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22 Minecraft build ideas for 1.21

Thinking up new Minecraft ideas can be difficult, so here's some of the most inspiring Minecraft builds, from sandcastles to flower shops.

A Minecraft Nether portal in the shape of a giant sword

What are some cool Minecraft build ideas? The sandbox game remains one of the best of all time over a decade on from its release, but such a long time in one game means you might be running out of ideas. We’ve been there: you’ve already built a city, a castle, or even a Wild West outpost, so what’s next?

Luckily, there are plenty of unique builds, farms, and creations out there to inspire your next Minecraft project. Unlike our favorite Minecraft house ideas or Minecraft castles, for example, this list is more varied, and contains plenty of inspiration. From a stylish Minecraft Nether Portal to automated farms, from massive decorative builds to homely aquariums, these ideas can be copied directly or simply used to inspire your future Minecraft builds.

A pretty, classic animal barn build in Minecraft, and excellent Minecraft build idea.

Here are 22 of the best, unique Minecraft ideas to build next:

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Statue of Liberty

If you didn’t already know, America’s Statue of Liberty is the color it is because it was originally made from copper. Over the years, the copper color transformed into the oxidized state we see today. Given that the statue was built in the 1880s and oxidization had completed by the early 1900s, there are no images depicting its original color.

It might seem like an obvious choice, then, but building the Statue of Liberty is a great option for using up stacks of copper in Minecraft, as you can replicate this same oxidization effect in your own world, watching it change color over time.

There are multiple inspiring builds out there to look at, from mammoth realistic Lady Liberties to Minecraft-inspired mock-ups. Our favorite, though, has to be this villager-style statue built by Goldrobin. With the latest 1.21 update, there are even more copper blocks to decorate your build with, too, so you could place copper bulbs around the base, or stylize the surrounding area with industrial grates to for a New York feel. Goldrobin builds the statue in oxidized blocks right away, but if you want to watch it change color, make sure to use original copper blocks in yours. The prismarine blocks will look a little strange at first, so if you want full immersion, you could change them to copper grates or trapdoors following the addition of the new blocks.

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Sandcastle base

Some of the best memories a lot of us have are of digging around in the sand on a sunny beach, attempting to build the most majestic sandcastle known to man. Well, why not try and recapture that feeling by building an authentic sandcastle base in Minecraft?

This isn’t like the majority of the more realistic Minecraft castles over on our separate guide, and this isn’t just a castle build of sand – though it is – Cr1ato’s Minecraft sandcastle tutorial captures the feeling of summer with the perfect recreation of a bucket-made beach masterpiece. The only problem is that it’s not very safe, but if you wanted to use this as a secure base, you could always add a redstone door.

A large Medieval style tavern build in Minecraft.

Medieval Tavern

If you want to bring your TTRPG world to live in Minecraft, or you’re building a medieval town, neither would be complete without a tavern in which to sit back and relax with a flagon of ale. We love this top-heavy tavern from Junopii and Shovel241builds, and while you can use this image for inspiration, the blueprint is available on Junopii’s Patreon to help you build an exact replica. 

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This cool factory build from MrMarkCrafter on YouTube gave us an idea – what better place to hide away all your ugly redstone contraptions than in a working Minecraft factory! Want to build an automated concrete farm, lava farm, and chicken farm? Why not put them all under one roof! Redstone machines can be pretty noisy, too, so you could build your factory fairly far from your home, set yourself up with a Nether or railcart transportation system, and live in peace.

The video above isn’t a tutorial and you can only watch Mark build most of the factory in a timelapse, but it certainly serves as inspiration, and decent Minecraft builders could probably use it as a starting point.

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Animal Barn

If you are tired of using a using a boring fence to keep your animals penned in, there are plenty of unique and colorful ways to make your animal farms looks a little more interesting. One of the best, and most appropriate, is a classic farm-style barn. We love this huge, red-and-white one from Goldrobin on YouTube, complete with an easy-to-follow tutorial.

If you’re good at building and don’t need to follow the tutorial to the tee, you can make this barn as big or small as you need it, and you could even add more sections to the outside – like the stables – to expand your livestock capacity. From there, you could even build a huge range base to fit the theme.

