14 Creative DIY Projects To Upcycle Leftover Bricks To Use In Your Home And Garden

Bricks are a strong construction material that is often found leftover in excess after home building projects. Luckily, there are a ton of creative and practical ways to repurpose these bricks around your home and garden. If you don't have spare bricks from a home project of your own, it's likely that you can find them from a neighbor or a construction site. And these days, old bricks are also being locally advertised and sold for cheap, even or given away, through online platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

The strength and durability of a brick comes from the firing process, which fuses clay particles together at extremely high heat to create its structure. From pavers and cored bricks to fire resistant and wedge bricks, this affordable and hardwearing construction staple has many potential applications – not just constructing walls. Whether it's an easy art craft for kids or a beginner building project, keep reading to learn how to upcycle bricks into something new for your home and yard!

1. Build a backyard fire pit

Use leftover bricks to create a simple fire pit in your backyard. Lay a base of bricks in a circular shape and continue building on the perimeter until you have a cylindrical wall at an appropriate height. While stacking bricks, be sure to allow small gaps that allow oxygen into the pit to keep your fires fueled while burning. This DIY is best done if you have spare fire-rated bricks from chimney or fireplace construction. These will ensure longevity and safety, so you can enjoy roasted marshmallows and hot dogs from the comfort of your yard for years to come.

2. Make a high-performance pizza oven

Using upcycled bricks and two large flat bricks from a home improvement store, you can create a wood fired pizza oven right in your backyard. The foundation of the oven is important to its effectiveness, so lay a base using gravel or leveling sand, and use a level to ensure it is even. Then, stack the bricks to create a deck and ventilated lid for the oven. It is worth noting that upcycled bricks will degrade over time with repeated heating, so this is another project that would be great to make with leftover firebricks.

3. Create a shelf for garden tools and decor

Upcycle old bricks to DIY an outdoor shelf that serves as a plant stand, gardening tool storage, and more. Start by building two shelf bases a few bricks high each, lay the wood planks across them, and then sandwich those planks with more bricks. Then repeat with another set of wooden planks to create two shelves. The DIY seems to use two plywood 2 x 4s side by side for the shelves, but to make the project more stable, join those planks with screw plates. Or, you could opt for wider wooden planks to serve as a single shelf piece.

4. Design customized signs for your home or garden

This project uses old bricks to create custom signage for your home. Using spray paint and stencils of your choice, add one letter to each brick. Then simply line up all of the bricks together to bring your chosen phrase to life. This DIY is incredibly customizable and could be used to create everything from street-facing house numbers in the front yard to your family's name in the backyard. Or, get creative and spell out a whole quote to keep you inspired in the garden.

5. Assemble a decorative garden library

This DIY is for bookworms who love to get their reading done in the garden. Spray paint the bricks white to create the look of pages and to act as a base for your cover and binding art. Add details to the covers and bindings (peeking at your favorite books for reference) and use black marker or a thin paint brush to define the pages on the other edges. Arrange your new "books" to assemble an entire decorative outdoor library in your favorite backyard reading nook. You can even place some on your DIY garden shelf!

6. Create a brick garden path

This project will require some elbow grease, but offers a great payoff. First, use a shovel to dig a brick-depth path in your garden and pour leveling sand over the area to ensure the walkway doesn't shift over time. Lay your reclaimed bricks into the space you've dug in a tightly packed formation. If you have enough time, try experimenting with different brick configurations, like a herringbone pattern, to give your path personal style. If you are able to put in a little bit extra labor, this DIY can add curb appeal and long-lasting charm to your garden.

7. Construct an elevated garden bed to bring life to your garden

Turn leftover bricks into an elevated garden bed that gives your yard new life. First, dig the perimeter of the bed's dimensions in where you want to place it. Then use leveling sand as a base for the brick walls to sit on and once you have your first layer of bricks, build up the bed using concrete (you can find cheap large plastic tubs for mixing concrete at Home Depot). Fill the center of the bed with soil, and you have a place to plant anything your heart desires – from perennials to potatoes!

8. Plant faux ice cream sandwiches around your summer garden

This playful DIY craft uses a spare brick to create an ice cream sandwich decoration for the yard. Clean your leftover paving brick and paint the ice cream sandwich details with white for the ice cream and brown for the cookie. Finish it off by using Modge Podge (which can be purchased everywhere from Amazon to the Dollar Tree) to blend a printed image of an ice cream sandwich cookie to the top of the brick for a realistic flair. Get the kids involved and place a couple of these sweet treats around your garden in the summer months.

9. Bring wildlife to your yard with a DIY bird bath

Use this easy project to draw birds to your garden. Take four leftover bricks and arrange them in a square to create the perfect base for a bird bath. This specific DIY instruction recommends using a plastic bin lid and pebbles to act as the bath that will rest on top of the bricks. However, you could opt for a large terracotta plant pot saucer for a more neutral look. Additionally, if you have more bricks on hand, you could build up a taller pedestal for the bath to rest on, giving it a more prominent stature in the garden.

10. Assemble unique bookends for your indoor shelves

This creative DIY project takes reclaimed bricks and plastic animals, upcycling them into surprisingly sophisticated bookends for your shelves. Use an industrial strength epoxy glue to adhere one of the animals to the top of a brick. Spray paint the whole thing white or black and allow it to dry. Then, use the straight edge of paper and gold spray paint to create the effect of a base to the statuette. If you like a more playful style, try spray painting the figures with a bright color like red or yellow for an unexpected decor accent.

11. Propagate small succulents into a brick planter

This is the DIY for you if you have left over cored bricks on hand, which are bricks that are manufactured with holes running through them. Propagate clusters from a larger existing succulent plant, add mulch and soil to the brick holes, and enjoy your stylish new mini succulent display. This project uses raw sheep's wool as a mulch layer that also prevents soil from falling out of the bottom of the brick holes. However, for the majority of people who don't have sheep's wool easily available, you can find it online at Amazon.

12. Grow a bountiful garden with a brick herb spiral

This is the perfect project for DIYers who love gardening and permaculture design. Use leftover bricks to stack an ascending spiral wall, then fill the spiral with soil, and you will have a place to grow herbs that require varying levels of sun and moisture. The structure of the spiral being higher at its center means water will flow downward to the lower parts, due to gravity. So, herbs that require drier environments, like thyme and rosemary, should be planted near the top, while herbs that prefer moisture, like mint and parsley, should be positioned toward the bottom.

13. Surround your garden beds with beautiful brick edging

This is another project that requires a bit more legwork, but will also improve the appearance of your yard. Use your bricks to lay out the dimensions of your desired garden edging. Then, dig a brick-depth trench around the perimeter of your garden bed, place a layer of leveling sand, and use your bricks to fill the trench, creating a beautiful border. You can also try laying the bricks in different orientations to create different styles of edging. Whether you place them end to end or side by side, your border will last years to come with careful, level installation.

14. Keep track of your harvest with brick garden labels

This simple project uses bricks to create notes for avid gardeners. Use Garden Markers, which can be found on Amazon, to write the names of different vegetables and herbs on bricks. Place each label in the soil next to where you planted. The great thing about this trick is that you can also use the marker to note when certain things were planted, so you never forget when to harvest any herbs or vegetables. Garden Marker ink will also last through weather and UV exposure, so you don't have to worry about your notes fading away.