9 Genius Ways to Upcycle Old Bricks
Before you haul those bricks to the dump, check out these creative ways to repurpose them.
Is that old pile of bricks leftover from a previous project creating an eyesore on your property? While you can certainly pay someone to haul them off to the local landfill, a better option is to put those bricks to good use. This versatile building material can be used for a surprisingly broad range of projects, from a path through the garden to a backyard fire pit to a secret hiding spot for a spare key.
Read on to find out all the ways you can repurpose those old leftover bricks.
1. Build a Fire Pit
If you have a good number of leftover bricks, use them to create a fire pit. You can build an elevated fire pit like the one shown above by first constructing a base to hold a small horizontal fire pit pan like this highly rated option available at Amazon. Create a secure edge around the flames by using fireproof bricks and mortar; then fill the pan with gravel or reflective fire glass for just the right ambiance in your outdoor space.
2. Edge Your Garden
Bricks are great options for creating edging around landscaping. They keep mulch from migrating out into the yard when it rains and create an attractive break between landscaped areas and your yard. Dig a trench around the area you want to edge and embed the bricks so they stay in place.
3. Drop One in the Toilet Tank
If you happen to live in an older home with an original toilet that guzzles water, you can make it more efficient by placing a brick in the toilet tank. The brick will reduce the volume of water in the tank, requiring less water to fill it. For this trick to work, you’ll need to place the brick on its end so that it rises above the low fill line. It’s also a good idea to place the brick in a plastic bag to prevent it from breaking down and damaging the toilet’s plumbing and mechanical parts.
4. Protect Your Water Heater
Use those old bricks as a base for your water heater if it happens to be located in the basement. Placing the water heater on bricks elevates it above the basement floor, protecting the water heater from rust should water collect around its base.
5. Create a Garden Path
If you don’t mind some digging, use the bricks to create a walking path through your garden or yard. Don’t have enough bricks for a continuous path? Group six to eight bricks together to create a square or rectangular stepping stone. Once you’ve decided on a pattern, embed each stepping stone into the ground by digging out a section of yard or garden that matches the size of each stepping stone.
6. Use Them as Wheel Chocks
Unless you park that trailer on a perfectly level spot or block the wheels, it can potentially roll away. Wood blocks are one solution. Bricks, which are heavier, are a better one. Use old bricks to keep your trailer from rolling away by wedging the brick in front or behind the wheel.
7. Fashion a Candle Holder
Add rustic farmhouse flair to your home by repurposing an old brick as a candle holder. Lay the brick on its side and then add tealights or other small candles to the three holes that run through it. A brick candle holder is a clever (and cheap!) centerpiece for a farmhouse-style dining table.
8. Build Raised Garden Beds
Old bricks provide an easy way to build raised beds for a garden. Arrange the bricks in a circular or square shape, then fill the bed with soil. For lower raised beds you can simply stack the bricks. For higher beds, you’ll need to use mortar to join the bricks so the wall will be strong enough to hold in the soil.
9. Conceal Your Spare Key
If you’re constantly losing your house keys, you’ll appreciate this clever use for an old brick. Place an old brick in an inconspicuous place in your landscaping, and put a small container holding a spare key in one of the brick’s holes. The brick won’t stand out to would-be intruders, and the hole makes it easy to locate the key for those in the know.