Cinder Block Planter With Shelves

8 Materials
2 Hours

I was trying to figure out what to do with extra cinder blocks which were laying in the backyard of my apartment. It really was an eyesore! My landlord gave me free reign to take care of the yard so I decided to do a whole yard makeover. ..oh, the ideas I have! A garden. ..flower beds...container gardens...and those cinder blocks! Since I rent, I really wanted to do this inexpensively too. I came up with a cinder block planter with shelves. ..and it was free! (Well, I DID purchase the flowers)
For this project I used:30 cinder blocks - 8 of them were the large ones with two openings, the rest were were smaller in thickness and solid, flowers- petunias, sweet potato vine, straw flowers and celosia, flower pots for the shelves, potting soil and I used some leftover 2x2 wood scraps too.
The first thing I did was to level the ground a bit and begin stacking the blocks, the first (bottom) layer and top layer were made using the large blocks with the openings facing up. You can see the pattern in the picture.
On two of the layers, I allowed two of the blocks to stick out, creating shelves, for a total of four, one on each side.
Next I filled the openings on top with soil. This is where the flowers will be planted.
And then began planting. I used petunias in six of the openings and sweet potato vines in the remaining two.
Make sure to give them a good drink of water!
Then I made a border around the bottom with some old 2x2's. I just removed about 1/2 inch of the dirt around the planter and placed the 2x2's in.
Then I planted four flower pots for the shelves . I already had the pots but you can get the exact same ones at Dollar Tree.
I gave the planter a good wipe down, planted grass seed where the blocks used to be, placed the flower pots on the shelves, and finished!
I really like how it turned out and can't wait until the plants grow and fill it out!
And a view from our deck. ..
Now for a question. ..
Any ideas of what to do with the center opening? I've thought of covering it and placing another flower pot on it or something? !
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this project and hope it inspired you in some way. You can use any kind of plants or flowers . I'm thinking this would be great built around a tree too! Thanks for viewing!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 32 questions
  • Lisas Rexstar
    on Jul 28, 2019

    The blocks seem to be various shades of lavender. Did you stain them somehow? If so, what did you use?

    A tall plant of some kind would be perfect in the center. I feel a tree would be too big, even if not at first.

  • Lisas Rexstar
    on Jul 28, 2019

    When will you paint the 4 flower pots? What color(s)? 🙂

  • Jeannine Dunlop
    on Nov 5, 2019

    How do you keep the smaller pots from blowing off in the wind? Did you glue them down somehow? It seems they would need constant watering too.

Join the conversation

2 of 324 comments
  • Sarge
    on Jul 15, 2019

    I would put a solar light in the middle!

  • Betty
    on Nov 7, 2019

    Yes a light of some kind would be perfect. Love your planter

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