If you’re the do-it-yourself type, it probably seems like there are always a few spare bricks, blocks or rocks leftover from any project. I know I’d rather have one or two to spare than run out in the middle of the job!
The problem is, after a while those odd bricks and blocks here and there start to stack up. Here are 15 great ideas for using up some of those leftovers.
Make An Easy Stone Wall
Our first project looks like it would take a team of professionals to install, but it is actually quite straightforward in concept. Simply cut square wood posts to the height you want your retaining wall to be, then staple hardware cloth or chicken wire fencing to the posts. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the spaces between the posts with whatever sized rocks you might have handy from other projects around the yard.
Add A Warm Glow
When I saw this picture, it was one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that?” moments. Those little holes in the bricks are just the perfect size for votive or tealight candles and will add a warm glow to any garden party. Make them do double duty by using citronella scented candles to keep all the little flying pests away.
If you have leftover cinder blocks, we have a few more tips that are perfect for you.
Make an interesting corner planter by stacking concrete cinder blocks on top of each other in alternating patterns, like you see pictured here. You could even add a splash of color by painting the blocks your favorite shade. Fill the holes with potting mix and add plants that can take the heat, since the blocks are sure to soak up plenty of sunlight. This would be a perfect place for a succulent or cactus garden.
A Work Of Art
While this project might be a bit ambitious for the average do it yourself-er, it is made entirely of stones just stacked together. The technique is known as dry stone walling, and this wall took about a month to complete. The effect is achieved by simply using rocks of differing textures and colors to give it it’s shape and form. There are a few more projects on this list that promise to make use of those leftover stones, so stay tuned!
Mark What’s Planted
I love those first warm days of spring when it’s time to get everything in the ground. But until they start growing, all the little seedlings tend to look a lot alike. These garden markers are a fun and easy way to keep track of what is planted where in your garden. Just use a white paint pen to put the name of the plant and add fun or whimsical little borders and designs to them.
If you have a lot of bricks or landscaping blocks left over from a project and would like to add a water feature to your yard, then this corner fountain might just be what you’re looking for. Built into a corner of a patio, it’s simply a matter of laying out and stacking the bricks, lining it with plastic, and adding a pump to circulate the water. It’s sure to add a little beauty to your landscape while using up some of those unsightly leftover blocks!
Multi-Level Plant Home
Add a lovely glow to your outdoor living space by stacking those concrete cinder blocks in a staggered stair step type pattern. You can then use the holes to display small tealights, either real ones or LED ones that run on timers. The tops of the blocks can be used to hold potted plants or seasonal decorations such as the mini pumpkins shown in the picture. Naturally, this project can find unique uses all year long!
The Path Less Traveled
Try your hand at a type of freestyle mosaic by using smooth pebbles of varying colors and sizes to make your own designs. The sky is truly the limit here, and the nice thing about it is that you can play around with the design as much as you like, moving the stones around. Once you’ve got the pattern exactly the way you want it to be, cement them in and your masterpiece will be complete.
Add a literary spin to your garden by painting those old bricks to look like your favorite literary masterpieces. Stack your “books” up a staircase or on a plant stand to add a pop of color, or scatter them throughout your flowerbeds and gardens to add some whimsy for those who like to wander but aren’t lost. Pot up a couple plants in a tea cup and the look will be complete. Stunning, isn’t it?
Make A Seat
This is another one of those projects that looks like it would be complicated but it really comes together in a flash. It’s basically three concrete cinder blocks stacked together on each end, with 2” x 4”s cut and put through each end. You can customize the size by making the wood as long or short as you like. For the seat, just use landscaping bricks or pavers. Naturally, there’s no limit to the number of benches you can build as long as you have the bricks!
Whimsical Spiral Garden
You can make this whimsical raised bed garden by stacking stones or rocks up in a spiral pattern. You can customize the size of the garden by adding stones for height or length. Fill in with potting or topsoil and add your favorite plants. This would be a great place to put herbs like mint that have a tendency to take over the garden if left unchecked. Either way, it’s a unique “spin” on the traditional garden.
Here’s another good way to use up some of those extra bricks and make some inexpensive gifts in the process. Simply fill the holes in the bricks with potting mix and plant your favorite succulents in it. Since succulents are easy to care for and are a snap to separate and root, it’s an easy way to spread a little succulent love. More gardening tips, tricks and projects to come, so stay tuned!
This is definitely a different way to think about your garden! Use some of those leftover concrete cinder blocks to create this beautiful raised bed garden paradise. Cinder blocks that are set on their ends with logs or 4” x 4”s set between them make the perfect foundation for a garden that will be much easier on your back and knees when it comes to pruning and weeding. Suddenly Saturday morning gardening rounds don’t sound so bad, do they?
Stone Rain Chain
Small stones or river rock and some copper wire are all it takes to make this adorable rain chain for your garden. Wrap different sizes of stones with the copper wire and attach them to each other with rings. Then just hang it in place of your gutter to give a lovely decorative and practical touch anywhere you’d like. It’s not pictured here, but you could get creative and paint designs on each of the rocks with waterproof acrylic for an extra touch of uniqueness!
Make A Custom Mat
Make yourself a custom welcome mat with some smooth stones, an inexpensive rubber welcome mat, and clear silicone sealer. Be sure to use a mat that has a few holes in it to allow water to drain through. Arrange the stones on your mat to make sure you have enough and that they fit well together. Be patient, it may be a bit like putting a puzzle together. Once you have them all arranged, use the silicone on the back of the stones as a glue to adhere the stones to the mat.