Introduction: How to Stripe Your Lawn

Picture of How to Stripe Your Lawn

I don't like mowing my lawn, so I decided if I have to do it, I might as well give myself some enjoyment. I started out with this small project, and figured if my lawn-rolling rig worked, I'd do some cooler patterns next time. One of the reasons the "roller" is so rigged is because I was too lazy to actually make one out of PVC and lead shot, which was my original plan. Now that I know this technique works, I'll probably make one like I had planned. Duct tape tends to come off too easy, but it's also easy to rig things up with it. Have fun with this, and if you can figure out some cool patterns, let me know!

Step 1: Getting Some Weight

Picture of Getting Some Weight

When striping your lawn, the weight of the roller pushes the grass in one direction or the other. Because the blades are leaning opposite directions when you finish, the light reflects off of them differently, hence giving the appearance of stripes. Just like when you vacuum your carpet. Now, I didn't make a roller, for reasons aforementioned, but I decided to just take some weights, and duct tape them to the flap on the back of my lawnmower. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have experimented with different weights, and see how that affected the stripes, or how hard it was to push the mower, but I am, so I just went with what I had laying around.

Step 2: Attach Weight

Picture of Attach Weight

I made sure that when I taped the weights to the flap, there were no loose ends to get caught up in the blade. (I'm lazy, but not so lazy that I want to see what happens when cast iron meets whirling steel!) I also checked to see if the weights stretched the flap out, making it able to get caught in the blades. In both cases, I was safe. In my next revision, the roller I build will attach to the mower, and roll a few inches behind the flap. Once I was taped up and safe, I got to mowing! The weight will now bend your grass in the direction you mow, giving it that professional "I'm so important that I have to hire a landscaping crew because my time is far to precious to work on the lawn" look. Have fun, and let me know if you come up with some cool designs. I read somewhere that one guy mows it in a diamond pattern, but changes the length for the crosscuts, giving him a 3-d look to his lawn. If anyone does this, please send me some photos!


muzzemil1 made it! (author)2016-09-06

Annual crop circles for my front yard.

BLASTFEMI (author)2013-10-22

My brother cuts his lawn in checkerboard!

katerlyn (author)BLASTFEMI2015-07-09

How does he do checkerboard, I like that! 8-)

katerlyn (author)2015-07-09

I have recently noticed "lawn striping" and you answered my question perfectly WHY???? :

"I'm so important that I have to hire a landscaping crew because my time is far to precious to work on the lawn" look.

sysadmn (author)2006-12-11

You can also get a pretty neat effect by setting one side of the mower one notch higher or lower than the other. Obviously, it doesn't work if the back is higher than the front, but then the neighbors will think you've riced up the mower. Especially if it's a Honda. How do I know? I used to live in a neighborhood where lawn was a competitive sport. About half my neighbors were retired men who mowed every other day. One day, at a block party, one guy did this as a prank. His victim couldn't figure out why the lawn didn't look right. He mowed at right angles, and it had a definite three-d pattern. Took him two weeks to figure it out, then he assumed that he must have mis-set it himself.

ehensel1 (author)sysadmn2013-10-23

I finally tried this at the end of the summer. Right side set high, left side set low. The lawn had a really cool "flowing waves" kind of effect. Not something I'd want all the time, but interesting nonetheless!

tinker234 (author)2011-06-19

could i use this to make a robot some how

mikevanL (author)2009-07-02

If cutting the lawn isn't enough, why not push around an extra ten pounds with that mower. Haha still a great idea though.

ldunn (author)mikevanL2011-05-28

yea cos ten poundas is so much more

eclectro (author)mikevanL2011-05-28

It's sure to burn the lard off your butt, fatty!

sföxx (author)2011-04-12

I like the idea.. but being even lazier I just bought an old second hand cylinder mower for a couple of hundred bucks (motorized/self propelled). I did have to sharpen the blades up first though. They are built with big heavy rollers that drive them (no wheels).. which in the process stripe the lawn if you mow in alternate directions of course. Cuts a hell of a lot neater and better than a rotary as well.

oilpaint2 (author)2008-08-13

Nice lawn but if you do not like mowing it you could landscape or permaculture some of it or all of it and you don't have to mow and you are helping the environment as well.

Mr. Brownie (author)oilpaint22009-06-16

Turn It into a giant garden that the old crazy people have on movies.

Notbob (author)2008-08-05

Some professional lawn mowers have things like this built in, thats how they get the baseball fields to get the stripes.

Dr. No (author)2006-07-30

make crop circle patterns on somebodys lawn when they are away or asleep

Blenderizer (author)Dr. No2008-07-27

Asleep? Not for long with a lawnmower out

PSPerson (author)Dr. No2007-01-27

YES crop circles are NICE lol

thydzik (author)2006-08-28

why not just construct a heavy roller that can be pushed. You can mow the lawn normally making sure everything is even. And then you could go over with the roller not having to worry about the neatness of the grass being cut at the same time.

