Bench For Your Backyard

9 Materials
4 Hours

Thank you so much for the kind compliments! Some of you brought up some good questions and concerns...
1- we have never had an issue with the cinder blocks moving. Not to say it wouldn't happen, but just know that we have had countless parties and kids over and never had any issues with blocks shifting but if you want to play it safe you can definitely use an adhesive. What I kind of liked though was that this wasn't a permanent project so I can change my mind one day if we want to re-arrange the yard.
2- love the ideas to add some extra color by painting or staining the concrete cinder blocks, super tempted to even do tiles! great ideas and excited to inspire some backyard projects to you all!!
3- sadly Franklin is still gone roaming the wild! (at least one could hope! ha)



Billy and I love to have people over and host, so with that we are constantly looking for ways to improve our yard and "hosting" space. We were super excited about our recent backyard transformation, we took out grass and installed some fake grass, plantings, decomposed granite and even poured some concrete. Amongst all these improvements we still wanted to create a fire pit area, but let's face it things can get pricey when it all adds up!! To save some bucks we were able to come up with a great alternative for our new and improved fire pit seating area. Rather than building some large wall with seating we were able to make our own and what's kind of nice is that it's not permanent so we can still have some flexibility with changing the yard up as our lifestyle changes.

Here's our blank canvas :)

But there is one sad part about this blog post, remember Franklin- oh good old Frankie. In case you have no clue who I am talking about, Meet Franklin. My 50 lb 6 year old Sulcata Tortoise who recently ran away. Yep, he managed to escape his cinder clock cage while Billy and I were out of town, so saddddddd. But with that said, it's been quite some time now since Frankie escaped and Billy and I were ready to move on and make use of his cage. Heck now we can think of him when we sit on our bench right? haha

Supplies: (for my exact bench, feel free to altar to your area)

  • cinder blocks (22 doubles, 8 singles)
  • 6 - 4x4 wooden planks
  • wood stain
  • polyurethane
  • paint brush
  • sander
  • soil/plantings

Did I mention we were able to get some of our husbands to join in the zest?!?!? Oh heck yes!! Billy started with some sanding....

Next Josh and Cooper tag teamed staining the wood

There might have been a few beers involved as every good man project should....

After the stain is dry go ahead and add a coat of polyurethane for extra protection in the weather

Now it's time to play tetris!!

First off you will want to wear gloves when you move the cinder blocks to avoid them tearing up your hands.

So you can see the formula that worked for me here....mixing in those doubles and singles to create the pyramid look for plantings

Now to plant! I am going to do some native grasses and succulents since the cinder blocks are not too big and won't hold too much water for long- gotta think of what will actually live!!

Fill the blocks with soil and get to planting....

Managed to find a little friend in the process!! ah!! {i LOVE weird}

Yay! LOVE the color and can't wait until these start to grow and really hang over the blocks and fill in!!

Billy managed to sneak in one more coat of poly while I planted...

And there you have it!! So excited for our next bonfire!!


Resources for this project:

Cinder blocks
6 - 4x4 wooden planks
See all materials
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 43 questions
  • Bambi Christine Running
    on Apr 18, 2019

    WHAT is is it that is in the yellow circles? If it is markings how did you do them them?

    • Carey
      on Jun 8, 2019

      For the record, you are not weird!!! I hope to add a tiny pond to my yard and add some little goldfish and at least 1 frog!! My sister was delighted when a friend said that she had to many frogs, so she gave some to my sister! : ) and my daughter was delighted that she had a frog in her pond, and recently was disappointed that he disappeared!! Bet she finds another one before to long! : )

  • Sandy
    on Apr 20, 2019

    how did you attach the beams? with people sitting on them don't they tend to move, I would worry that they would slide out


  • Sylvia
    on Apr 20, 2019

    What kind of paint do you recommend for painting cinder blocks that won't wash off or fade?

    • Yvette Huesler
      on Jul 14, 2019

      I've use all purpose spray paint. It's held on for over 3 years now, even in the severe Northern Wisconsin winters.

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