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!

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 33 questions
  • Lisas Rexstar Lisas Rexstar on Jul 28, 2019

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

  • Jeannine Dunlop Jeannine Dunlop on Nov 05, 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.

  • Psa51767181 Psa51767181 on Aug 10, 2021

    what brand and colors of paint did you use on the blocks? They almost look like the paint was 'dusted' on. Really nice and DIFFERENT


Join the conversation

2 of 327 comments
  • Kay Kay on Apr 04, 2021

    Great idea

  • Mlk6371151 Mlk6371151 on Apr 04, 2021

    I'd put a small patio umbrella in the center so that it could be opened on sunny days, add a few lawn chairs and drinks of course!