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DIY Cinder Block Bench

To follow up on last week's post on our DIY Cinder Block Raised Garden Bed, I wanted to share pics and instructions for our coordinating DIY Cinder Block Bench.

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.

Supplies needed:


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!


Kayla Retich said...

Love the bare look for the bench! Thanks for linking back to my post. Fun to see what others do with it. Great pictures too!

ramonaruby said...

Thanks for the inspiration and the tutorial, Kayla!

John Fox said...

The beauty of this is its very simplicity. For added stability you could bang small wedges into the 'holes' to secure the wood lengths. Whilst I like the open nature of the other holes another thing you might do to make your bench wildlife friendly would be to create insect homes in a couple or all of the remaining holes. See here for a guide:

diymama1 said...
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Yesenia Garcia Key said...

My husband and I are making this tomorrow... When it stops raining! Great idea!

Boni Patterson said...

I love this bench! I as a female senior can even do it myself to put down by the river where I live. Thank you!

ramonaruby said...

Yesenia and Boni let me know how it turns out for you! We still love ours a year later!

Betsy Howell said...

Add one more cinder block standing upright at the back and add two 4x4's and you have a back. Secure cinder block so if you lean back on it, it won't fall back. Add cushions on back and seat and have a comfortable seating.

ramonaruby said...

Good idea, Betsy!

Kuanyin said...

I want to make this but with the back, but I was wondering how sturdy it is, to lean on

ramonaruby said...

@Kuanyin - I don't have a back on mine, so I don't know how sturdy that would be, but the bench itself is incredibly sturdy.

Armand Salmon said...

Great idea. Definitely want to do this project. Also wondering how the back suggestion from Betsy would stabilize. Has anyone successfully made this with a back?

(deleted previous comment, forgot to check notify me) said...

I LOVE this! I am working on a DIY curb appeal project right now, and I plan to make this bench. I hope mine comes out as nice as yours!

ramonaruby said...

@MomHomeGuide - let me know how it turns out!