Ideas for Old Bricks

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You can repurpose old bricks for home and garden projects.
You can repurpose old bricks for home and garden projects. (Image: Brick Detail image by Lucid_Exposure from Fotolia.com)

You've renovated your house and the contractor left you with a pile of old bricks. They're taking up space in the garage but you're too charmed to just throw them away. According to the Seattle Times, your urge to reuse brick makes you a part of the "green building" movement. You could add a brick path to your garden or a built-in barbecue to your patio. You might build a faux fireplace in the living room or teach your kids about pet rocks. With some home improvement and craft ideas, you won't have to wait for inspiration to hit you like a ton of bricks.

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Garden Path

Landscape architects and city planners have used brick for paving paths and lanes for centuries. You can lay your bricks in a simple grid or a stacked bond pattern. If you'd like a challenge, try making a path with a basket weave by alternating horizontal and vertical pairs of bricks to create the woven look.

Rustic Stepping Stones

If you don't have enough old bricks to make a full fledged path, make stepping stones instead. Place bricks one to two feet apart and press them into the soil. You might want to personalize your stepping stones by painting or engraving them with inspiring quotations or calming words like "peace" and "love."

Faux Fireplace

You can use old bricks and new mortar to build a beautiful faux fireplace that doesn't use those tacky sponge bricks. Though it won't keep you warm in the winter, it will add charm to your living room and a place to hang stockings and display family photos and dust-covered bowling trophies. For a finishing touch, you can place candles on the mantel and plug in an electric novelty log.

Pet Brick

In 1975, ad executive Gary Dahl invented the gag gift known as the pet rock. Six months later, he was a millionaire. Round up the your kids and their friends, along with some paper, markers and gift boxes. For your own version of the phenomenon, you can have your children choose a brick to name and "adopt" as a pet. Punch holes in the gift boxes so they resemble pet carriers, then help write up funny birth certificates on construction paper.

Doorstop

Many a naked old brick has lived out its final days as a humble doorstop. One option is to whitewash your brick, let it dry, then paint patterns or decoupage paper onto it. You can even knit a brick cozy or sew the brick it into a cloth cover.

Pet Gravemarker

If the circumstances arise, you can use a brick to mark a backyard site for an animal friend who has passed. Even if your pet isn't actually buried there, having a memory marker for the pet may help your family deal with your loss.

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