Cinder blocks are those big rectangular bricks that you see being used in construction a lot. The hollow blocks are usually made of concrete and coal cinders, making them lightweight yet sturdy.
You may also have some lying around in your property, and if so, you won’t want to keep them just lying around anymore. Even if you don’t have any cinder blocks presently, they are still very affordable and easy to find.
Cinder blocks are an excellent item to use for multiple DIY projects that will come in handy in a SHTF situation. Here are fifteen different DIY projects that you can use cinder blocks for — we’re sure that with a little imagination our readers will think of many more.
1. Fire Pit
It’s very easy to make a fire pit using cinder blocks; you simply have prepare a piece of ground, then form a rough circle or square one or two blocks high, leaving a couple of small gaps to allow your fire to draw air at the base.
Make sure that your fire pit is in a safe location a good distance from your house, and there is nothing close by that could ignite easily.
2. Food Storage
Stack some cinder blocks about four to five feet high, and then run planks of wood across from them in between each block. Place your food on each plank, and you have a great cookout food storage location.
3. Firewood Holder
It’s always wise to hold your firewood together above the ground somehow, and with two cinder blocks and a few 2 x 4 pieces of wood it is possible. Set the cinder blocks together and then run the wood pieces out of the holes. Stack your firewood in between the wood pieces and you’re good to go.
Steps made out of cinder blocks are cheap, easy to put together, and incredibly practical. Simply stack them up, adding one more cinder block for each step. Offset each layer — like building a brick wall — for maximum stability.
5. Raised Garden
Many of us have gardens not only for the joy of having one, but also for the self-sustaining food that it provides.
To make a simple raised bed, all you need to do is set the cinder blocks (laid flat/on their largest side) into the shape of a rectangle to the size that you desire.
Fill up the holes of the cinder block with gardening soil to help weight them and then tip soil into your new garden plot.
Who says you can’t be comfortable in a disaster situation? With cinder blocks you can easily make a raised bench by stacking the flat sides on top of one another. Then, cover the top with cushions, sheets, blankets, and pillows to turn it into a bed.
You don’t just have to use the cinder blocks for building outdoor beds either. What’s to stop you from using them for indoors as well?
7. Home Fortifications
This one may not necessarily count as a ‘DIY project,’ but security is one of your top priorities in a disaster scenario, and that means you have to be able to fortify your house to withstand angry mobs and looters. Sandbags are certainly one option to fortify your doors and windows, but if you don’t have enough, cinder blocks are an excellent alternative.
8. Work Desk
If your current work desk breaks and you need a cheap replacement, simply make two stacks of four cinder blocks each and place each stack roughly four feet apart from one another.
Then, place a wooden board across the top of the cinder blocks and place your chair in front of it to complete the desk. Don’t forget that you can use the holes in the blocks for storage, in place of desk drawers.
Cinder blocks stacked on top of one another makes for a great nightstand. To make a nightstand, you’ll need three cinder blocks. Stand the first two next teach other with the tall side up, and then stack the third one over the first two on its flat side. As with the desk, you can place items inside of the holes.
10. Dinner Table
Stack multiple cinder blocks on top of one another in several rows and then set a flat wooden board over them, and you have a DIY dinner table. This could be the solution when the family all arrive for Thanksgiving dinner.
11. Rocket Stove
The rocket stove truly is one of the most brilliant DIY projects that you can make with regards to prepping and survival. Long story short, you first need to make a base by setting three blocks on their long edges as the three sides of a square — this will be where you set the fire.
Then build up a stack the cinder blocks on top of your base so that the holes form a chimney. Heat (and smoke) travels up the chimney and heats the pan or pot that you have resting at the top to cook your food.
12. Individual Flower Pots
Who says you need actual flower plots to grow flowers? Take one cinder block and set it on the ground with the two holes facing up. Fill up those two holes with gardening soil and then plant your flower seeds of choice. You could stack two blocks for deeper rooting plants.
While a birdhouse is not necessary for survival purposes by any means, it’s still neat that you can set a cinder block in a tree (or suspend one from a strong branch) and then fasten a perch to the bottom for the birds to use. Furthermore, you can place two thin blocks in both holes of the block with a circle cut out in the middle for the birds to enter and exit.
The best thing about a cinder block fireplace is that you can move it from place to place at anytime. Cinder block fireplaces do not need to be complicated at all, and furthermore they are among the most popular of DIY projects that involve cinder blocks. There are numerous designs that you will be able to find online.
15. Meat Smoker
Even if you’re not a fan of smoked meat, you can’t deny it’s a great method of preservation. You’re going to need a lot of cinder blocks for this DIY project, but to do it correctly, stack the cinder blocks into a rectangle shape that is large enough to house a grill and your meat inside.
Leave an opening somewhere in the rectangle near the grill so you can check on the fire and keep it going. Then, cover the top with metal boards. At that point, you can place your meat on top of the grill, get a fire going underneath, cover the top with the boards, and all you have to do then is wait.