Stencil a cinder block for an elegant, special DIY

Creating new furniture out of found objects is one of life's greatest joys. It can feel like such a special ability, something anyone can achieve but also an art few people take the time to learn. If you've ever wanted to create your own wine rack that's as elegant as it is functional, here's a fantastic craft that allows you to do so with one of the most commonly used found objects: cinder blocks.
This wine rack is pretty to look at and goes with almost any decor. You can display it in your living room, sitting room or the kitchen to give yourself a place to rest your glasses as well as an industrial-yet-chic support rack for the wine bottle itself. The project doesn't take too long, and best of all, anyone can achieve it through just a few simple steps. Why not try it out and experience the thrill of creating your own furniture from scratch?
- 2 cinder blocks
- A plank of wood about the same length and width as the side of one cinder block, painted white
- Acrylic paint
- Paintbrush
- Stencil pattern —you can buy one or make your own!
- 4 steel hex mounting brackets
- 4 furniture legs, painted white to match the wood
- 2 bar clamps
- Sharpie
- Power drill
- 16 screws that fit the four small holes in the mounting brackets
- 4 bolts that fit the larger holes in the middle of the mounting brackets
- Flathead screwdriver
- Painter's tape
- Industrial-strength glue
DIY Everywhere
1. Take your piece of wood, and make sure it will be long enough to sit underneath the cinder block. Most cinder blocks are about 8-by-8-by-16 inches, so the plank of wood should be close to 16 inches in length and close to 8 inches in height. If it is not already painted, paint the top, bottom and sides white.
2. Place the wood plank on a solid workspace. Place the first of the four hex mounting brackets in the right-hand corner of the plank about a half an inch from the edge. Use the Sharpie to mark where the holes in the bracket lie, and remove the bracket for now.
3. Transfer the wood to a sturdy table. Use the two bar clamps to hold it steady, and drill a hole where the middle point for the bracket is marked. You should use a rather large drill bit, but not larger than the bolts you'll be placing inside. Brush away the excess wood chips.
4. Place one of the four bolts into the hole you have just drilled. Use the flat-head screwdriver to screw the bolt into the hole until it is tightly fitted. Use a much smaller drill bit to drill holes where you made the other four markings. Place the hex mounting bracket on top, and screw the four screws into the holes with the power drill to hold the bracket in place.
Tip: Screw each screw in slightly before screwing all in tightly, so the fit of the bracket will not be off when you finish.
5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 three times, so all the hex mounting brackets are fitted to all four corners of the wood plank.
6. Hand-screw each of the four furniture legs into each of the four brackets, so the screw for each leg passes through the middle hole in the bracket and is held in place by the bolt inside. Turn the piece over, and set it aside for now.
7. Place one of the two cinder blocks on your workspace. You will now stencil the design on each of the block's shorter sides, so place the block with one of these sides facing up. Place the stencil on top of the block, and tape it down with painter's tape on all four sides of the border. Use a large paintbrush to paint over the stencil, so the design is painted on the side of the cinder block. Let dry, and remove the painter's tape.
8. Repeat step 7, and paint the other side of the cinder block with the same stencil design.
9. Turn the cinder block over, so the two stenciled sides are facing out, and one of the solid sides of the block is facing up. Use industrial-strength glue to cover the top of the cinder block. Place the wooden plank with the legs facing outward onto the glue-covered side of the cinder block. Let dry overnight.
10. While you are letting the glue dry, paint the same stencil twice on the two long sides of the other cinder block. Place the second cinder block long-ways on top of the first, so the holes are facing outward, and the design can be seen from the side.
Now you can fill your cinder block wine rack with a bottle or two, and rest your glasses on the edge, as seen in the photo. This makes for a terrific conversation piece, as well as a wonderful way to spice up your home with found-object furniture.