Budget Backyard: 10 Ways to Use Cheap Concrete Cinder Blocks Outdoors

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Your backyard's new best friend may be the humble, lowly cinder block. What it lacks in pizzazz it makes up for in versatility, durability and affordability. Each one costs a little more than a buck and, with some imagination, can be used in countless ways to add function and flair to your outdoor space. Here are ten DIY cinderblock ideas to steal, modify and make your own:

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Vertical garden: make yours any size or shape you like

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Seating: cinder blocks + 2x2s create plenty of seating for a backyard BBQ, complete with cinderblock table

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Modular planters: here, gussied up with spray paint for a modern, geometric look

Bench: cover with a cushion, add pillows and you have a very affordable outdoor bench

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Raised garden bed: cheaper and more durable than using wood

Outdoor kitchen: cook, dine and drink al fresco

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Compost area: partitioned for older and newer waste

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Fire pit: this one was was made for under $60

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Centerpiece: here, potted grasses in small cinderblocks is chic and cheap

Tealight holder: it doesn't get more simple than this

(Image credits: Andrea Sparacio; Ispaci; Modernly Wed; Better Homes & Gardens; Dragon Fly Garden; Better Homes & Gardens; Cara Corey; The Dirty Loft; Jessica Pages/Design*Sponge; Courtney Payne)

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Main, Outdoor, Budget Living, Outdoor Space

As Apartment Therapy's Managing Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.