Gravel will travel, as they say, in landscaping circles. And don’t you know it? Your gravel driveway can get messy and demand too much upkeep! But don’t stress. You can easily manage those rolling stones with these inexpensive gravel driveway edging ideas.
The following thrifty gravel driveway edging ideas save on driveway maintenance and gravel replenishment costs.
The following budget-savvy gravel driveway edging ideas have other benefits. They can boost your property’s aesthetic appeal and make your home more attractive.
Then, let’s explore these fresh gravel driveway edging plans in more detail.
- Inexpensive Gravel Driveway Edging Materials + Planning Guide
- Best Gravel Driveway Edging Materials
- Why Edge a Gravel Driveway?
- What Edging Design is Best for a Gravel Driveway?
- What is the Best Height for Inexpensive Gravel Drivel Edging?
- What Material is Best for Cheap DIY Gravel Driveway Edging?
- Do I Need to Dig Holes to Make Gravel Driveway Edging?
- Is Steel a Viable Gravel Driveway Edging Material?
- Can Plastic Landscaping Edging be Used to Edge a Gravel Driveway?
- 16+ Inexpensive Gravel Driveway Edging Ideas – Our Official List
- 1. Landscape Timbers for Gravel Driveway Edging
- 2. Structural Timber Beams to Edge a Gravel Driveway
- 3. Long Logs to Edge a Gravel Driveway (Or Driveway Timbers)
- 4. Chainsaw Mill Big Logs for Gravel Driveway Edging
- 5. Gravel Driveway Edging Using Pallet Wood
- 6. Anchor Gravel Driveway Edging Boards with Steel Landscape Staples
- 7. Railroad Ties for Gravel Driveway Edging
- 8. Gravel Driveway Edging Using Cobblestone
- 9. Brick Edge Restraints for a Gravel Driveway
- 10. Low Stone Wall for a Gravel Driveway Edge
- 11. DIY Curved Gravel Driveway Edging with a Concrete Form
- 12. Use Rocks to Edge a Gravel Driveway
- 13. Use Cinder Blocks to Edge a Gravel Driveway
- 14. Repurposed Car Tires for Gravel Driveway Edging
- 15. Canvas Sand Bags for Temporary Gravel Driveway Edging
- 16. Add Solar Lights to Your Gravel Driveway Edging
Inexpensive Gravel Driveway Edging Materials + Planning Guide
You can make low-cost gravel driveway edging using basic building materials, including dimensional lumber, concrete, bricks and pavers, natural stone, cinder blocks, and concrete lintels. Old railroad ties, scrap car tires, salvaged timber, and pallet wood can also work to edge a gravel driveway.
Best Gravel Driveway Edging Materials
|Landscape Timbers||Landscape timbers are our favorite gravel driveway edging idea if you want a rural, rustic look. It’s also one of the cheapest edging materials. Use what your homestead provides.|
|Structural Timber Beams||Structural timber beams are excellent for an easy and cultivated landscaping experience. They also look chic as a gravel driveway edge.|
|Long Logs or Driveway Timbers||Long logs are one of the easiest and lowest-fuss gravel edging ideas. They look great with pea gravel, river rocks, decorative gravel, or plain rocks. They work best with long, relatively straight driveways.|
|Chainsaw Mill Big Logs||These massive logs look beautiful for a back-country theme with a modern twist. They can manage loose gravel and nearly any gravel layer elegantly.|
|Pallet Wood||Pallets are our favorite gravel driveway edging if you don’t have a big budget for lavish driveway materials. Ask your local lumberyard if they have any extras. Or offer to throw them a few bucks.|
|Anchor Gravel Driveway Edging Boards with Steel Landscape Staples||We only use steel landscape staples in the ground if nothing else can penetrate the hard surface. Use them to mount driveway edging boards elegantly and semi-permanently.|
|Railroad Ties||Railroad ties are hard to come by. But they’ll add a distinctive look to your driveway. And they help contain gravel like a charm.|
|Cobblestone||Cobblestone is one of our favorite gravel driveway edging materials if you want a classic-looking driveway. They look beautiful, are easy to install, and help tidy your gravel.|
|Brick Edge Restraints||Brick edging is arguably the most straightforward driveway edging to help preserve gravel. Brick is also super inexpensive. And – it can also help manage erosion.|
|Low Stone Wall||Many homesteaders don’t have the budget to launch a full-sized stone wall. So – build a short miniature version! It will look beautiful around your driveway. And the gravel will have nowhere to escape.|
|Concrete Form||Concrete is perfect for setting your driveway’s boundaries permanently. And without breaking the bank. On the downside, a concrete form likely requires a stable surface to set uniformly.|
|Rocks or Boulders||Rocks and boulders are another low-fuss but highly effective gravel driveway edging material. They can work on nearly any surface – including asphalt driveways.|
|Cinder Blocks||Cinder blocks are underrated gravel driveway edging materials. They’re heavy but still easy to install. And – you can form them around nearly any driveway, regardless of shape. They also make excellent weed barriers around your driveway perimeter.|
|Repurposed Car Tires||Don’t throw your old wheelbarrow and motorbike tires in the dump. Put them to good use around your driveway’s boundary. They can help contain roaming gravel. They’re also rustic and charming.|
|Canvas Sand Bags||Canvas sandbags are the best driveway edge if you have too many cubic yards for other methods. They’re big, heavy-duty, and will prevent your gravel from traveling.|
|Solar Lights||Solar lights aren’t the best driveway edge if you’re worried about your gravel wandering off. But they’re arguably one of the best-looking options. And they team up beautifully with other materials.|
The table above is a short preview of our favorite gravel edging ideas. We will also examine these gravel driveway edging ideas in further detail later in this article.
