When building anything, it's always a good idea to buy more materials than necessary. If you buy, say, just the right amount of bricks and one smashes, you're going to have a problem on your hands. And that's not to mention the fact that most materials are typically cheaper to buy in bulk, so unless you're seriously strapped for cash, leftovers will be inevitable.

However, while these leftovers might, on the surface, seem useless. With the right knowledge, they can actually be used to decorate your abode to perfection. Case in point, these 20 inventive ways to use cinder blocks at home!

1. Entertainment Centre

[caption id="attachment_12492764" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: Little Things[/caption]

TV stands can be expensive and, more often than not, they don't meet our needs. With cinder blocks, you can customize one that's perfect for your tech, and because of their hollowed out shapes, they can be used to store your DVDs and CDs.

2. Outdoor Staircase

[caption id="attachment_12492765" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: The Figure 5[/caption]

Is your garden sloping? Then don't risk falling over - use those extra cinder blocks to build a staircase.

3. Outdoor Bench

[caption id="attachment_12492766" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: Decoist[/caption]

Outdoor benches can easily set you back $100s, but that doesn't have to be the case. With some nice furnishings, you can easily make one using your leftover cinder blocks - functional and best of all very, very cheap.

4. Garden Planters

[caption id="attachment_12492767" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: The Sacramento Rose[/caption]

Looking at this garden, you'd never know that these planters were created with something as simple as cinder blocks. The hollowed out insides will give your plants plenty of room to breathe, and the terracotta tiles give them a bespoke look.

5. Bedside Table

[caption id="attachment_12492937" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Dwell[/caption]

The brilliant thing about this item is that, like so many other things on this list, it looks bespoke, but is incredibly cheap to make. Why waste money on a modern bedside table when you can create one that's just as functional for next to nothing?

6. Bedframe

[caption id="attachment_12492938" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Design Tripper[/caption]

While this one won't be for everyone, if you're going for a modern look in your home, it could work. After all, it's not like you'd be directly sleeping on the cinder blocks, and this bed frame would be a lot easier than a flatpack one from IKEA!

7. Fire Pit

[caption id="attachment_12492939" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: BecauseItsYourHome[/caption]

Fire pits are another expensive item that you can inexpensively create with cinder blocks. I mean, who doesn't love s'mores?!

8. Colorful Furniture

[caption id="attachment_12492944" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: It's Sunny in My Soul[/caption]

So far, all of the cinder block ideas on this list have been rather bland in terms of color, but as this garden furniture idea proves, they can easily be painted and customized to suit your needs. A perfect opportunity to get creative!

9. Futon With Built-In Storage Space

[caption id="attachment_12492945" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: homedecorizz.com[/caption]

This DIY is a testament to the fact that cinder blocks can really look like part of the decor - and not because you're going for a high-end modern look. This futon idea is a great idea for families because of the additional storage space.

10. Outdoor Wall

[caption id="attachment_12492946" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Love This Pic[/caption]

Sometimes, no matter how much you like your neighbors, you want a little privacy. This is especially true for patio areas that you might want to snuggle up to bae on after a long, summer's day. So why not build a feature wall with cinder blocks?

11. Bookshelf

[caption id="attachment_12492947" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: HomeBNC[/caption]

With the addition of nothing more than wooden panels, you can turn cinderblocks into a stylish bookshelf. It's a cheap DIY that will allow you to spend more of your hard-earned cash adding to your ever-growing "to read" pile of books.

12. Planter Table

[caption id="attachment_12492948" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Design Sponge[/caption]

This is a great way of having all the benefits of a table and planters in one. An eye-catching addition to any garden!

13. Pyramid Garden

[caption id="attachment_12492950" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Newslinq[/caption]

This is a brilliant and inexpensive way of creating an eye-catching feature for your garden. Why not plant it with flowers that will spill over the blocks and make your pyramid look like a waterfall of sorts?!

14. Buffet Set

[caption id="attachment_12492951" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credit: Better Homes & Gardens[/caption]

Summer and BBQs are the perfect combination, but, as we all know, buying a set to accommodate all of your guests can be costly. Once again, however, this need not be the case with cinder blocks. Perfect to enjoy a meal on before retiring to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories at your cinder block fireplace!

15. Outdoor Benches

[caption id="attachment_12492952" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Credit: Bright Lights Big Color[/caption]

This is a great idea if you know that you're going to be entertaining guests regularly but don't want to spend a fortune on benches. With varnished wood like that shown above, cinder block benches look store bought anyway!

So, what do you think of these cinder block DIYs? Have they inspired you to get creative with your building leftovers?

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