DIY Furniture & Design

8 Backyard Projects That Start with a Bag of Concrete

Now that the mercury's rising—but not yet too high—it's the perfect time to amp up the landscaping and spruce up the patio in preparation for a summer filled with play, relaxation, and fun with family and friends. But what about those outdoor projects you only dream about? You know, the ones you've delayed for lack of time, energy, or money. Whether you've been angling for a stylish side table, a whimsical walkway, or a fire pit that's too hot for words, you can build all these artful accents and more without breaking a sweat—or breaking the bank—using just a bag of Quikrete and some basic tools. The ready-to-use concrete does most of the heavy lifting for you. No one needs to know just how easy it was for you to create your own outdoor oasis! Well, what are you waiting for? Don your safety glasses and gloves, and get cracking on one or more of these concrete projects that can enhance the whole backyard. This content has been brought to you by Quikrete. Its facts and opinions are those of

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A Seat by the Fire

Quikrete and wood join forces in this three-day DIY project that creates a cozy companion for a backyard fire pit, fountain, or flower bed. Re-create this stunning outdoor seating option by assembling wood planks into two boxy molds reinforced with melamine board, then pouring Quikrete Concrete Mix into each mold, following the directions in this video. Once the concrete has cured, remove the form to reveal two sturdy bench legs that will look great topped by a rustic seat made of 4×6 wood planks. For an even more beautiful—and durable—finish, add a splash of wood stain to the bare wood.

A "Wheel-y" Great Planter

For a garden you can easily wheel in and out of the house so it can always be the center of attention, follow this clever project video that shows you how to craft a concrete planter on casters. The concrete form couldn’t be easier: It’s just the interior of an old laminate cabinet that’s been fitted with a stack of rigid foam insulation to shape the sides of the planter. A drilled hole at one end accommodates a spigot, which is the perfect drainage solution for preventing soggy roots. After ensuring that all cracks are sealed, mix and pour Quikrete 5000 into the cabinet and let cure until it’s time to pop the planter out of the mold and up on wheels. Fill the sleek, sturdy container with gravel and top it with soil and plants or—if you’ve given up on cultivating a green thumb—skip the greenery altogether and just dump in ice and fizzy drinks to create the ultimate backyard cooler!

Pull Up a Chair

This backyard beauty may look like a pricey luxury, but it can be yours with the aid of Quikrete and—believe it or not—an old plastic patio chair. Unconvinced? Watch the chair take shape! You’ll see how an upside-down chair can hold concrete, with the aid of ultra-strong duct tape and plastic bottles to help complete the form. Prep and pour Quikrete Concrete 5000 Mix into the form, including the four reinforced legs, let it cure, then make careful incisions into the plastic mold to weaken it enough for removal. Beneath, you’ll find a sturdy and stunning extra seating option that will wow guests at your next backyard barbecue.

Pour a Patio

A DIY patio can boost the beauty of your backyard—and the resale value of your home—for a fraction of the cost of a professionally installed slab. Let this trusty project tutorial outline the job for you. The essential steps: Lay a sub-base of gravel, build a bare-bones wooden form, and pour in Quikrete Concrete Mix. It’s just a little more effort to enhance the slab (for details, follow this guided video) and then finish the patio with your choice of a durable stain and sealer. With Quikrete’s Translucent Concrete Stains and Quikrete Acrylic High Gloss Sealer, you can add a long-lasting, decorative finish to your concrete patio with surprising ease.

Fireside Oasis

The flame-resistant properties of concrete make it a prime pick for an outdoor fire pit—and, with this tutorial from Quikrete, you can make one with your own two hands! All it takes are the basic woodworking skills needed to fashion two wooden molds out of scrap wood planks. The fire pit itself sits in an eight-inch-deep hole lined with a three-inch-deep layer of Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel. With fire bricks laid along the inside wall and Quikrete 5000 poured into the rest of the open form, after the structure cures, all that the eager marshmallow-toasters will notice will be the fire pit’s sleek, gray exterior. For the big debut of your new fire pit, fill it with lava rocks, and get fired up for some fun!

A Walkway to Remember

Do you have a desire to DIY a walkway, but not the time? Well, maybe you’ve got the time after all! The Quikrete WalkMaker condenses this typically time-consuming landscaping project into three easy steps: Set the reusable plastic form on level ground, fill the openings with Quikrete Crack Resistant Concrete, then lift the form to repeat. The plastic form doesn’t need to stay in place while the concrete cures, so you can build out the entire walkway in one shot, no matter which design you choose. With the cobblestone-patterned Country Stone form, you can either keep it in the same orientation for the whole project to achieve a uniform pattern, or rotate the form between sections to change up the design. You can even add Quikrete Liquid Cement Color to the concrete mix to create a wow-worthy tinted walkway in record time. Intrigued? See the WalkMaker in action right here!

Over-the-Counter Remedy

The unexpected marriage of modern and rustic materials in this concrete-topped cedar patio table make for a striking—and practical—pairing. The wooden legs, cut from cedar boards from the local hardware store, lend height and stability. But the real hero of this country-contemporary piece is the sprawling 28-inch-diameter surface made from Quikrete Concrete Mix. The recess in the center of the crafty tabletop, molded using a PVC cap, is ideal for displaying candles or storing chilled libations, Whatever backyard festivities you have planned this season, you can count on this trusty table to stand by you with strength and style.

A Welcome Addition

A playful pattern and a punch of eye-popping color make this concrete doormat a cheery sight at any front porch or side entrance. To make the 27 individual concrete discs used in this project, cut strips of cardstock or recycled magazines, form them into circles, and secure each one with tape. Make smaller circles for the center cutout in each disc. Glue the rounds onto a sturdy flat surface, then fill each disc with Quikrete Concrete Mix. Curing requires a little extra attention—and some light misting—to ensure that these thin discs won’t dry out too quickly and break. Once they’re ready to pop out, weave them together with braided poly rope, using any color and whatever macramé-like pattern will bring you the most joy at your door.