You saw a little peek of the polkas from the birthday/ gender reveal party post last week. I’m finally spilling the DIY outdoor bench beans. Cinder blocks are kind of awesome. They are like (really heavy) building blocks for big kids.
Here’s the before of the lovely outside patio situation… remember when we painted our free outdoor furniture?
I knew I wanted a big ol’ bench to fit under the windows, I just wasn’t exactly sure what or how that was going to happen. And then I saw this awesome pin from BHG. Andy did a little Craigslist search for cinderblocks and we found some for $1 each. That’s a steal considering if you buy them at a home improvement store, each one is $1.50. So, Andy and I had a little craigslist adventure to the hill country and found tons of cinder blocks! (This pic is an instagram from Oct. 26th when we picked these suckers up.)
Then Andy came home, and whipped up the bench base. Carrying these blocks did not look fun. Good thing I was just the photographer, I mean I am pregnant after all!
Layer 2… We decided to add arm rests and even a little table for Andy to use when he grills just because we had extra blocks. The awesome thing about this bench is you can make it into a million configurations, and even change it up if you want!
Then we went to Home Depot and bought one sheet of ply wood. Andy chopped it into 3 pieces for me. Each cushion is 30.5 x 41. Oh and do you like our fancy wood work shop, ha! Poor Andy really needs a table saw and a real work bench.
I bought foam and batting from Jo Ann’s and found some fun outdoor fabric for uber cheap at IKEA. I really wanted black and white stripes, but ended up settling for black and white polka dots after searching high and low for my stripes. I made the 3 cushions the same way I made the cushion for my free chair I reupholstered. Cut the foam to fit the board, cut the batting to wrap around the board and staple. Then cut the fabric to wrap around the entire thing and add tons of staples. It’s really not hard. Do I think it will last outside forever, not at all. But, by the time it’s crusty, I’ll probably be ready for a fabric change anyway!
The polka dots made it easy to keep the fabric straight from cushion to cushion! And here’s the finished bench, or at least finished for now. I think I might paint the cinderblocks. White maybe? Turquoise? Who knows! Oh and some of those are real outdoor pillows and some of those are from the nursery and only living on the bench for the purpose of this 15 minute photo shoot session!
Here’s a good side shot of our new giant bench…
Here’s one in the middle of the day with some fun tree shade lighting…
And here’s one more before and after:
And here’s the cost breakdown:
- 75 cinder blocks from Craigslist= $75
- 1 piece of ply wood= $25
- 2.5 yards of 1 in. foam (with 40% off coupon and I had a gift card)= $34
- 2.5 yards of batting (50% off sale and I had a gift card)= $30
- 3 yards of fabric from IKEA= $18
- Stapler and staples= already owned
- Pillows= already owned
Grand total (including gift cards)= $118
Not bad for a giant bench, huh? Have you ever made anything out of cinder blocks? I’m brewing up more cinder block ideas over here!