An Aviary Abode
Give backyard birds the sturdiest of homes with this DIY cinderblock birdhouse. A half cinderblock’s hollow center creates a roomy living space for your feathered friends to nest. Add two pine board walls to create some privacy, drill a front door with a wood-boring drill bit, and add a dowel rod perch to give a very lucky bird family the prettiest home on the block.
Best BBQ Pitmaster on the Block
Make your backyard an outdoor party destination for your friends and family by creating your very own cinder block rotisserie pit. With only some strategically stacked cinder blocks, some rebar pieces for support, and a large hole for the spit, your backyard will soon rival famous BBQ towns like Kansas City and Memphis—just don’t be surprised if you start showing up on some travel guide books.
Everyone loves hosting a good garden party during the spring and summer evenings, but combing through Craigslist or shopping online to find sturdy and inexpensive outdoor furniture is always a challenge. Call off the search and make your own backyard bench using several stacked cinder blocks and some 4x4 posts to slip through them. Complete the look with a few comfy outdoor cushions and you’ll be ready for outdoor festivities.
Related: 10 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture
A Writer’s Block Desk
Don’t let your creativity get blocked—stack it instead! Perfect for small spaces, this DIY cinder block desk can be built in just a few minutes with four cinder blocks with the short sides placed end-to-end and a board cut to whatever length you want. This industrial-look desk automatically comes with its own storage system in the cinder block hollow centers. Use them to keep desk supplies organized, stack books, or display a collection.
Just because you don’t have a big backyard doesn’t mean you can’t work that green thumb. Become a patio botanist by making a cinder block planter. Simply lay down the cinder blocks in whatever arrangement you like and start planting. Pro tip: To keep your soil in place, put chicken wire underneath the block before you start planting. Also make sure that if you’re stacking blocks that your plants get good drainage by aligning the block centers.
Related: 13 Creative Designs for DIY Planters
On the Blocks
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere—in your backyard. Create a durable, weatherproof cinder block bar with a detachable top using just a few blocks for the frame, boards for the bar top, and liquid nails to keep the boards together. To secure the detachable bar top to the frame, attach an L bracket to the bottom of the board and line it up with the center of the cinder block. Now throw on a Hawaiian shirt and stir up a mai tai for your backyard staycation.
Best Lounge on the Block
Turn your backyard into a 1960s-style mod lounge using cinder blocks for large seating arrangement platforms. Carve out a corner in your backyard and start arranging and stacking the blocks into a bench-like structure for a midcentury vibe that’s perfect for everything from an impromptu cocktail party to an afternoon of reading in the sun.
When you don’t have much space in the backyard or you have a small patio, the only way to go is up. Take your garden game to new heights by designing a vertical garden made of stacked cinder blocks. Arrange the cinder blocks in different directions to house all of your favorite succulents, flowers, or herbs. The wall will not only serve as a functional space to hold all of your plants, but it’ll also make quite the conversation piece.
Related: Growing Up: 10 Inventive DIY Gardens
A Pretty Potting Bench
This DIY cinder block potting bench isn’t your grandmother’s plant stand. The cinder block design is simple enough to construct in mere moments and will bring an unexpected industrial chic look to your backyard. For an added design feature, hang a hook rail on the front or side of the potting bench for drying herbs or hanging garden tools.
Who says cement blocks have to be gray? Add a little pizzazz to a DIY cinder block corner planter by stenciling a pattern with some spray paint. All you need to do to create the look is to grab store-bought or DIY stencils and spray paint and get to decorating. Mix things up by adding different shades of the same color and incorporating different stencils to give your front porch or garden a cheerful and colorful facade.
Living Room Chair
What better way to experience nature than to literally be surrounded by it? Stack cinder blocks into the shape of an armchair and use the hollow centers of the cinder blocks to plant moss, flowers, or your favorite herbs. This cinder block chair makes for perfect garden seating—just don’t forget to add a few cozy pillows when you want to sit down.
Though we normally associate cinder block furniture with broke college kids, this fun cinder block entertainment stand puts that idea to rest. With simple, clean lines, this piece of furniture looks unexpectedly styled and sleek. Best of all it can be made to fit your electronics, and not the other way around. So when you upgrade to a new gaming system or decide to finally toss out a dusty DVD player, the entertainment system can be adjusted to fit as necessary.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Build Your Own TV Stand
Whether you constructed a cinder block wall around your patio or it was there before you moved in, looking at a wall of gray can get a little bleak and boring. Add a dash of style by stenciling or free-handing a design on your cinder block wall. Better yet, let any little ones join in on the painting fun to create some one-of-a-kind backyard art.
Related: 10 American-Made Buys for Your Outdoor Living Area
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!