Words: Alan Herrera
Not all masonry projects have to be hidden under stacks of contracts and paperwork. Take your work skills home with you and plan an evening, weekend, or several weekends to improve that one spot in or outside your home that you have always thought needed some sprucing. You can use your unused materials, or invest in some new ones, to bring a little more beauty to your living spaces. Here are 9 DIY projects for any mason to do at home.
- Fire Pit
A fire pit becomes the cornerstone of your backyard or patio space. Firepits bring warmth, coziness, and community. They are easiest to make by stacking brick or stone so that a fire may burn safely within, but they can also be made with other materials like copper or glass. Run a gas line to the firepit for easy lighting or go with traditional wood-burning for that classic wood smell and crackle. Do not forget about a cover (can be made from stone or wood) and can double as a table! While this is one project that may take a bit more of your time, you will not regret cozying up to a nice fire on a chilly evening, enjoying the company of s’mores with your loved ones.
2. Pathway or Stepping Stones
Forget traditional pavement. Use brick, stone, or tiles to create an informal walkway to your door, through a flower garden, or next to a pool. Wherever you create this path, it will surely bring a note of beauty where it was previously lacking. The fun part comes in the design – you can choose to lay them in an orderly, organized fashion, or create cool spirals and odd designs. Maybe add a mosaic here or there. It does not even have to be a whole walkway. Place them intermittently to create stepping stones, using a variety of smooth stones for an informal aesthetic. Or line the outside of a path with brick and fill the inside with pea gravel.
3. Accent Wall
If you have always wanted an accent wall of brick but dislike decals, consider laying down brick as a wall! This will give any room inside your home an instant feel of rustic, rough newness while being simple and easy to construct. Leave gaps in specified areas to create makeshift bookshelves, or you can also build half or part of a wall. If this seems like too much of an undertaking but still want brick inside your home, try making brick shelves, or a brick backsplash for your kitchen!
4. Planters or Tea Lights
Take some old brick with holes and reuse them as planters or tea lights. They are perfect for indoors or outdoors and complement any space or existing décor. They are also extremely easy to use – just fill them with your favorite small plants or tea lights and find them a new home! Succulents tend to be the best plant for these, as they are hard to kill and survive essentially anywhere.
5. Herb Spiral
Lay down some brick or stone in a spiral and fill it with soil so that herbs can grow in a unique formation. They are great for smaller yards, although not exclusive to them, and bring a fascinating spiral aesthetic in which to grow new herbs. You can also plant flowers if they do not need deep roots. Remember you are not limited to one; imagine a small cluster of herb spirals that make your yard unique!
Lay down some material in the form of a pedestal and top it off with a bowl, fill it with water, and wait for the neighborhood birds to fly in. The pedestal can be any height but try to keep it high enough for birds to feel safe. Birds will be frolicking in your yard in no time, bringing joy and music and frequent photo moments.
If you have children who love playing with sand, this is the perfect project for them. All you must do is plot out an area in your yard, frame it out with brick or stone, and fill it with sand. You can get creative with the shape and layout of the sandbox, and can even have your kids help fill it in. After learning the value of hard, honest work, your kids will be making sandcastles and sand-cities in no time and stay entertained while you ponder your next project.
If your yard or patio needs some extra seating, consider making benches of brick or stone. Add a brick bench near your fire pit, a long couch at the edge of your pool, or single seats near your flower garden where you can see yourself reading a book. A good seating area is priceless. Just make sure you invest in comfy cushions and pillows that do well in the weather or leave them bare for a more rustic feel.
9. Tree Ring
Trees are often overlooked when considering ways to beautify your outdoor space, but they can easily become a marvel with simple tree rings. Simply stack bricks around the base of a tree, fill it with potting soil, and add flowers to grow. The effect is astounding for how simple of a project it is.
Whatever the project, make sure to utilize your masterful mason skills for each precise finishing touch and any of these DIY projects will look amazing in your indoor or outdoor space.