But first – to DIY the most cost-effective and efficient gravel driveway edging, it’s vital to define what the finished edging is supposed to do.
Here are some important considerations to help brainstorm your low-cost DIY edging solution for your gravel driveway.
Why Edge a Gravel Driveway?
Installing edging along a gravel driveway prevents gravel from drifting beyond the designated driveway area. Driveway edging contains, retains, and restrains driveway surface gravel, enhancing the driveway’s structural integrity and aesthetic appeal while reducing maintenance time and costs.
What Edging Design is Best for a Gravel Driveway?
Efficient gravel driveway edging should be sufficient height above grade to prevent gravel migration. Edging material should be rated for ground contact and anchored securely to the subgrade of the driveway with concrete or stakes. The edging should not pose a physical risk to humans, animals, or vehicles.
What is the Best Height for Inexpensive Gravel Drivel Edging?
Gravel driveway edging should extend from the driveway’s compacted base to at least 2 inches above the gravel surface. Driveway edging should be either low-profile (below 6 inches) to prevent damage to vehicle undercarriage components or high enough (above 4 feet) to be visible to operators reversing vehicles in the driveway.
What Material is Best for Cheap DIY Gravel Driveway Edging?
Wood is the cheapest and most versatile gravel driveway edging material. Several types of wood pieces work perfectly to edge a gravel driveway. You can use treated structural timber, landscape timbers, and all reclaimed lumber, from logs to pallet wood to railroad ties and salvaged beams.
Do I Need to Dig Holes to Make Gravel Driveway Edging?
Unless you want to erect a tall retaining wall to serve as your gravel driveway edging, digging holes is unnecessary. Low-profile gravel driveway edging materials can be secured to the sub-grade of the driveway using poured concrete or hammering steel or wooden stakes into the driveway sub-grade.
Is Steel a Viable Gravel Driveway Edging Material?
Steel with a tire-friendly scalloped upper edge can edge a gravel driveway. The steel should be of sufficient height above the driveway surface to prevent gravel from migrating beyond the driveway. A high-profile angle iron is an edging option. But it is more expensive than timber or concrete.
Can Plastic Landscaping Edging be Used to Edge a Gravel Driveway?
Most plastic garden/landscaping edging products, when used as the sole gravel driveway edging material, lack the height to contain the surface gravel when exposed to moving vehicles. Plastic landscaping edging also lacks sufficient strength to handle being driven over by cars, trucks, and tractors.
Remember, we’re after inexpensive and robust edging – tough enough to handle a tractor tire impact! And if the edging should fail, it must be able to be replaced cheaply and without fuss.
16+ Inexpensive Gravel Driveway Edging Ideas – Our Official List
Right! With our DIY gravel driveway edging parameters defined, let’s get edgy. Inexpensively!
1. Landscape Timbers for Gravel Driveway Edging
Easy to DIY, earthy, and low-cost, landscape timbers make perfect edging for a homestead gravel driveway. Each 8′ length of timber (2.5″ W x 3.5″ H) is unique, thanks to the rough-cut milling process. Authentic and rustic!
- Landscape timbers are pressure-treated to protect against rot, termites, and fungi.
- You can stain or paint landscape timber to add curb appeal and longevity.
- Seat the timber lengths on gravel (2 inches below the driveway surface) at the driveway’s edge with the side vertical (use the shorter side for the base) to get the necessary height for optimum gravel retention.
- Drill holes into the timber to insert rebar or landscape stakes to hold the landscape timber in place.
At less than $1 per running foot of driveway edging, this timber and steel idea sets a median between free stuff and store-bought products. $1/ft. = handy metric!
Watch this video to see how it works.
