When marking off an area for a sidewalk or patio, it can be difficult trying to dig around the layout string. To solve this problem, hammer in the stakes and attach the string, then sprinkle flour in a line on top of the string.

Remove the string and dig along the flour line.

To make a curved pattern, layout a garden hose in the shape desired.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the garden hose to form a layout line.

Remove the hose and dig along the pattern where the hose was.

Editorial Contributors
Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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