Cinder Block Shelf Furniture Projects

Written by tuesday fuller
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Cinder Block Shelf Furniture Projects
Breeze blocks can be used for much more than basement walls. (block wall image by Irina Kodentseva from

With creativity and proper planning, breeze blocks can be used to construct many other things aside from basements and commercial buildings. College students and eclectic artists, for example, have used breeze blocks to construct shelving systems and other storage types of furniture for many years. Not only are breeze blocks durable, they're affordable, many available for less than three dollars each from the local hardware store.

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Display Shelves

Perhaps the easiest, most common furniture project is the breeze block shelving system most often used by college students and first-time renters or home buyers. Looking for inexpensive ways to display photos and book collections, people use breeze blocks and sturdy planks of wood to create simple shelving units. To make a sturdy shelf, you need to have at least two blocks per shelf and a piece of flat wood. You can paint or stain the wood to match your decor. Simply stack the breeze blocks vertically or horizontally and place a piece of wood atop them. For shelves longer than six feet, use three blocks--two to support the ends and one to support the centre weight. While you may stack more than three courses high, it's safer to keep the shelf limited to three levels.

Music Towers

The general idea is to use an epoxy or masonry bonding cement to bond two blocks together and stack them vertically. Create a stable base for the tower from a circular or square piece of wood. To do this, use a masonry drill bit and screw through the ends of the breeze block and the centre of the wood. Using a long bolt with a wide head and washer, push the bolt through the holes and slip a washer onto the other end. Screw on a nut and tighten it to secure the base to the block. You may also wish to add a top to the breeze blocks to create a table. Paint the entire piece and arrange as necessary for your speakers, which will sit on top. The empty cells in the breeze blocks also provide an excellent opportunity to store CD or DVD cases.

Outdoor Furniture

Breeze blocks are weather-resistant and easy to relocate, making them perfect for around the fire or in the garage. Stack four blocks horizontally and use them as a portable side table. To make a sturdy bench for campfire storytelling, lay out six to eight blocks end to end for a long bench or side to side for a wide bench. Lay subsequent rows, each in alternating order, until you've reached a comfortable sitting height. Throw on some cushions to keep the seating comfortable, and you're ready for a night of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Arrange the blocks with some of the cells open toward you. In this manner, the cells provide storage for watertight containers that hold napkins and plastic silverware. You can even stack a few blocks on their ends to create cup holders for drinks.

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