The Porsche Fan (author)thydzik2008-07-26

that's just more effort exerted than needed.

Biopyro (author)2007-07-26

Just go over the lawn with a broom after you've mowed it.

The Porsche Fan (author)Biopyro2008-07-26

you're done

thermoelectric (author)2008-07-17

Smart idea 5/5 rating

hedgiehog (author)2007-03-31

I'm going to do this to my schools feild and spell my name out in giant letters, or stripe the lawn while my dad isn't looking to make him think he's gone crazy. MUAHAHHAHA

Tvman (author)hedgiehog2007-08-10


hedgiehog (author)Tvman2007-08-10

Oh sorry i got it off the internet, if you care so much i'll change it

Tvman (author)hedgiehog2007-08-13

naw its ok...i got mine off the internet too lol...i changed it cuz i luv this one so much more :)

ehensel1 (author)hedgiehog2007-03-31

I never posted this instructable with the intent of vandalism. If I had intended that, I would have told people to get Roundup, and make designs in the lawn. But please, don't do that. That is wrong. Especially if you make sure that you get it by name. Roundup. Wrong.

wittyhoosier (author)ehensel12007-08-02

Ortho GROUND CLEAR. More wrong.

Tomton (author)2007-05-08

You could rig a piece of PVC filed with lead weights tied to drag behind the mower as you ride, you'll want to use stiff bars to attach the PVC though so it doesn't get caught up in the blades when you turn around.

HAL 9000 (author)2007-05-03

Wow, that looks very nice, good thinking. ive always wanted to do this, but didnt have a clue how. You mentioned using something other than duct tape. Heres my idea: Use those nylon zip ties. put your weights on the plastic flap where you want them, punch holes above and below both ends (i would use the narrower handle parts) and use a zip tie to affix it to the flap. They wont come off by themselves, but if you want to remove them you can always cut them easily. they also cost no more than a few cents, and if you buy then in a bulk pack theres no end to what you can do with them, they are the most useful little things!!

ehensel1 (author)HAL 90002007-05-04

Hal- Great idea with the zip ties! I'll be trying it out this weekend!

Aqualung1000 (author)2007-04-20

Why not just use a spreader (for fertilizer) and put some lime in it and just run it up every seconf row. I did something years ago- spelled something out on a persons lawn (use your imagination) with lime, when they saw it they immediately tried to wash it away with a hose. In 1 week it was spelled out permanently in the lawn! hahaha

Ben.land101 (author)2007-04-09

awsome instructable and sweet lawn.

hedgiehog (author)2007-04-01

it wouldn't be vandalism, and I would most likely be to lazy to actualy do it at my school. But screwing with my dad is still funny.

bruce86 (author)2007-03-16

You could save yourself the time and just pull the lawnmower backwards to get a different stripe

SugarTeen52 (author)2007-03-15

Wow, talk about making a dull job fun. Congrats on keeping it simple and not telling people to buy stuff they can't afford!

Oorspronklikheid (author)2006-12-29

I always wanted to know how its done.

trebuchet03 (author)2006-07-06

cool... it does not work on my grass (I'm in a hot region and we have St. Augustine grass). Next you should try making a woven pattern :P Put roller on a cam so that it lifts up every 12-18 inches or so... the tricky part would be getting the rows to align just right :P

Jesus10555 (author)trebuchet032006-12-21

yeah, I have that shitty grass too. theres a bunch of sand patches, but the grass will grow over eventually.

trebuchet03 (author)Jesus105552006-12-22

Yep... just water the sand areas ;) The grass will "find" it and fill in faster ;)

Jesus10555 (author)trebuchet032006-12-22

oh, shti, I didnt even think to water the sand and not the grass. Oh my god it makes so much sense, hahahaha thanks

diy_er_sc (author)trebuchet032006-07-09

This idea won't work on St. Augustine. Yo need a grass with a thin, tall blade that lays down easily. Fescue or bluegrass will work nicely. Centipede works ok, but not great. Time to re-sod!

dkfa (author)2006-11-10

use the alian patterns on a lawn but on a big one.i use to live it kasas and had a big,huge yard but we moved and now i have a small yard

dkfa (author)2006-11-10

the grass keeps on popen up dam it

Unforgiven_God (author)2006-10-12

hey nice instructable i've always wanted to know how to do this....any thoughts on how to do it with a riding mower?

mcline (author)2006-08-26

This is really cool.

Thinkman (author)2006-08-22

Great idea, But why not just purchase a lawn mower that does this kind of work? Maybe just a bit more expensive, but hey your idea works to, I guess!

MadBeaver (author)2006-08-15

nice. i have a push roller. doesn't have aflap

Kactapuss (author)2006-08-13

i think its harder in a ride -on lawnmowe unless you have enough space in the perimiter of you grass to make tight enought turns.

Abstract_Artist (author)2006-08-12

I live in Florida and I too have St. Augustine grass and a ride on lawnmower, I'm gonna have to get some bigger weights and attach something to the back of my lawnmover.

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