How to Build a Broken Brick Patio

Don't toss broken bricks in the trash! Instead, make this charming custom patio in just six hours and a few simple steps (no masonry skills required).

diy broken brick patio
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

With simple tools and no masonry experience, you can turn a pile of old broken bricks into a handsome patio or garden path. Or you can make a surface for the watering cans next to a garden spigot or lay out an area about the size of a throw rug by your back door.

Broken bricks lend themselves to free-form mosaic designs rather than the tidy herringbone, basketweave, and running-bond patterns you might see in a formal garden. Fitting the bricks together is a little like working a puzzle: You let the bricks help define the design, which can be as random or fanciful as you like. No two projects look the same. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your own brick brick patio design.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Mason's hammer with striking head and chisel
  • 8x8-inch tamper
  • Dead-blow rubber mallet
  • Shovel
  • Broom


  • Bricks
  • Gravel
  • Sand


  1. DIY Broken Brick Patio

    Collect Supplies

    In addition to old bricks, you'll need gravel and sand to form the base. The staff at a building-supply retailer will be able to help you figure out how much material you need for the size of your project. You can make your brick patio as long and sprawling or small and charming as you choose.

  2. DIY Broken Brick Patio

    Break Up Brick

    Use a mason's hammer to break a brick into smaller pieces or chip old mortar off bricks. Use the tamper to compress the sand-and-gravel base. A dead-blow rubber mallet sets the bricks in place

  3. DIY Broken Brick Patio

    Create Brick Edging

    Excavate the area and lay a base of about 1 1/2 inches of gravel. Tamp down the gravel and top with 1 1/2 inches of masonry sand. Establish a brick edge first and then place a couple of odd-shape stones into the design. Fill in with brick pieces; tamp the bricks into place with a mallet.

  4. DIY Broken Brick Patio

    Place Bricks

    Place the bricks as close together as possible. This is where you have free reign on your new patio; the size and shape of your bricks may suggest fanciful patterns. Go the classic route with simple stacks or get creative with curves and zig-zags.

  5. DIY Broken Brick Patio

    Spread Sand and Finish Brick Patio

    After the bricks are in place, use a shovel to spread sand over the area. Sweep the sand between the bricks with a broom until all gaps are filled. You might need to add more sand and sweep the area a couple of times to fill in all the gaps. Now, sit back and enjoy your new broken-brick patio!

    Related: Make a Brick Path

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