A villager stands inside a cute market stall, on of the best Minecraft build ideas.

Market stalls

Improve your local Minecraft village with some cute market stalls for your villagers to work from! This adorable little flower stall was built by YouTuber Umibogaming, with a farmer villager inside selling their wares. With a lot of villagers and market stalls, you could have any trade you possibly want. Until now, we’ve usually done this in the form of terrifying and very inhumane villager trading halls, but we’re thinking market stalls might be nicer – both on the eyes and for the villagers themselves.

Cool Minecraft build ideas: A stunning haunted mansion built in Minecraft.

Haunted Mansion

We immediately fell in love with this awesome haunted mansion built by redditor YouIndependent, and we think it works perfectly with the build idea below, so we’d love to combine the two ideas. We’ve lightened the image for the sake of visibility, but the real thing is suitably dark and spooky, exactly as you’d expect from this sort of Resident Evil-esque mansion. What makes this stunning mansion even more creepy, is those custom paintings – just look at that eye in the top right of the image! That said, you could try and build your own terrifying mansion without such details if you wanted something simpler.

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There are librarians, there are interactive bookshelves, and there are even naturally spawning libraries inside Strongholds, so it should seem like an obvious idea to try building a stunning Minecraft library if you’re looking for a new idea.

OK, it might not be the most useful build, but it is more so since Redstone bookshelves were introduced in Minecraft 1.20. Just think of all the traps doors and secrets your library could hold. We also think it would be the perfect place to house your Minecraft enchantment table, and could be a simple addition to your base, even if it’s not as big as the one above.

A Beautiful, warm bedroom interior, on of the best Minecraft build ideas.

Home interior

Interiors can truly be one of the hardest things to get to grips with when building in Minecraft. That said, there are some marvelously creative people out there who are naturals and building entire home interiors from Minecraft blocks – from unique storage units, to bathroom towels, curtains, and unique lamps.

Love This Blocks is one of those people, and we just love this gorgeous, warm bedroom interior, which seems to be inspired by a small, modest, medieval house, but would look equally as good in a cabin in the woods or a small stone cottage. From the unique steps into the room to the shelves lining the walls, and the warm stone hearth to the terracotta blocks as a rug, we love the details in this room. Love These Blocks’ design could be used as inspiration for a bedroom of any size, or even another room in the house if you take out the bed and replace it with a couch, your brewing room, or even just storage.

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The Fox Lodge

If you aren’t sure what sort of base you want to build, why not build one inspired by your favorite Minecraft mob! This Fox base, inspired by the Fox Lodge Minecraft Lego set, is completely adorable from the outside, and spacious and useful from the inside. The simple build tutorial by ManDooMiN on YouTube includes the full interior, which is helpful if you’re as useless as we are at kitting out your Minecraft base. If you want to make it truly yours, why not make it white like the arctic fox, or try building a similar base inspired by the Minecraft Armadillo or even a Minecraft Ender Dragon to scare off enemies.

A Minecraft village build in a giant custom tree, one of the best Minecraft ideas we've seen.

A village in a tree

This one’s a big undertaking if you want to try it yourself, but we couldn’t not share this stunning build after it left us speechless. This incredible Minecraft village in the trees comes from Slooter2 on reddit, and the image above is the best to give you an idea of what you’re looking at, but it doesn’t do justice to the village itself, so we recommend checking out the other screenshots by following the link above to the original reddit post. In short, though, Slooter2 has built this gigantic custom tree to house an entire village on multiple branches and levels, with a majestic view of the world below.

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Cool Nether Portal

Turn your Nether portal into the centerpiece of your base by giving it a unique design – in this case, a massive sword lodged into the ground. This design also includes the other half of the sword in the Nether to give the effect that it’s being pierced through the ground. You’ll need almost 60 obsidian for this build among other things, but the design more than justifies its crafting cost.

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Easy, automated cow farm

Hunting for food can be a time consuming process, but you can completely eliminate this chore by setting up a cow farm with a built-in lava cooker. Look, we never said this was going to be the most humane farm you’ve ever seen, but it sure is efficient. The general idea is that the adult cows breed at the top of the farm, creating new cows which fall to the bottom of the structure. These cows are then pushed into lava, cooking them instantly. The cooked food is sent directly into the chest located below, giving you access to cooked meat whenever you need it.

