Need an outdoor bench in your backyard? Here’s a great DIY project for you that is very easy, you could do it in just hours.
An outdoor bench is a simple yet powerful addition to your outdoor space. It provides seating for you and your guests while also offering a place to rest your legs, whether you are having a dinner party or entertaining your children with some backyard games.
When selecting a bench for the outdoors, there is a wide variety of materials that you can choose from. These include wood, metal, plastic, and even stone.
Wood is the most popular of these, and the advantage for you is that you can sand and stain it to look like almost any colour imaginable. You can also cut it to fit the size of your yard or patio.
Metal is another option because it is durable and can be painted or stained to coordinate with your home’s decor.
Wooden and metal benches are expensive and time-consuming to remove, so concrete and cinder blocks are popular alternatives.
But cinder blocks are by far the most uncommon and inexpensive type of bench option. Cinder Blocks are sturdy, easy to maintain and repair, and easy to transport.
Build this beautiful bench in your outdoor area using only cinder blocks and lumber. This outdoor furniture is very quick to make with just four easy steps.
A coat of paint and some fabric cushions will make this bench unique to your backyard.
See more versions of this cinder block project from the gallery below, and be inspired to make your own!
DIY Cinder Block Outdoor Bench Guide
- 12 Cinder Blocks (6 for each side)
- 4 pieces of 4″ x 4″ x 10 ft. Lumber
- Concrete Adhesive
- Measuring Tape
- Carpenter’s Level
- Paint Brush
Step 1: Prepare the Site
Choose a level and stable area for the bench in your garden or patio. Clear the space of debris and use the measuring tape to ensure enough room for the bench’s dimensions. The area should be slightly larger than the bench’s final size for ease of construction.
Step 2: Lay the Foundation
Position six cinder blocks on the ground as the base for one side of the bench. Arrange them in sets of two, placing them side by side with the holes facing up and down. Repeat this process for the other side of the bench, ensuring both sides are parallel and the distance between them matches the length of your lumber. Use the carpenter’s level to ensure everything is even and adjust as necessary.
Step 3: Apply Concrete Adhesive
Once your cinder block base is laid out and level, apply concrete adhesive to the top of the first layer of blocks. This will help secure the second layer you’re about to add. Make sure the adhesive is applied evenly across the blocks.
Step 4: Add the Second Layer of Blocks
Place the second set of six cinder blocks on top of the first layer, offsetting them so that the joints between the blocks are not aligned. This staggered placement enhances the stability of the bench structure. Apply adhesive between these layers as well.
Step 5: Position the Lumber
After the adhesive has dried and the cinder blocks are secure, place the 4″ x 4″ lumber pieces across the top of the cinder block base to create the seating surface. Ensure the wood extends evenly on both sides. For added stability, you can apply concrete adhesive where the wood meets the cinder blocks, though this may make the wood permanent.
Step 6: Paint the Bench (Optional)
If you decide to paint your bench, now is the time. Choose a paint suitable for outdoor use and the specific materials of your bench. Apply the paint with a brush for an even coat, covering the cinder blocks and the wood if desired. Allow the paint to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 7: Add Cushions for Comfort
Add outdoor cushions on the lumber to finish your bench for added comfort and style. Choose cushions that fit the length of the bench and complement your outdoor decor.
Step 8: Enjoy Your New Bench
Once everything is dry and set, your cinder block outdoor bench is ready to use. Enjoy your new seating area in your garden or patio, perfect for relaxing or entertaining guests.
Design Variations for Cinder Block Outdoor Benches
Creating a cinder block outdoor bench is a simple, cost-effective way to add seating and style to your outdoor space. With their versatility and durability, cinder blocks allow various design variations to suit any garden, patio, or backyard theme.
Here, we explore several design ideas to inspire your next DIY project and ensure your cinder block outdoor bench becomes a statement piece in your outdoor living area.
Classic Linear Bench
The Classic Linear design is the most straightforward way to construct a cinder block outdoor bench. This design involves laying cinder blocks straight and threading lumber through the holes to create a seating surface. It’s ideal for minimalist gardens or as accent seating alongside garden paths. To enhance the bench’s look, consider painting the cinder blocks in a color that complements your outdoor decor.
Curved Bench Design
For those looking to add a dynamic element to their outdoor space, the Curved Bench design offers an inviting alternative. Arrange the cinder blocks in a gentle curve and secure the lumber on top for seating. This variation is perfect for encircling a fire pit or creating a cozy corner in your garden. Curved benches can add a touch of elegance and facilitate conversation among guests during outdoor gatherings.
L-Shaped Corner Bench
Maximize corner spaces with an L-shaped cinder block outdoor bench. This design variation is excellent for corner patios or garden nooks, providing ample seating without taking up too much space. The L-shape can also serve as a windbreak and define the boundaries of an outdoor living area. Decorate with vibrant cushions and throw pillows to create a comfortable and inviting outdoor lounge area.
