4 Uses for Old Bricks Around Your Farm

It seems like every old farm has a stash of bricks tucked away somewhere. But how can you put them to use? Here are some ideas to get you started.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

What do you do with a pile of bricks?

It seems to me that every old farm has a stash of bricks tucked away somewhere. Maybe you have a sizable stack near an outbuilding (saved by a previous farmer for future use), or maybe you can salvage some from the chimney of an old farmhouse you plan to renovate.

But unless you have hundreds (or thousands) at your disposal, it’s hard to know how to use them. If you have 100 or fewer, you’ll have to focus on small projects. You would need 144 bricks measuring 4 inches by 8 inches just to build a 4-by-8-foot patio.

Fortunately, you can put a limited supply of old bricks to use plenty of other ways on your farm. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Line Garden Beds With Bricks

You can use them in gardens to outline beds. If you create a brick perimeter a few layers high, you can fill the interior with soil and create a raised bed. Or if you install the bricks in the soil, flush with the ground level, you can create a “no grow” zone separating the bed from the surrounding grass, making it easy to mow around the garden bed and keep weeds under control.

2. Build a Walkway

You might lack the bricks you need to build a whole patio, but a brick walkway 10 or 12 feet long could be well within reach. Follow our handy step-by-step instructions for building a simple brick walkway. Use it to guide visitors to your garden or your front door. A walkway of old bricks could lend an old-fashioned charm to many other areas.

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3. Use Bricks as “Paperweights”

Do you need to stretch out a tarp to dry after a rainfall? Or unroll welded wire so you can measure and cut sections into specific lengths? Bricks are heavy, and even a few of them can act as “paperweights” to prevent tarps from blowing away or welded wire from rolling back up. Keep a few handy. You’ll come up with a surprising number of ways to use them as weights.

4. Prop Up Machinery

Because bricks are relatively small and convenient, I frequently use them to prop up machinery. If I need to jack up a small lawn tractor or wagon to replace a tire, I’ll place bricks under the axle before removing the jack. The small size makes it easy to create a stack exactly the right height. They’re also handy for propping up the tongues of two-wheeled trailers and carts. This way, you can easily back the hitch of your truck or trailer into position. I keep bricks in my trailers at all times for this purpose. When I disconnect the trailer, I place them under the tongue so it will be ready to go next time.

What creative ways can you think of to put old bricks to use?

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