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Automated Villager wheat farm

If you want to sleep well at night and would rather use a farming method that doesn’t harm any animals, you could set up a wheat farm. Creating a wheat farm does require quite a bit more effort than the cow farm, but once you’ve finished you won’t ever have to make changes to it. The wheat farm runs automatically thanks to the Minecraft villager who works tirelessly to ensure you always have wheat in your chests.

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Burj Khalifa

When it comes to Minecraft builds, there are pretty much no limits, especially since the world height was increased in Minecraft Caves and Cliffs. Well, Minecraft YouTuber DeltaFlame did just about the most impressive thing you could think to do with the new world height, and built a replica of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Whether or not you want to go to this much trouble yourself, it’s a very impressive build to watch come to life, and is the perfect inspiration for replicating any real-world building or monument.

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Minecart railway and station

Looking for a new way to travel throughout your Minecraft world? Create an underground minecart rail station in each of your settlements instead of having to trek everywhere. This can be incredibly useful when mining for resources as you always have a minecart nearby to take you back to any of your homes.

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Ever wondered how some large-scale Minecraft monuments are built? Here’s a time-lapse of a pyramid being built using Minecraft WorldEdit, one of the best Minecraft mods designed to make building massive structures much easier compared to doing everything by hand. This pyramid build took FallenQbuilds just under 18 hours to complete, though we imagine it’ll take a newcomer much longer to build something like this.

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Minecraft Aquarium

You know what they say: there’s nothing classier than having your own custom aquarium. Create your own aquarium inside your home, or go all out and build a dedicated aquarium within your base. Take your build to another level by using Minecraft mods to add even more fish including the Minecraft Axolotl. A custom aquarium is a great way to add color to your home in a natural way. Sure, you could just use flowers like everyone else, but where’s the fun in that?

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Underwater Base

If you’ve built every type of base you can think of on land, why not go for an underwater home? An underwater build is perfect for players who want a relaxing area to zone out in after a hard day. A secret advantage of an underwater home in survival mode is that it’s arguably safer than having a home on land – you won’t have to worry about any stray creepers lurking in the darkness. This build does look a lot nicer if you use Minecraft shaders to make the water clear, but it isn’t essential.

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Secret pirate cove

Have you ever discovered a small air pocket while exploring underwater? You can use this space to create a secret pirate cove hidden away below the depths. These areas are surprisingly large inside, but be careful when chipping away at the walls as you may accidentally break into the surrounding water. As long as you avoid any sudden leakages, you should have a permanent underwater base to surprise your friends with. This could be a great way to start an experimental run where you do things you’ve never thought about trying.

Minecraft ideas: A tribute to H R Giger built in one of the coolest Minecraft builds.

A tribute to H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger’s iconic biomechanical designs are the bedrock for Ridley Scott’s Alien movie franchise, inspiring books, films, and of course, videogames, including 2022’s Scorn. Everbloom Games, a team of professional Minecraft builders, have put together a sprawling tribute to Giger’s work, and it’s as unsettling as you can imagine.

Between the vast atriums cloaked in shadow and a fully realized space jockey nestled in its cockpit, these blocky reconstructions manage to capture the spirit of Giger’s work like never before.

Minecraft ideas: A large serpent skeleton lies across the ground, covered in overgrown foliage.

The Fossil Path of the Great Serpent

There’s no doubt you’ve lived in a regular house, but have you ever thought about living inside the corpse of a giant serpent? Though Minecraft mobs aren’t anywhere near as big as this serpent is, the idea of taking shelter within the bones of a giant creature sounds perfect in a survival game. If your building skills are up to it, you could also take a similar approach with mythical creatures like dragons.

Hopefully these creative Minecraft ideas have given you enough inspiration for your next world. Sometimes, all you need to inspire your next build is a beautiful site though, so check out our Minecraft seeds guide if you’re still struggling for ideas. There are a few farms in the guide which have been made to be efficient, but if you’re looking for something more traditional, check out our Minecraft farm guide instead for plenty more inspiration.

Additional contributions by Christian Vaz.