5 Things to Do with… Bricks

Expanses of sturdy, beautiful brick enhance walkways, decks, and houses. But even if you have just a few bricks on hand, there's plenty you can do.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Jan 16, 2014 5:21 PM

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For thousands of years, people have made bricks and used them to build structures of all kinds. Even today, with so many materials at our disposal, we continue to prize brick, not only for its strength and durability, but also for its undeniable aesthetic charm. Newly fired bricks sell quickly, which is one reason that the market for reclaimed brick has gotten bigger, especially in recent years. With a large enough supply of bricks, you can build a walkway, fire pit, or patio. But you don’t need dozens and dozens; there are plenty of uses for bricks in single-digit quantities. Scroll down to see five of our favorites from around the Web.



Uses for Bricks - Bookends

Photo: theeffortlesschic.com

One of the many DIY uses for bricks is to make bookends for your fireplace mantel or home office. Spray-paint the bricks in a single color or in a combination of your favorite complementary hues. To render your creation unique, why not add an ornament (like the children’s toys used here) by means of hot glue?



Uses for Bricks - Planter

Photo: prsarahevans.com

What do you get when you bore an inch-deep hole into an ordinary brick? An extraordinary planter, perfect for a small succulent. (If greenery doesn’t excite you, that same hole can become a sturdy, offbeat holder for tea lights.) At your next outdoor party, make this mini planter (or maxi tea-light holder) your table centerpiece, or place it on a deck rail as a conversation-starting accent.



Uses for Bricks - Bookcase

Photo: flickr.com

Of all the many uses for bricks, this one ranks as a classic, even among non-DIYers: Combine a stack of bricks with a few wooden boards, and your near-instant result is an almost infinitely adjustable bookcase. Paint the bricks and boards to match, or use several colors that work together, or leave them unfinished for a rustic look.



Uses for Bricks - Doorstop

Photo: eichler-blog.com

It worked for your grandmother, so it should work for you too, right? Grab some leftover fabric (or even some old clothing) and take 10 minutes to loosely stitch a cozy around that brick you’ve been using as a doorstop. A less traditional but equally appealing idea is to paint the brick doorstop a standout color like metallic gold.



Uses for Bricks - Garden Marker

Photo: homengardeningtips.com

Stencils and paint are all you need to transform bricks into garden markers. Of course, if you’re feeling artsy, you can always skip the stencils and label the bricks freehand using paint markers. To let guests admire your handiwork as they arrive for dinner, spotlight each brick with easy-to-install solar landscape lighting.