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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Hey! This post is part of The Weekender Makeover Series- Watch all 10 episodes and get project details using the buttons below!



The Weekender: DIY Urban Patio Makeover – Watch Below!

DIY Cinderblock Planter : The Weekender Urban Patio Makeover

I’m a huge fan of projects that are inexpensive, durable, AND look awesome, and this DIY Cinderblock Planter that we made for Tess and Barry’s Urban Patio completely fits the bill.

DIY Patio Makeover Cinderblock Planter 2

Here are a few things I love about this cinderblock planter… First, it’s really simple to build (we’ll get to the how-to in a minute), Second, you can easily customize it to fit your style. We went with a simple, light blue paint to tie in with the watercolor pillows, but if this was at my house, you know it would have some kind of crazy pattern or lots of colors (hmm… I might need to build myself one soon!) Third, it has nice clean lines, but doesn’t cost a ton. Sometimes, simple modern designs seem to have the prices majorly jacked up.  We made this big planter for under $100.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Cinderblock Planter

If you didn’t watch this episode yet, check it out HERE – but here’s a reminder of what this area looked like before


and after

DIY Patio Makeover Cinderblock Planter

Here’s how to make your own Cinderblock Planter

I’m giving you the quickie version here, but I have a detailed tutorial over on Lowe’s website- Click HERE if you’re looking for the exact how to. 

Step 1:  Level your ground.  If you’re lucky you’ll have a nice level spot to put your planter. We weren’t that lucky and had to do a bit of digging to make sure our first track of blocks was going to be level.


Step 2: Lay your first row of cinderblocks – this is where you’re determining the shape and size of your planter, so think through that a bit before this step- Sorry about the butt picture, but when we’re working on these makeovers in only a weekend, we snap pics quickly. Ha!  You get the idea though.


Step 3: Apply construction adhesive along the first row of blocks- we used Liquid Nails.


Step 4: Stack your next row on and continue this process until your planter is to your desired height.  You want to be sure to stagger your seams for added strength and stability.  This is a good time to mention that cinderblocks are freakin’ heavy!  We had to move about 100 blocks from the front sidewalk, through Tess and Barry’s house, and out to the patio- My arms were sore for two days! Totally worth it though! We had fun and tried to see who could carry the most at once and raced etc… I sure do love my job and the fun people I get to work with!


Step 5: We used pine boards to build a little top around the planter, but you could easily go with cinderblock caps if you wanted to. I just wanted something thin and sleek.


Step 6:  Customize your planter. This part is totally up to you.  We used concrete paint that we had tinted to a light blue-grey color, but go bananas and have some fun with your style!


Step 7: Plant & Enjoy!!

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Cinderblock Planter Privacy Fence

Super cute right?!?  Who knew cinderblocks could be so stylish?

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Cinderblock Planter Gardening

As you can see, this urban patio makeover was filled with DIY projects. You can check out the makeover BEFORE & AFTER Reveal HERE and use the links below to check out the other project tutorials!

Urban Patio Makeover Reveal

DIY Modern Privacy Fence

DIY Artificial Turf (yes, that’s fake grass and it’s amazing!)

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard & Kid’s Area

Are you loving this series?  If so, don’t miss a Weekender Episode- make sure you subscribe HERE to catch all 10!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.53.50 AM

*The Weekender Series is a paid collaboration with Lowe’s Home Improvement. I’m thankful for the brands that believe in the mission of East Coast Creative and support my work!*

The comments +

  1. Chris says:

    Did you fill the concrete planter with dirt from the ground to the top? Was the back of the planter just the fence?


    • Monica says:

      Hi Chris-
      We stacked a few extra blocks inside,so we didn’t need as much dirt, and used some scrap wood along the back, so the dirt didn’t fall through the neighbor’s fence. Thanks for watching!


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