Use Leftover Bricks To Build A Custom Birdbath For Your Outdoor Space

From repurposing old bricks into beautiful light-up patio decor to making a DIY BBQ stand, there are endless opportunities to reuse leftover (or, to be fair, freshly bought) clay bricks around your home. This idea, however, is one for the feathered friends who visit your yard — or are soon to do so, once attracted by the opportunity for a bath. To craft a custom DIY birdbath right in your own backyard, you only need to build a plinth with as few as four bricks and set a shallow, heavy, waterproof dish atop it.

You will need flat, clean uniformly sized bricks. If you already have some lying around, remove any attached mortar using a wire brush and masonry hammer, then wash them with a scrubbing brush and warm, soapy water — or, if stained, diluted muriatic acid (take appropriate safety precautions). You can also buy new bricks from your local big box hardware store. For example, Lowe's sells 8-by-4-by-2 inch red-charcoal pavers for about $2 each. 

Besides some bricks, you'll also need a shallow bowl. It could be a cake pan, a glazed terracotta planter tray, a glass platter, etc. Anything wide, flat, and waterproof will work, so long as it's relatively heavy, made of non-toxic materials (avoid plastic, which can also break down in the sun), and less than 2 inches deep. Finally, add a handful of pebbles or a big stone to your shopping list. Rocks help drowning insects get out and give birds something to perch on.

Get making your new DIY birdbath

Ready to create your own birdbath? Begin making this adorable garden decor you can DIY with leftover bricks by laying some on the ground. If you only have a few bricks to work with, you can stop there and simply make a very low DIY birdbath by supporting your dish with this base. However, a birdbath with height helps you observe your avian guests and is more predator-proof. 

To get your birdbath off the ground, assemble a pedestal of sorts from the bricks, about eight bricks tall. For extra stability, nestle a large square patio stone into the ground to give you a flat base. Once the stack of bricks is high enough, set the bathing bowl snuggly on top. Alternatively, top the stand with another square paving stone before situating the bowl. This will help to stabilize the brick pillar, stop the uppermost bricks from wanting to come loose, and give your DIY birdbath a finished-off feel. Fill with stones and fresh water, and you're done! 

Using mortar is optional for this brick birdbath DIY

Should you mortar the bricks? You can, but it's probably not necessary. The weight of the bricks and the bath itself should keep the pedestal in place. Just remember to alternate the position of the bricks as you would when building a wall and they should stay put, à la a dry stone wall. 

On the other hand, if you live in an area that often sees high winds and violent storms, it might be a good idea to consider reinforcing your creation with some mortar. Use something like Quikrete construction-grade mortar mix (under $19 for 10 pounds at Walmart) and follow the manufacturer's instructions to set the bricks in place. You can also apply decorative finishes like whitewash or get the look of German smear by using joint compound to give your pedestal a rustic, weathered feel. However, take caution when applying any type of paint or mortar product to the bath itself. Freshly applied finishes could introduce contaminants into your birds' bathing water.