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Ideas for Using Railway Sleepers in Your Garden

Ideas for Using Railway Sleepers in Your Garden

Railway sleepers are a very popular garden building material and we are seeing them used more and more in modern landscaping designs. Sleepers are such a popular choice among gardeners because they are attractive, hard-wearing and very versatile. They can be used for all sorts of garden creations, from raised beds to garden furniture. If you are looking for some ideas for using railway sleepers in your garden, here are some of our favourite suggestions…

Raised beds

You can use softwood or hardwood railway sleepers to make raised beds for flowers or vegetables. They will not only look great, but they are also very simple to construct. Depending on the size of the sleepers you use to build your raised beds, they can also double up as seating areas around the garden

Lawn or path edging

Sleepers are ideal for forming garden edgings as they can be used in a single height or they can be stacked to form walls or dividers. Garden dividers give a contemporary look to an outdoor space and help to clearly define the different areas of the garden.

A children’s sandpit

Building a sandpit using railway sleepers is not only a fun project for any DIY enthusiast, but it will also provide your family with hours of fun too. You can easily create a sandpit border using sleepers and build it to any size you desire. Then simply fill with sand and add the buckets and spades!

Important: Never use reclaimed railway sleepers for any kind of furniture or children’s play areas as reclaimed sleepers are treated with creosote, which can be harmful to skin and should not be used in frequent skin contact areas. Gloves must also be worn when handling any creosoted timber products.

We advise opting for oak sleepers for such garden projects.


If you are looking for something different from brick or stone steps in your garden, then sleepers are a perfect option. They add a beautiful rustic look your landscape design and they are very easy to install and maintain.

Retaining wall

Wooden railway sleepers are an excellent building material for creating a retaining wall in your garden. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can also be a more affordable alternative to bricks or concrete. Sleepers can be used horizontally to create a stylish low level wall. Find out how to make a retaining wall with railway sleepers in our previous blog.

Garden furniture

Railway sleepers can be utilised to create some very simple, but attractive pieces of garden furniture. Benches are one of the most simple structures that can be built using sleepers. Take one sleeper and cut off two even ends to make the legs. That is it; your work is done and now you can sit down and enjoy it!

Again, it’s important to consider the type of sleeper you’ll use to build your garden furniture. We recommend you opt for oak sleepers. 

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