2. Structural Timber Beams to Edge a Gravel Driveway
Structural timber, aka dimensional lumber, is readily available from your local hardware (and the chain store DIY centers). Various sizes of pre-cut wood boards can serve as gravel driveway edging.
- A set of 6″ x 6″ timber beams will create a chunky, low-profile retaining wall (edging) for your gravel driveway.
- Be sure to buy pressure-treated lumber, rated for ground contact.
- Drill holes in the timber for rebar stakes.
- Use 12″ lengths of rebar to stake the timber down.
- Smooth the cut ends of the rebar with an angle grinder.
Dimensional lumber gives a solid edge. It also offers adequate height to serve as a striking and practical gravel driveway edging solution.
If you have the budget and energy to spare, you can set the rebar in concreted holes, as demonstrated in this how-to timber edging video with lap joints.
Either way, you’ll get a solid timber edge on your gravel driveway.
Here’s a TIP: Building suppliers have bargain bins for cull lumber at huge discounts…ask for it!
3. Long Logs to Edge a Gravel Driveway (Or Driveway Timbers)
If you have tall, straight trees on your land (or your neighbors’ land) that need felling, grab your chainsaw and get those beauties down and alongside your gravel driveway. Yip! It’s the simplest edging solution ever. Place long logs into the gravel along the edge of your driveway!
You can use green lumber, but deadwood is best.
- Aim for logs at least 6″ in diameter.
- Drill holes for rebar stakes in thin logs.
- Use rocks to prevent big logs from rolling.
If a forest fire struck your area recently, get your hands on some charred trees for free!
- The wood is fire-cured a la shou sugi ban. It’s anti-rot by fire, and the charred wood looks stunning!
You can create a unique gravel driveway edge using different log sizes. Use shorter logs for curves and fatter logs for focal points.
You could realistically get this timber edging for free, not counting the price of a gallon or two of fuel.
Scout about for some charred arboreal remains!
4. Chainsaw Mill Big Logs for Gravel Driveway Edging
On the subject of chainsaws and heavy-duty tree trunks – you can convert a long log into several boards using an inexpensive chainsaw mill called a lumber-cutting guide.
- You’ll be able to get several 2″ x 6″ boards from a log easy as pie.
Get the art of chainsaw milling down, and you’ll be earning money fast.
The question now is this – what’s the best way to anchor upright timber boards to the ground to create effective gravel driveway edging?
Read on to learn how on a dime! (We show how in a few minutes.)
5. Gravel Driveway Edging Using Pallet Wood
Here’s another ‘get it for free’ gravel driveway edging idea – using a favorite inexpensive DIY material – pallet wood! If you’re up to sweaty pallet-breaking work, you can tightly edge your gravel driveway for next to nothing.
- Break the pallets apart using a crowbar or pallet breaker.
- Remove every nail (and de-rust them in a jar of vinegar for future use.).
- Saw sharp points into the ends of pallet boards to create stakes.
- Screw two pallet boards to two stakes (one board above another).
- Like this – (double up on the horizontal boards) and make the stakes longer (± 12″).
- Use a rubber mallet to hammer your pallet wood edging units into the base of your gravel driveway so that the top layer of gravel rests against the base of the upper pallet board.
- The upper board will prevent gravel from flying away from the driveway.
Conveniently, pallet wood is pressure-treated, so it’ll last a decade or more as driveway edging.
6. Anchor Gravel Driveway Edging Boards with Steel Landscape Staples
Use steel landscaping staples if the ground beneath your gravel driveway is rock-hard and timber stakes fail to penetrate it.
These 16″ U-shaped rebar anchors will secure wooden boards to the edge of your gravel driveway like King Kong with a coconut!
- Place the staples over the boards at a 45-degree angle (two per edging board) and pound the staples into the earth with a mini sledgehammer.
You can DIY rebar landscaping staples using a steel rod bending tool, but this Amazon offer costs just a fraction more than straight rebar. Save yourself some sweat equity!
7. Railroad Ties for Gravel Driveway Edging
They’re not easy to find, but wood railroad ties strike hardscaping gold. And they also make ideal gravel driveway edging.
The weight and length of a railroad tie ensure your driveway gravel stays where it’s supposed to be without the hassle of securing the wood to the ground.
Watch this video to see how you can achieve an insurmountable gravel driveway edge.
And check your online classified pages for cheap railroad ties!
8. Gravel Driveway Edging Using Cobblestone
Here’s how to create classic gravel driveway edging to keep your grit in place with handsome cobblestone bricks. This idea is more labor and cost-intensive than wood driveway edging. And it involves concrete. But the result speaks for itself. Fit for Caesar!
This gravel driveway edging solution will last for decades.
You’ll need the following.
- Fiber-reinforced concrete.
