If you’re an avid DIYer, then you know that, with a little bit of elbow grease and creativity, pretty much anything can be upcycled into something beautiful. Take cinder blocks, for instance. Sure, they may conjure up images of construction zones and extreme karate kicks, but these cement fixtures are actually quite versatile.

Don’t believe us? Well, we’ve got 15 brilliant projects to prove you wrong. Here are some of our favorite ways to repurpose cinder blocks…

  1. Outdoor Bench and Organizer

    cinder block loveseatSuzelleDIY

    The must-have lounge/organizational tool for those with the greenest thumbs. Customize your piece with paint and designs that best fit the theme of your garden. You can even match this bench to your petunias!

  2. Patio Love Seat

    cinder block benchLive Your Style

    Working with tools not really your thing? Then consider installing one of these trendy cinderblock love seats. If you can assemble a Lincoln Logs cabin, you can put together one of these bad boys.

  3. Outdoor Grill

    cinder block grillDr. Stewart Productions

    Add some fiery pizzazz to your cooking with this clever outdoor grill project. The materials are dirt cheap and the grill itself can be assembled in less than a few hours—just in time for dinner. Did someone say ‘s’mores’?!

  4. Stackable Planters

    cinder block plantersaCreative Traveler

    The perfect project for those just getting into gardening, these stackable cement planters allow you to add in new plants as your collection grows.

  5. Aquarium Stand

    cinder block aquarium standPink Aspen Projects

    Traditional aquarium stands are not only pricey; they are also not the easiest on the eyes. So, instead of dropping a couple hundred bucks on one you are not in love with, simply make your own. Your fish and reptiles will never look better!

  6. Shelving Unit

    cinder block book shelfThe Survival Gardener

    You wouldn’t believe it, but stacking wood slabs onto some well-placed cinder blocks makes for one of the chicest shelving units we’ve come across in a while. The perfect addition to any minimalist-inspired home.

  7. Wood Holder

    cinder block wood holderclassof56 via Instructables

    If you utilize a wood burning stove, then this project is for you! Tidy up those ricks with this nifty wood holder before winter hits, so that you are organized and ready to go before the cold months come.

  8. Desk

    cinder block deskThe Merry Thought

    Who said that desks had to be big and bulky? This brilliant project allows for customizable length and width, so that you never have to sacrifice valuable bedroom space again.

  9. Bedside Table

    cinderblock endtabledwell

    Bedside tables are to desks as bikinis are to outfits: they both require less material to make, yet they all come in at around the same price. It just makes no sense! So, instead of dropping your monthly grocery allowance on nightstands, just pretty up a couple of cinder blocks. Cute!

  10. Birdhouse

    cinder block birdhouseLowes

    Wanting to add a touch of that modern “industrial” look to your backyard? If so, then look no further than this eye-catching cinder block birdhouse. Your high flying friends will thank you for their trendy new home!

  11. Bed Frame

    cinder block bed frameDesign Tripper

    Add some lift to your mattress with a few cinder blocks. Not only will this super simple project give you some added storage space in your bedroom, it also allows you to change up the look of your room with ease. Prop it high, or take it down low—it’s completely up to you!

  12. Art

    cinderblockartReality Daydream

    Believe it or not, cinder blocks can also serve as the perfect canvases for some gorgeous art. Spray ‘em with paint, glue on a mosaic, or cover them in wall paper. Time to get your artist on!

  13. Stackable Candle Holders

    cinderblock candleThe Horticult

    Ensconce your tea lights in protective concrete with this illuminating hack. What a beautiful (and safe!) way to burn your favorite candles.

  14. Steps

    cinderblock stepsThe Figure 5

    Add some variety to your garden with these cinder block steps. Soon, you’ll be seeing your beloved plants from a whole new point of view!

  15. Outdoor Bar

    cinder block outdoor barBetter Homes and Gardens

    Make your very own bar and eating space in your backyard with this fun project. Materials for a big, beautiful bar like this will only set you back about $700. How cool is that?!

We bet you’ll never look at cinder blocks the same way again! To get the full tutorials on each and every one of these projects, be sure to click on their titles above for links.

What do you think of these cinder block projects? Have you tried any of these before yourself? Do you have any that you would like to add to the list?