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Handmade Wednesday: Cinder Block Garden Planter

Please, please, please forgive me for being late with this post!  Normally it’s up in the wee morning hours but the last few days have been a bit crazy for me and Movie Star.  So, I hope this finds you well.  I really wanted to post something I have been working on lately but as I sat down to actually work it out, I realized I didn’t have my camera.  Whaaaat?! Yeah, I had left it at my sisters house about an hour and a half away from me.  So, I took some pictures with my computer as I was working, but the quality was so bad I was embarrassed to share them.  However the dog walking belt (that’s what I was making) did not turn out quite the way I’d hoped, so lucky you….. I am going to work on it again and hopefully put it up next week!  It was a great way to work out the kinks and use it while walking my two crazy beast-dogs to see what needed to be changed before I share a tutorial with you.  So, look forward to that.

Anyway, the reason you are here: for a cinder block garden planter that you can make with your very own hands.  I came across this one and instantly fell in love.

Didn’t you?  I know you did.  Even though this has a very modern look – and I’m not into modern things – This is an awesome way to dress up your otherwise ugly, blank cinder block wall (and use the extra blocks you know you have stacked next to the garage).  Plus, it’s super easy.

Just head on over to visit Potted (where this all began) and check out the story behind making this garden planter!  Or you could check out one of our commenters below who did the same thing and has an excellent tutorial on her site J Peterson Garden Designs.  Way to go Jenny!


  • Merewether - July 21, 2011 - 12:19 am

    Loving the simple geometry of this installation – plus it acts as a heat sink so would keep the area warm into the evening.ReplyCancel

  • concrete - July 21, 2011 - 4:13 pm

    uh… they are called concrete blocks. They were called “cinder” blocks because they were made with cinder. That hasn’t happened in decades. Although if you really want the you might still be able to get cinder blocks but if you didn’t specifically ask for cinder blocks, you have concrete blocks.
    Just sayin’.ReplyCancel

    • concrete - July 21, 2011 - 4:14 pm

      but what you have there does look very nice.ReplyCancel

    • Melia - July 22, 2011 - 1:14 pm

      Concrete: Seriously? Get a life.

      I love this idea and wish I lived somewhere that I could put this to use! Fabulous!ReplyCancel

    • Keithen - July 24, 2011 - 6:23 am

      Actually they still make cinder blocks. Those might be cinder blocks. Only difference is they add a small amount of cinder so they are lighter for the masons. Still have the same strength but are noticeably lighter.ReplyCancel

  • BoggyWoggy - July 21, 2011 - 9:50 pm

    In our world, they are still sold as cinder blocks. Why be such a critical ninny?ReplyCancel

    • Vocabulary - May 11, 2016 - 7:16 am

      I beleive the word you are looking for is pedantic, then irony.ReplyCancel

  • That Girl - July 21, 2011 - 11:35 pm

    Looks great! What did you do to keep the soil from falling out of the bottom of the over-hanging sections? Magic, I assume?ReplyCancel

    • Lindsey - July 22, 2011 - 10:07 am

      Well Magic would be one way of doing it ….. but little miss Jenny Peterson below gave an excellent suggestion in her blog post on this same subject. Head on over to her site and see just how to do it using chicken wire and landscape or weedblock fabric!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Peterson - July 22, 2011 - 8:01 am

    I love your version! I was instantly inspired when I saw it on Apartment Therapy last year and created my version as well ), as did a lot of other people! I put spaces for candles in mine, and another friend, Pam Penick, made hers two-sided to subdivided a space.

    Thanks for the share!ReplyCancel

    • Lindsey - July 22, 2011 - 9:55 am

      Jenny, yours looks great! Yeah I had originally seen it on Apartment Therapy too. I love the idea for putting spaces for candles. I am a candle junkie and would love that look in the evenings. Way to go! And thanks for sharing your version and your site with us. So informative. We will surely keep checking you out.ReplyCancel

  • davidnikol - July 22, 2011 - 8:09 am

    nice flowers but i dont know what kind is itReplyCancel

    • Lindsey - July 22, 2011 - 9:56 am

      They are just succulentsReplyCancel

  • jbdceltic - July 23, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    Awesome. Really jealous. Love the idea!ReplyCancel

  • EarthGardener - July 25, 2011 - 11:14 pm

    Yea its nice in theory but the blocks heat up quickly and dry the soil out, effectively cooking the root system. This should only be done in areas where it only receives partial sunlight, and given you dont live in the south this could actually work. Ive tried this in years past and it does not work well.ReplyCancel

  • Kevin - July 26, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    I would say this is quite awesome, but that is only because it is the best adjective I have. GREAT application.

    I would relate that you should place these on the East facing side to grow vegetables or the like. Since this will allow them to cool through-out the day.ReplyCancel

  • kate - July 28, 2011 - 5:58 am

    Problem is that cement leaches into the soil so be sure to change the soil each time you plant it. Also this planter can be very hot for your plants so choose your plants carefully.ReplyCancel

  • ken shoufer - August 2, 2011 - 6:26 pm

    I like the idea. I’ll have to try it some time. Thanks for the post.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Peterson - August 23, 2011 - 2:20 pm

    I love the conversation around this project! Since I built it late last year, I do have some additional suggestions: If you live in a hot climate, partial shade is better, especially if planting succulents. I also said to use chicken wire and landscape fabric to hold the soil in, but my landscape foreman said we actually used metal lathe. Also, I would suggest using more structural building techniques (pour a footing, use reinforcing rebar) to ensure safety, especially if you have wee ones that may be tempted to climb on it.ReplyCancel

    • Lindsey - August 24, 2011 - 2:08 pm

      Thanks so much Jenny for updating us! This is great because people seem to love this idea and it’s best to have as much info as possible. I appreciate your suggestions. Thanks for visiting again!ReplyCancel

  • Gareth wilson - August 27, 2011 - 1:02 pm

    Love the idea very,simple which is always good and I love succulents also. It wont be long before somebody puts something similar on the market.ReplyCancel

  • Reeva - September 9, 2011 - 11:28 am

    You can use pavers to make the planters. 5 square pieces put together are not expensive.ReplyCancel

  • Haiku Hammock Swings - September 12, 2011 - 1:32 pm

    That is a great idea. I am going to try this one day.ReplyCancel

  • holzgrill - September 20, 2011 - 10:40 pm

    I love this simple idea. The most inspiring of ideas come from the most simple of materialsReplyCancel

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