DIY: Brick Pillars

Updated April 17, 2017

Building a brick pillar will take you a couple of days and planning to successfully complete. You can build two different types of simple brick pillars: a free-standing brick pillar, which is solid and filled with concrete, or a brick pillar column, which has an empty centre that can have a support beam inside to place decorative items. If you are building a supporting pillar, you should inform yourself of the load it needs to bear so that you purchase the proper grade materials.

Determine the size and height of your pillar. The taller the pillar the wider the base should be to ensure that the pillar can support itself. A 12-inch by 12-inch pillar is a simple four-brick formation per layer.

Prepare the mortar with the water as directed on the mortar bag. You will be using the mortar to adhere the bricks to one another like you would when bricking the side of a house. You do not want the mortar to be too runny or too dry because it will cause instability in your pillar.

Place four bricks for your base, creating a square with an empty centre. The bricks should be placed end to side. Your bricks should look like two L's put together. Using your trowel, place mortar between each brick connection. If you want a support pole in the middle of your pillar, pour concrete into the empty hole and insert a pole in the centre.

Trowel mortar onto the top of the bricks and place another layer of bricks on top of the mortar. Press the bricks into the mortar firmly and scrape off any excess mortar. When placing a new layer or bricks, alternate the brick placement so that the mortar joints are not all on top of the previous one. By doing this you create a more sturdy pillar. Continue placing bricks until you reach the height you desire.

Fill the pillar with concrete once you have finished placing the bricks. If you do not want to fill the pillar with concrete, you can also fill in the hole with mortar as you are building your pillar. You can choose to leave the pillar hollow, making it lighter and easier to move, but it might become less sturdy. Another option is to fill most of the pillar with concrete or mortar and leave a couple inches empty near the top that you can fill with flowers or other decorations.


Use a level after each layer of bricks so that you know your pillar will be level when it is completed.

Things You'll Need

  • Bricks
  • Mortar
  • Concrete
  • Trowel
  • Water
  • Level
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About the Author

Nikki Van De Walle began writing in 2005. She has written articles for Humber College's "Daily Planet" and Guelph-Humber's "Radix." She graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber in 2010 with honors, receiving her Honors Bachelor of Applied Arts in media studies as well as her Diploma in Journalism.