Brick by Brick
Clay blocks have a way of sticking around long after a project is complete. Put them to use with these ideas.
1. Weigh Down a Tarp over Firewood
Place a few bricks along the lower edge of a waterproof cover to keep your wood pile dry.
2. Create a Tiered Planter
Stack two bricks in the bottom of a large terra-cotta pot (we used one 17 inches in diameter). Set a 10-inch diameter terra-cotta pot on the bricks, to terrace the plantings, and fill with soil.
3. Craft a Tea-Light Holder
Using a hole saw with a 1½-inch carbide-tipped masonry bit, drill two holes about ½ inch into a brick, just deep enough for a standard tea light to rest. Place a candle in each opening. Bonus: Outdoors, the brick will also anchor a tablecloth on a windy day.
4. Secure a Downspout
If a section of downspout has come unattached near the ground, reinsert it, then lay a brick on each side to stabilize it until you can screw it back in place.
5. Store Shop Pencils
Make a tip-proof holder for pencils in the workshop by drilling a row of small holes into a brick with ½-inch and ⅜-inch masonry bits. Tip: Older building bricks are easier to drill out because their clay tends to be softer.
6. Improve The Way a Container Drains
Break up small pieces of brick with a hammer, and wrap the shards in landscape fabric. Place the sack at the bottom of a pot to keep the soil from washing out when you water the plant.
7. Flatten a Chicken While Cooking
Wrap two bricks completely in foil and place on top of a butterflied chicken. The weight pushes the meat against the grill or skillet surface so that it cooks evenly and won’t dry out. The result: crispier skin and juicier, more-tender meat.
8. Elevate a Hot-Water Tank
Set a hot-water tank on paver bricks to get it off the floor. This will prevent the pilot light from going out and the tank from getting rust damage if your basement is flooded by a leaking pipe or storm runoff.
9. Keep Balloons Tethered
Tie the ribbons from helium-filled balloons around a brick to prevent them from floating away at an outdoor party.
10. Make Literary Bookends
Get inspired by your favorite classics and brush a faux book jacket onto a book with acrylic paint and a calligraphy pen, then display proudly next to the real thing.