AND won’t break the bank….

AND serves as a garden planter….

AND is EASY to build…..


Love it. Love it. Love it.

With all the gardening and outdoor activities going on right now, I’ve been a bit light on posting the ‘creative’ type projects as of late….so here’s a fun one for ya!  I did this project a long time ago for one of our B. original episodes and was excited to be able to bring the idea to life again over the past couple weeks….it’s the perfect addition to our garden schoolyard area….

I hope you’re inspired to go out to your garage or garden shed and be creatively resourceful with any of your leftover landscaping materials…

Things like:

  • Concrete Blocks
  • Window Screen (Aluminum and Fiberglass)
  • Salvaged Fencing
  • Landscape Cloth/Weed Barriers

Just look at the incredible outdoor furnishings and artwork you can create for yourself…..

Concrete Block Furniture:

Even if you have to go out and purchase all new concrete blocks…this little beauty will only run you about $50…which is money well spent for a piece of durable, no maintenance, long-lasting furniture….AND when you tire of it, you could just disassemble and use the blocks in other ways.  You also get double duty because you score a number of ‘garden planters’ built right in to things.  Naturally good in SO many ways, eh?! :) ha.

You can create Sofas, Chairs, Tables, Stools….Think back to building blocks when you were a kid (only MUCH heavier) and let your imagination run wild….Build, Build, Build.  Start with a level surface and construct whatever shape, size, design that suits your space….(can use landscape block/construction adhesive to secure blocks together where needed — i.e…back to base, and arms, if desired )

Like I said, I’ve built these a few times for our studio spaces but am now even more inspired to take the time to create a set for our patio at home…maybe a couple of couches facing each other with a convertible coffee table/fire pit in between….a couple of chaise lounges with colorful cushions….random cubes scattered about…..So much FUN…and SO inexpensive.  We’re leaving ours natural, but you could also paint or stain if you’re wanting something more colorful…possibilities are endless.

Weather Resistant Wall Art

People are always asking about things they can do for their outdoor spaces that will hold up to the elements.  Well, this type of wall art does just that….Create canvases using window screen or landscape cloth/weed barrier materials.  Create your own frames out of reclaimed wood or repurpose old wooden picture frames.

To create the paintings…I generally use liquitex artist acrylics and then use their varnish products…they hold up VERY well and are uv/water resistant.  (their website BTW is also a great resource for creative ideas and paint know-how) You can also use leftover house paints for these projects.

The window screen is fun to use because you can play around with stitchery for your designs.  Use yarns, embroidery floss or natural twines….**note your yarns or embroidery flosses may fade a bit if they’re exposed to ongoing sunlight..

You can play up the textures of the different canvases and work them into your designs.

Hang proudly….they’re the perfect companion to your concrete blocks….and then sit back and enjoy your resourceful handiwork!

We just shared this salvage style feature with our good friends over at Do It Yourself Magazine, so watch for it in their Spring 2012 issue….AND their photographers take WAY better pics than I do…….we’re so proud to be a part of one of the few remaining magazines that shares FUN, budget friendly, do it yourself ideas…you’ll score tons of wonderful ideas from these folks….check ’em out!  It’s a mag that you’ll want to put on your book shelf and refer to over and over again or pass along to others looking for inspiring ideas.

Cheers to outdoor living, my friends!


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  3. Jlattin says:

    any tips on how to plant the plants in the cinder blocks? Where does the water drain to?
    Love the idea and I have built one, now want to add plants. :)

  4. Brenda Gatlin says:

    I am going to attempt 2of your projects I am 69 years old but each of the projects looks fairly simple so here goes this June

  5. Carole says:

    We’ve used concrete block for raised garden beds and a few other things, but never considered making seating.

    For my own personal tastes I would definitely want to front it w/ some kind of paver to close the holes, AND make cushions. These types of blocks can really scratch up the skin (if anyone sat on it in shorts during the summer, ouch).

  6. Moya says:

    I know this is older, but I think it’s really cool and would like to know if you have a pattern for these? Thank you and have a great weekend!

  7. Maureenann says:

    Just what I am looking for and idea what to do with building blocks left over from some work.. Will situate this under a Carob tree.inmy garden in Cyprus

  8. Tina Sahli says:

    would really like to do this in my rockgarden, but u dont say how many blocks to use, could u help me out?
    Thank you
    Tina Sahli

  9. Nicole says:

    I was considering doing a pallet sofa outdoorsbut with small children was concerned about safety of pallets. That’s when I found your great idea! But before I go buy my blocks please tell me of any safety concerns in using cinder blocks so I know what I’m getting myself into please;) (I had already found and brought a bunch of unsafe pallets home, ugh)? Thank you so much!

  10. Michele Beschen says:

    Hello Ellie! I’ve built several of them and on some I will use a greenchoice construction adhesive (suitable for exterior landscaping blocks) in between the blocks as I stack the back and arms to the base. You’ll find you won’t need to use any glue on the base itself. The adhesive does an excellent job of keeping things secure. The one in the above picture I didn’t reinforce with adhesive. The back is filled with dirt and would require quite a bit of force to move them. I wanted the flexibility of being able to move it easily, if needed. You can always do a build as a dry run, sit in it and then go back and apply adhesive where you feel it could shift on you. It’s also important that you’re building it on a level surface. Here’s a link to a few other pieces I built if you want to take a look…. Hope that helps, Ellie…let me know if you have any other questions…Thanks for stopping by!

  11. ellie says:

    When you lean against the back, won’t the bricks move? Have you done something to stabilize those?

  12. Heather says:

    Michele – I LOVE this!!! I used to watch B. Original religously, but don’t remember ever seeing this one. Clever as always!

  13. Tina says:

    Such a great idea. I have been itching to do another backyard enhancement. Especially near our vegetable garden where we lost our old sofa to harsh weather last year. This looks functional and sturdy just what we need.

  14. Patti S. says:

    This is a great idea! Love it! Love Do-It-Yourself magazine, too. Like the section on your guest room redo. Outstanding!

  15. Eddianni says:

    I’m going to build one. Looks like a great place to house toads, snakes, ladybugs and my garden tools I always leave outdoors….dang me.

  16. Candi Lewelling says:

    Want to see the convertable table/fire pit! LOL! Too bad I’ve moved so often–this would have been great use for those old college bookcases!

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