Consider building a Multi-Level cinder block outdoor bench for a more dynamic and functional piece. This design features varying heights, providing seating and stepped surfaces that can double as plant stands or side tables. It’s ideal for terraced gardens or spaces with sloping terrain, adding visual interest and practicality to your outdoor setup.
Bench with Integrated Planters
Integrate a touch of greenery into your cinder block outdoor bench by incorporating spaces for planters within the design. Leave some blocks open or position them to hold potted plants. This variation adds life to your seating area and allows for customization with seasonal flowers or herbs, blending functionality with natural beauty.
Decorative Mosaic Bench
For those with a flair for creativity, adding a mosaic design to your cinder block outdoor bench can transform it into a work of art. Apply tiles, broken ceramics, or glass pieces to the sides of the cinder blocks using weatherproof adhesive. This approach offers endless possibilities for customization, allowing you to create a unique and eye-catching feature in your garden.
Modular Sectional Bench
Create a flexible seating solution with a Modular Sectional design. This concept involves constructing individual bench segments that can be rearranged to suit different occasions and spaces. It’s particularly useful for those who frequently change their outdoor layout or host events that require versatile seating arrangements.
Click on any outdoor bench to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer 😎
Integrating Cinder Block Benches into Your Landscaping
Integrating cinder block outdoor benches into your landscaping adds functional seating and enhances the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. These benches can serve as focal points, define areas within a garden, or provide a seamless transition between different outdoor zones. You can thoughtfully incorporate cinder block outdoor benches into your landscaping to create cohesive and inviting outdoor areas.
Choose Strategic Locations
The placement of your cinder block outdoor bench plays a pivotal role in maximizing its enjoyment and functionality. Ideally, the location should complement the landscape and offer comfort and utility to those who use it.
For example, positioning your bench to face a garden allows guests and family members to admire the fruits of your gardening labor, making it a rewarding spot for both relaxation and reflection. Similarly, a bench by a water feature, like a pond or fountain, can provide a serene backdrop, enhancing the tranquility of your outdoor space.
Another thoughtful placement is under a tree, where the canopy offers a cool, shaded refuge from the sun’s intensity, perfect for hot summer days. This makes the bench an inviting place to unwind and integrates it naturally into the landscape.
Alternatively, situating a cinder block outdoor bench along a garden path can transform it into a charming stop-off point, inviting passersby to pause and take in the beauty around them. Each location choice should aim to balance aesthetics with practicality, ensuring your cinder block outdoor bench becomes a cherished part of your garden.
Complement Garden Themes
Your cinder block outdoor bench should serve as an extension of your garden’s overall design theme, creating a cohesive and visually appealing outdoor environment. In modern garden settings, the bench can embody the essence of contemporary design through clean lines and simple geometric shapes.
Consider pairing uniform, sleek cinder blocks with polished wood for the seating area to maintain a minimalist and sophisticated look. Adding cushions in bold, solid colors can accentuate the modern aesthetic further.
For gardens that evoke a rustic charm, your cinder block outdoor bench can contribute to this atmosphere through a more distressed and organic appearance. Achieving a weathered look can be as simple as applying a stain to the wood or choosing reclaimed timber that tells a story through its imperfections.
The rugged texture of cinder blocks, especially when they are left unpainted or are lightly brushed with earth-toned colors, can blend seamlessly with the rustic theme. Incorporating elements like moss or integrating the bench near natural stone features can further enhance the rustic appeal, making your cinder block outdoor bench a harmonious addition to the garden’s overall ambiance.
Incorporate into Hardscaping Elements
Integrating your cinder block outdoor bench with the hardscaping elements of your garden not only enhances the bench’s functionality but also elevates the overall design of your outdoor space.
By thoughtfully aligning your bench with existing structures like walls, patios, or walkways, you can achieve a cohesive landscape design that appears both intentional and harmonious. For instance, constructing your bench to align with the height of a nearby retaining wall provides additional seating and extends the wall’s visual line, creating a more expansive feel to the space.
Similarly, using materials and colors for your cinder block outdoor bench that match or complement those found in your garden’s pathways or patio pavers can unify the different elements of your outdoor area. This could mean selecting cinder blocks and wood that mirror the textures and hues of your hardscaping, blending the bench seamlessly into the landscape.
You might also consider positioning your bench to bridge two distinct areas of your garden, such as the transition from a stone patio to a grassy lawn, effectively integrating it into the flow of the space and enhancing the overall user experience of the garden.
Use as Boundary or Privacy Screen
A strategically positioned cinder block outdoor bench can effortlessly combine functionality with aesthetic appeal, providing a comfortable seating option and a privacy feature in your garden.
Situing the bench along the perimeter of your outdoor space or delineating different areas within the garden acts as a subtle boundary marker that segments the space without the need for obstructive walls or fences. This partitioning method creates “rooms” within your garden, offering a unique ambiance while contributing to a cohesive landscape design.
