We got the idea (naturally) from Pinterest. I like the way cinder blocks look, while also being cheap and easy to work with. I love the look of gray and concrete, and with cinder blocks, you don't have to shape the concrete yourself... they are ready to go!
The bench we liked the most was this one from Kayla's Basement. We pretty much followed her instructions, but without the cushion (I liked the zen look of the bare wood), and changing the size.
- 12 cinder blocks (I used these 8"x8"x16" cinder blocks from Home Depot at $1.58 each)
- 4 - 4"x4"x8' pieces of wood (I got these from Lowe's)
- Thompson's Waterseal
- Liquid Nails
For the space we were using, 8' was too long for a bench width, so we ("we" meaning my husband) cut each 4x4 down to a 7' length.
We then coated the wood with Thompson's Waterseal to protect it from the elements. You can also stain the wood if you want, but I really liked the natural wood look.
The most time-consuming part of the project was leveling the ground where we were placing the bench. My husband and father spent a lot of time with shovels and a level to get it perfect.
Once it was done, we finalized placement of the 12 blocks (6 on each side, with 4 standing upright vertically, and 2 stacked on top of them horizontally).
The blocks are heavy, and didn't seem like they were going anywhere, but for some added structural stability, we adhered the blocks with Liquid Nails before inserting the 4x4's into the top 4 holes.
My husband and father enjoying a rest on the bench they just made!
Simple and contemporary, but sturdy and functional! I added a few plants around it in these Kardemumma series plant pots from Ikea.
Here you can see the bench in context of the yard with our two big oak trees (and you also see why we needed leveling - the ground is sloped right here).
Now we are ready for spring and summer outdoor enjoyment!