog.

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