DIY lawn roller : What Lawn Roller Alternatives at Home

Flattening the ground on your lawn can sound like a really simple task. Well indeed it is, especially if you use a lawn roller to use this task.

However, there are some of us who love putting our creativity to the test. And there are others who want to save that buck and use it for other important things.

It doesn’t matter whichever group you lie in between these two groups because we all have one goal in common.

Which is to find a different method that we could use to flatten or smoothen our lawns effectively, without necessarily using lawn rollers.

Be it re- using a gardening tool that you bought for another purpose or actually fabricating a random tool to fit this purpose.

There are various alternatives that we can actually use to flatten the ground on our lawns and ensure that they are looking neat and tidy throughout. Yes, that’s right! However, you should follow certain steps when flattening your lawn using these alternative methods in order to get effective results. And also you need to have a bit more patience as compared to using a commercial lawn roller. The alternative methods include using tools such as a sheet of plywood, rake and a land plane among others that we shall look at.

Top Lawn Roller Alternative

Agri-Fab 45-0267 18- by 24-Inch Poly Push/Tow Lawn Roller,Black
  • CAPACITY: 400 lbs. when filled with water
  • STORAGE: Lightweight when empty, for easy transport and storage
  • ASSEMBLY: Some assembly required; a video instruction guide is available to assist with the assembly...

A drum of water
Alternative tools that you can use as a lawn roller

When we talk about DIY tools at home for your lawn we definitely need to implement some form of creativity into whatever we use.

So yeah, a drum of water can actually be a good substitute for a commercial lawn roller.

All you need to do is get a 55 gallon drum of water at home and fill it with water until it is heavy enough.

However, you should be careful not to fill it to the point that you will find it very difficult to move it around your lawn.

Once you have filled with water you can head out to your lawn and slowly push the drum of water over the surface that you’d like to be flattened. You may also need to repeat the same spot a few times to get the best results possible.

One advantage about this method is that you can easily adjust the weight of the drum by either adding or reducing the amount of water in it. 

A cardboard drum

I will briefly explain to you why this is also another awesome idea to consider as a home- made lawn roller.

Firstly, it doesn’t have any form of ridges on it which gives it a very smooth and cylindrical shape which emulates how a commercial lawn roller looks like.

This smoothness plays a very big role as it enables the cardboard to effectively flatten the surface of your lawn evenly.

Secondly, they are usually light which means that you won’t struggle pushing it around your lawn whenever you need to flatten your lawn.

It is also important to note that you could as well drill holes on the ends of the cardboard drum and fit in handles. This will definitely make your work easier when pushing it around your lawn.


Without doubt, this is among the cheapest alternatives you can use as a substitute of a lawn roller. I mean, it can even be any piece of wood that has been lying in your garage.

In addition to this, it is also very easy to use and doesn’t need any form of expertise.

Basically you just place the plywood on the spot that you want to smoothen and then step on it several times until you get your desired results.

However, it is important to note that you shouldn’t get a piece of wood that is too small.

This is because a small plywood covers a smaller surface area which will make you spend a lot of time trying to level the surface of your lawn.

You should get a plywood that measures approximately 4ft by 8ft in order to enable you to flatten your lawn efficiently.

Levelling drag

You’ll agree with me that we all have our reasons as to why we want to flatten the surface of our lawns.

Of course the main one being tidiness and leaving our lawns looking beautiful throughout. However, this tool is best for use especially if you want to flatten the surface of your lawn for reseeding.

A level drag will come in handy especially if you have an ATV or a lawn tractor because you normally have to hook it behind the tractor and pull it around your lawn.

One major benefit about this tool is that you will cover a larger surface area very quickly and still maintain an even surface throughout your lawn.

It will also help you save on time that you can use to do other important things.

When to use these alternative tools in order to achieve effective results on your lawn

Alternative tool

When to use it


It is most suited to press sod into the soil especially when you are laying it for the first time.

Drum of water

Since you can easily adjust the weight of this tool, it is best suited to repair mole or ant hills on your lawn. 

Levelling drag

You can use this when you are flattening the surface of your lawn for reseeding.

Cardboard drum

It is also good to use this DIY tool when you want to flatten the surface of your lawn especially if it’s not too bumpy.


We all appreciate our lawns looking neat and tidy throughout the year. However as you can see, you don’t need to break the bank and invest in a costly commercial lawn roller.

These tools are great substitutes for lawn rollers which can enable you to flatten the surface of your lawn effectively.


How do I roll an uneven lawn?

It is pretty easy, as all you have to do is lightly water your lawn first until the grass and soil become a little softer.

And then after doing this flatten the surface evenly with the tool that best suits you.

Should I roll the surface of my lawn mower frequently?

It is important to note that you shouldn’t roll your lawn too.

This is because watering your lawn and flattening it often reduces aeration in the soil.

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