Enhancing the bench with a backdrop of tall grasses, dense bushes, or even a trellis adorned with climbing vines boosts privacy and integrates natural beauty directly into the seating area. This living screen contrasts the solid structure of the cinder block outdoor bench, softening its appearance and blending it with the surrounding greenery.
Such plantings heighten the sense of seclusion and invite biodiversity, making your garden a haven for birds and beneficial insects. The result is a serene and private nook that encourages relaxation and contemplation, nestled within the natural embrace of your garden.
Create a Focal Point with Planters
Transforming your cinder block outdoor bench into a vibrant focal point by integrating planters offers a unique blend of functionality and aesthetics. This can be effectively accomplished by utilizing the inherent design of cinder blocks.
Their hollow centers are perfect for housing soil and plants, making the bench a living piece of garden art. Alternatively, strategically placing potted plants around or on the bench can enhance its visual appeal and create a more flexible arrangement.
When selecting plants, aim for a mix that offers a variety of colors, textures, and fragrances. Bright, bold flowers can catch the eye and draw attention from across the garden, while plants with interesting textures add depth and intrigue up close.
Fragrant herbs and flowers enrich the bench’s surroundings, making sitting down a more immersive sensory experience. This method not only elevates the bench’s status as a central feature in your garden but also encourages interaction, inviting guests to literally stop and smell the flowers.
Enhance with Lighting
Incorporating lighting into and around your cinder block outdoor bench can magically transform the space into an enchanting night-time retreat. Integrating solar lights into the blocks can illuminate the bench from below, creating a subtle and inviting glow that highlights the bench’s structure.
Alternatively, draping string lights overhead or installing ambient lighting nearby can cast a warm, inviting light, enhancing the bench’s charm after dusk. This lighting accentuates the bench as a pivotal garden feature and increases the area’s functionality, allowing it to be enjoyed during the evening hours.
Blend with Softscaping
Merging your cinder block outdoor bench with the surrounding softscaping can create a harmonious balance between your garden’s hardscape and living elements. Incorporating flowering plants, shrubs, or grass around the base of the bench can help to soften its appearance and tie it into the natural landscape.
Utilizing creeping plants that can grow over and around the cinder blocks allows the bench to become part of the garden, blurring the lines between man-made structure and natural growth.
This blending technique ensures that the bench does not stand out as an isolated element but instead appears as an intentional part of the garden’s design. It enhances the bench’s aesthetic appeal and invites visitors to sit and enjoy the seamless integration of hardscape and softscape. By carefully selecting plants that complement the bench and the garden, you can create a peaceful and inviting nook that feels like a natural extension of the outdoor space.
Sustainable Gardening with Cinder Block Benches
Sustainable gardening practices are becoming increasingly important as we seek ways to minimize our environmental footprint and create eco-friendly outdoor spaces.Incorporating cinder block outdoor benches into your garden design is a stylish and practical addition and a step towards sustainability. These benches are durable, low-maintenance, and can be integrated into various garden styles while promoting eco-conscious living.
Eco-Friendly Materials and Construction
Cinder blocks are a sustainable choice for garden furniture due to their longevity and minimal environmental impact. Unlike wooden benches that may require cutting down trees, cinder blocks are made from concrete, which can last for decades with little to no maintenance. By choosing cinder block outdoor benches, you’re opting for a product that won’t need frequent replacement, reducing waste and demand on natural resources.
Recycling and Upcycling Opportunities
One of the key aspects of sustainable gardening is the ability to recycle and upcycle materials, and cinder block benches excel in this area. Many gardeners create these benches using leftover cinder blocks from other projects, giving new life to materials that might otherwise end up in landfills. This approach saves resources and inspires creativity, as each bench becomes a unique, personalized feature in your garden.
Water Conservation and Planting
Integrating planters into your cinder block outdoor bench can contribute to water conservation efforts. By filling the blocks’ holes with soil and plants, you can create a micro-gardening space that requires less water than traditional garden beds due to its contained nature. Additionally, selecting drought-resistant plants or succulents for these planters can further reduce your garden’s water consumption, aligning with sustainable gardening principles.
Cinder block outdoor benches can be designed to support garden biodiversity. Incorporating planters into the bench design creates additional habitats for pollinators and beneficial insects. Planting a variety of native flowers and herbs can attract bees, butterflies, and other important pollinators, enhancing the ecological balance of your garden. This benefits the environment and promotes healthier plant growth and a more vibrant garden ecosystem.
Energy Efficiency and Lighting
Adding lighting to your cinder block outdoor bench can also be done in an eco-friendly manner. Solar-powered lights are an excellent option for outdoor lighting, as they use renewable energy from the sun, reducing your carbon footprint and saving on electricity costs. By choosing solar lights, you can enjoy your sustainable garden even after dusk, creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space that’s kind to the planet.
Building a cinder block outdoor bench is a practical and rewarding DIY project that enhances any garden or patio space. With just a few materials like cinder blocks, lumber, concrete adhesive, and basic tools, you can create a sturdy and attractive seating area that adds function and style to your outdoor environment.
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