A couple weeks ago, Abraham got the idea that he wanted to make a little brick pad underneath the hose on the side of the house. There were a few busted-up old bricks there from God-only-knows-when (there have been lots of owners since this house was built in 1900), and so he decided he would try to use them somehow.
Then the idea kinda blossomed. He decided he wanted to do the whole pad with “found brick.” Very artsy, huh?
But where were we going to find enough bricks? I’d like to tell you that this was a very well-thought-out process, but…it wasn’t. But here’s what we did:
1. Choose a fearless leader.
Ours was the unstoppable Abraham Piper, Urban Scavenger. Behind the wheel of a Swagger Wagon, he is a force to be reckoned with.
2. Assemble your crew.
3. Start scavenging.
This might mean that you drive (what will feel like) aimlessly through old industrial areas of town, through abandoned train yards, etc. We also drove along residential alleys to pick up any extra bricks people might have had from ripping out an existing patio, or any they had leftover from building a new one.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask.
After awhile, we started getting bolder. We pulled up into a couple landscaping businesses and just asked them, “Hey, do you have any old bricks left from a job that you’re not going to use?” We didn’t care if they matched, or if some were a little broken.
I was amazed at how generous those folks were! If they order too much brick for a bigger job that they can’t use for another one immediately, they probably don’t want it sitting around taking up space. So they gave some to us!
5. Celebrate success.
Make sure your crew feels like part of the process or they’re gonna start grumbling from the back seat.
6. Play Tetris.
Abraham did all the digging, sand pouring, etc. to prep the area for the bricks. It was a little trickier since many of them were different thicknesses, but since it was a patio area that wasn’t going to be walked on very much, it didn’t really matter if it was absolutely perfect. I think he did a great job keeping it level, though. And then you just have to fit them all together into the space you have.
I really like the randomness of it. And the best part was, we only paid for some sand!
My next urban scavenging project is to find some old spools and do this with the hose:
[Photo via Design Sponge]
What do-it-yourself projects are you doing this summer?