How to Fill Driveway Cracks

This was one of the most long overdue projects at our home. We’ve been talking about what a hot mess the driveway was for the last two and a half years. There were chunks of top coat missing from years neglect, 2 of which were admittedly our fault, and patches of grass.

I was almost half tempted to let it grow and see what the earth had in store for this asphalt disaster. But I figured it would be another 50 years of neglect and overgrowth before it actually looked balanced enough to photograph and I don’t have that kind of time. So we opted to fill in the cracks.

The first step to fill in the cracks is to remove the grass from them. I was actually surprised about the depth of the cracks once we removed the grass. I may or may not have role played God looking looking down at the Grand Canyon. “Thou shalt be a giant crack in the earth’s crust, illuminated by the light of surrounding casinos.”

After we revealed the canyons of cracks in our driveway, Brian edged the side. Why not clean it all up, right?

Then there was dirt everywhere, but no grass! So we rinsed it off.

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This will need time to dry before you start filling in the cracks. Next, you’ll need a bag of sand, which by the way will be ridiculously heavy. I don’t know if you knew this, but a 20 lb bag of sand weighs about the same as a small hippo. After 10 ft of holding the 20 lb bag and shuffling around the driveway, we took a ziplock back, filled it with sand, and cut out the corner. I highly recommend the ziplock bag strategy.

You don’t need to fill all the cracks with sand, but it’s recommended that you fill cracks larger than the size of your nail with sand before sealing with the crack sealing tar. The sand will keep the tar from settling deep in the cracks and cracking itself. It’s also more cost efficient to use sand than it is to fill everything with 100% tar.

Look at that stud hard at work. Ready to seal the cracks!

This blacktop crack filler is available at Home Depot. At first we started off with one small bottle, then we realized we were going to need stock in this stuff. For the second go-round, we went back to Home Depot and opted for the village sized bottle (which we used 100% of), which was only a couple dollars more than the hut sized bottle. When in doubt, always buy extra. Having to stop in the middle of your project is a major buzzkill and derails your momentum.

We poured the crack filler generously over the sand and used a flexible joint knife (the trowel-looking thing to smooth out drywall spackle) to flatten the crack filler, sealing it down. This part was the most fun. It also went the fastest. We moved quickly because this stuff cures in the blink of an eye.

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I’m not sure if it’s some chemical they intentionally put in there, like wet pink spackle, or if the sun changes it, but I almost had a heart attack when I saw the filler was brown. I though we would have been better off with the grass look, but thankfully it dried black.

It took a few hours to dry to the point of being tacky and about 24 hours to dry completely. But now our cracks are filled and we’re grass free!

Ready to seal coat your entire driveway? Check it out >

 

Outdoor Couch Cushion

We try and do everything on a budget. We’re on a mission to redo this house with the tears of Abe Lincon. EVERY penny counts. Truth be told, our old neighbors in our apartment complex were throwing these couches away and Brian snagged them at the last second.

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Before

They are awesome. So awesome in fact, a brand new set retails for over $2,000. These cushions have seen better days. They started to smell like moldy fabric death and tear at the corners. I looked up the manufacturer to order replacement cushions and they were RIDICULOUS. Like $300 per cushion. We could have ordered a new love seat for what we would have paid for just the essence of the chair (any Friends fans out there?! “That’s right, I’m taking the essence!”) I tried finding replacement cushions from literally every single english speaking company that has a website. This couch is such a awkward length we had only one more option: DIY.

Here’s the alternative we came up with for about $80 (and an additional $80 for the top pillows I got from Target). Even at $160 all in, that was still a better option than the replacement cushions.

How all good DIY stories start out, once upon a Saturday we went to Home Depot. We got a large piece of plywood for $20. As always, because Home Depot is the best, they cut the wood to size for us (we measured before so we knew the dimensions).

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Then we went to Joanne Fabric and picked out some outdoor fabric for $11. If you subscribe to their text messages they’ll send you coupons. I had a 60% off fabric coupon. I go to Joanne Fabric maybe once a year, but their frequent text messages are totally worth it when you make an awesome score like this.

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Here’s the outdoor fabric we chose

ALWAYS do your research when getting materials for projects. We needed memory foam to complete this project and Joanne’s was selling 2 inch memory foam for $79. We found a larger 3 inch memory foam piece on Amazon for $50. So we opted to wait for the two day delivery to save $29 and get a better piece of padding. We’re so glad we did!

Here’s how it’s done:

Take the cushions and line them up on the plywood. With a pen or pencil, outline the cushions.

With a jigsaw, follow the outline you made cutting away the excess wood.

Don’t go crazy cutting. It’s better to go slow, see what fits and make adjustments. We shaped up the plywood multiple times to make sure that it fit exactly into the frame of the couch.

When you’re happy with the shape of the plywood, place it on top of the memory foam. Use a utility knife to cut along the shape of the plywood, using it as a template.

When you’re finished cutting out the memory foam, take the fabric and place it upside down on a flat surface. Then place the memory foam on the fabric and the plywood on top of the memory foam.

Using a stapler, pull the excess fabric up and staple it to the plywood. Work your way around the plywood stapling the fabric into place. Be sure to pull tightly in the corners and staple generously to keep the fabric in place.

Here’s the final product being enjoyed by The Royals! The blue pillows are from Target. I got all three of them for 15% off for a total of $80. Making the entire project total $180. I think it was pretty worth it!

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Duke is looking ROYALLY comfortable!
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Finished product!