Things You'll Need
Brick and soil mixture
Wheelbarrow or trough
Brick-drying trays or racks
Early civilizations were built with bricks, from their roads to their buildings, such as Ur (4,000 B.C.), in what is now Iraq. Bricks are a simple and sturdy building material--they're heat and water resistant, easy to install and need very little upkeep. You can make your own red construction bricks, creating your project from beginning to end.
Pour the clay and soil mixture into a wheelbarrow or trough, depending on how many bricks you want. Use the wheelbarrow for larger batches and the trough for smaller ones. The optimal mixture is 40 percent soil to 60 percent clay. For example, you need 4 lbs. of soil and 6 lbs. of clay for 10 bricks.
Add water to the soil and clay mixture, slowly and gradually. The mixture should hold a shape, but be soft enough to fill the mold. Experiment with one brick until you get the right consistency. For example, if you want to make 10 bricks, you'll need 3/4 gallon of water.
Pour the mixture of clay, soil and water into the molds. If you're using a row mold, a series of openings for several bricks, pour steadily but quickly across all the bricks so they'll be ready at the same time.
Leave the bricks in the molds for 30 to 45 minutes, preferably in the sun. Turn the molds out onto the drying racks or trays. Leave them out in the sun for six months or until the edges begin to turn white. If you live in a climate that isn't tropical, use the kiln method.
Preheat the kiln to 1,800 degrees F and then place the drying racks inside. Leave the bricks in the kiln for seven to 10 days. Lower the temperature by half until the kiln is room temperature and remove the bricks.
Make thinner bricks for a decorative wall pattern or indoor floor pattern.
Make a sample selection of bricks before making an entire batch to check their proportions.
Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.