- Fiber-reinforced concrete has an inherent elasticity that soaks up stresses from lateral forces and limits concrete cracking and paving stone movement.
See how it works!
- TIP: You can buy regular concrete ready-mix (Quikcrete) and add a bag of poly-fiber.
This DIY project is definitely for those who like to get stuck in with a set of knee pads!
9. Brick Edge Restraints for a Gravel Driveway
You can buy bricks for pennies on the dollar or salvage them for free. Either way, bricks make excellent gravel driveway edging. The trick is setting them firmly into the subgrade of your driveway.
- Remember our reinforced concrete tip, and set your bricks high enough to prevent gravel from spilling over your driveway edging.
- Watch this video to see how to edge right with bricks.
If you want to learn how to work with concrete, this DIY project makes an excellent orientation week.
10. Low Stone Wall for a Gravel Driveway Edge
Imagine a low rock wall using natural stone, gathered for free from the land, edging your gravel driveway! Romantic or what? Well, it’s easy to do.
Watch this video from a true stonemason to see how.
If the Ancient Greeks and Romans could do it, so can you!
11. DIY Curved Gravel Driveway Edging with a Concrete Form
Get concrete and ¼”-inch plywood sheets to create freestyle gravel driveway edges. There’s nothing like concrete in forms to give you the ability to weave landscaping magic.
- Watch this video on how to make a curved concrete curb for your gravel driveway.
- Use fiber-reinforced concrete.
- Make the concrete wall high enough to prevent gravel from escaping the driveway bed (at least 2″ above grade).
This DIY project involves cutting plywood lengths, pinning them to the ground in forms, mixing and pouring concrete, and monitoring the concrete curing process.
Don’t be daunted! It’s easier than you think.
Watch the video for more tips.
12. Use Rocks to Edge a Gravel Driveway
Natural rock makes freestyle gravel driveway edging. Weighty and characterful. And FREE! Yes, okay. Finding rocks of similar size takes some effort. But it’s achievable if you persevere with your truck.
- You can create a consistent gravel driveway edge with the same rock type or an eclectic finish with different geological specimens of suitable proportions.
- You won’t need to anchor the rocks – no concrete, no stakes!
- Select rocks lower than 10″ in height to prevent vehicle damage.
Load your trailer or ute with free rocks and edge that gravel driveway! Like Fred Flintstone had done it.
13. Use Cinder Blocks to Edge a Gravel Driveway
The way we see it, cinder blocks are relatively cheap, of suitable height for a gravel driveway retaining edge, and can double as planters.
- Fantastic! Let’s see a pretty picture!
You like? We do!
- Cinder blocks have the necessary footprint to be freestanding gravel driveway restraints.
You can enhance their stability by filling them with soil for plants or stone for exotic color pops.
Could you ask for a better low-cost gravel driveway edging fix?
Nope. We don’t think so!
14. Repurposed Car Tires for Gravel Driveway Edging
Here’s a gravel driveway edging idea for Earthship lovers! Repurposed upcycled car tires, serving a new purpose as gravel driveway retainers.
See here, and smile! 🙂
Sink the tires 2 inches below grade and fill them with soil, flowers, pebbles, succulents, or seashells for additional gravitas.
Yes – you can convert old tires into planters.
Daisy-chain old tires along the edge of your gravel driveway, and those jagged bits of stone in the driveway will stay put!
And cars in the driveway will feel comfy next to the rubber.
15. Canvas Sand Bags for Temporary Gravel Driveway Edging
What about an easily moved gravel driveway edging solution made to serve a protective function elsewhere on the homestead? Think floods.
This idea for gravel driveway edging may be a stretch, but here goes.
- Long canvas sandbags for flood management can double as gravel driveway edging.
How cunning is that?
These highly durable, UV-protected canvas tube bags get filled with sand and serve as restraints against floodwaters and, no doubt, driveway gravel movement, too!
A multifunctional item!
They’re inexpensive to boot.
Remove the sandbags from the driveway when you plan to edge the lawn with a weed whacker.
Think about it. We love the idea!
16. Add Solar Lights to Your Gravel Driveway Edging
To prevent vehicles from driving over your driveway edging at night, install a set of solar driveway lights.
Sink these stemmed lights into the earth 12 inches beyond your gravel driveway edging and help the driver see where the road begins and ends.
Make it obvious!
When we go budget, we conceive out of the box! We trust these inexpensive gravel driveway edging ideas hit your DIY zone.
Keep the edging low to the ground to save money, use reclaimed materials wherever possible, and don’t be afraid to dabble with concrete!
Create an eclectic edge on your gravel driveway with a mix of these ideas.
These DIY ideas combine function, form, and financial realism – naturally.
May you and your gravel driveway find your perfect edge.