I shared a DIY cinder block bench sneak peek from the birthday/ gender reveal party post last week. I’m finally spilling the beans on how to make the cinder block bench. Cinder blocks are like really heavy building blocks for big kids. Here is the before of the outside patio situation pre bench. Remember when we painted our free outdoor furniture white?
Here’s what you need to make a cinder block bench
- Cinder blocks (We used 75.)
- Ply wood
- Circular saw
- Outdoor fabric
- Staple gun
How to make a cinder block bench
I know I wanted a large bench to fit under the windows. How to make that happen was the problem, until I saw this awesome pin from Better Homes and Garden.
Step 1- Buy & move cinder blocks
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. Andy and I took a 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.)
Step 2- Build the base
There is no right or wrong way to build the base of a cinder block bench, and remember you can always move the cider blocks if you don’t like the first layout. Andy and I decided to do a bench plus arm rest and side table to fit our space. Carrying these blocks from the back of the truck to the backyard did not look fun. Good thing I was just the photographer, I mean I am pregnant after all!
Step 3- Add a second layer
Once you decide on a cinder block layout, add the second layer. We decided to add arm rests and even a little table for Andy to use when he grills since we had extra cinder blocks. The awesome thing about this bench is you can make it into a million configurations, and even switch it up whenever you want.
Step 4- Make cushions
We bought one sheet of plywood from Home Depot. Andy used a saw to cut the plywood into 3 pieces to fit the top of our bench. Home Depot will typically make a few cuts for you if you don’t have a saw at home. I made each cushion is 30.5 x 41. Don’t mind our makeshift workshop and saw horses.
Step 5- Upholster cushions
I bought foam and batting from Jo Ann’s and found some fun outdoor fabric for 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 stripes. I made the 3 cushions the same way I made the cushion for my free chair I reupholstered. I cut the foam to fit the board. Then, cut the batting to wrap around the foam and stapled the batting to the underside of the board. Next, I cut the fabric to wrap around the entire thing and stapled like crazy. 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…
And here’s one more before and after of the patio:
How much does a cinder block bench cost?
Here’s the breakdown on the cinderblock bench:
- 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
How much is costs to build a cinder block bench= $182
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!
If you like this garden DIY, don’t miss: