10 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Use Concrete

Updated: Apr. 30, 2024

We generally associate concrete with infrastructure and buildings, however, there are numerous things you can make with concrete that don't require a backhoe or even a mixer. All you need is a bag or two of concrete mix from your local home supply store, a few basic tools and you're all set. For inspiration, here are 10 ways you probably didn't know you could use concrete.

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Family Handyman

First: How to Mix Concrete

Before you start on your first concrete project, take some time to learn the best way to mix concrete. This will ensure that your project doesn’t crumble when you take it out of the form and that it will last for years to come. Watch and read how Family Handyman editor, Gary Wentz, recommends mixing concrete.

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Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are increasing in popularity and can be made either with traditional concrete or with new countertop concrete. And with the option to inlay objects and designs in the concrete, there are limitless options. Interested in exploring some more concrete countertops? Check out these 15 great ideas.

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Stool Tops

If you have a 5-gallon bucket, some concrete and three legs, you can make a concrete-seat stool. With minimal material and a little time you can make this simple stool. Here’s how!

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Utensil Holder/Wine Chiller

This concrete utensil holder would look great in any modern or rustic kitchen. It’s an attractive place to store essential kitchen utensils or a bottle of bubbly. Why not try whittling your own kitchen spoons—here are some tips.

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Whether over the toilet, the kitchen sink or in your home office, concrete shelving makes a statement. Making the form for a shelf is easy. Try using a sheet of melamine, seal the joints with caulk and wax the surface to make removing the set concrete easier. Not sure you’re ready to tackle concrete shelves, try some made of wood!

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Book Ends

Now that you have those shelves up, time to display some books. However, books won’t stay up on their own. With the remaining melamine and concrete how about trying your hand at some stylish bookends. Make a form that can easily be taken apart and rebuilt so you can produce several sets for each of your shelves.

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concrete house numbers
Family Handyman

Concrete House Numbers

Large, legible house numbers help delivery people, firefighters and EMTs and guests who haven’t been to your house before. Here’s everything you need to know to make these large, long-lasting Here’s everything you need to know to make these large, long-lasting concrete house numbers.

Take a look at these 10 additional DIY house number projects for more inspiration.

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Drawer Pulls

Why not concrete drawer pulls? They’re great looking and a pretty easy DIY project. A couple of ice cube trays and bolts to set into the concrete and you’re off. Be sure to buy bolts that are long enough to go through the drawers, and the right diameter to go through the existing holes. Check out the how-to steps here.

This is our all-time favorite drawer hack!

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Family Handyman

Stone Inlayed Bench

If you build this beautiful concrete bench with stone inlay, it will be around for many decades to come. Here are the complete step-by-step instructions so you can make a bench like this for your yard or garden.

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Family Handyman

Concrete Tabletop

This beautiful table’s concrete top is fun to make and completely customizable. We used fern leaves for this design, but you can use whatever leaves, seashells, tiles or other embellishments you’d like. Here are the complete instructions for how to make this table.

If you’re looking for something a little more robust, here is a handsome outdoor table made entirely of concrete.

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concrete air plant planter

Air Plant Planer

Concrete does not have to be massive and imposing. There are countless smaller, more delicate projects than can be made from just a little concrete mixed in a 5-quart pail.

Kitchen castoffs can make great planters too, check out some of our favorites.