A fire pit is a natural gathering place in your outdoor living space. A fire pit creates light and warmth and can be used all year, depending on your climate and preferences. A fire pit is also a great beginner DIY project and can even be a project for the whole family.
There are so many options for designing and creating your own DIY fire pit, and here are some great inspirations for your home.
DIY Outdoor Fire Pits
Simple DIY Fire Pit
This DIY fire pit is so fast and simple you can have it made in less than a day. To make a simple DIY fire pit, you will need:
- Bricks, concrete blocks, or pavers. If you want your fire pit to be round, you will need wedge-shaped bricks, blocks, or pavers. If you have the right tools, you can cut square bricks into a wedge shape to form a circle or use pavers that are already shaped to create a circle. You may also use cement and a mold to create DIY blocks for your fire pit
- You will also need a shovel and other garden implements
To make a simple DIY fire pit, follow these steps:
- Begin with a layout. Choose a spot in your garden that is well away from any structures, fences, shrubs, or plants. Be aware of any overhanging branches or anything above the fire pit, and situate the pit in a large, clear area.
- Mark out your fire pit. You will lay out a space for your fire pit and 3 feet of cleared area on all sides. If you want your fire pit to be round, an excellent way to draw the circle is to use a stake in the center and a piece of rope or string to mark one circle for the border of your fire pit and a second, larger circle outside the pit for the cleared area.
- Clear the soil. Using shovels and digging tools, remove any grass, plants, or sod on the surface of your area. Dig down to expose bare earth
- Build your pit. In the center of your cleared circle, use stones, blocks, or pavers to build the walls of your pit. Your blocks should be placed tightly against each other but do not need to be mortared in place.
- To make your DIY fire pit look more attractive, you may want to use stones or pavers to pave the area around the pit or cover the soil with sand or gravel.
Modern DIY Fire Pit Bowl
For people who want a more modern take on a fire pit, DIY concrete fire pit bowls are incredibly popular. These fire bowls are impressive looking and expensive to buy, and easy to make on your own. To make a DIY fire bowl pit, you will need:
- Two large plastic tarps
- You will also need a flat board, a level, a marker, and you may also need a wheelbarrow, gloves, and other standard garden equipment.
To make a DIY fire bowl pit, follow these steps:
- Lay a tarp or plastic sheet flat on the ground. Use a marker to trace a circle that is at least 36 inches across.
- Mix fine sand with water until it’s the right consistency for building a sandcastle.
- Mound the damp sand in the center of your plastic sheet, forming a dome that reaches the edges of your circle and is as tall as you want your bowl to be. Smooth and pat it with a trowel as you build it to be stable and as round as possible.
- Cover the sand mound with another plastic sheet while you prepare your concrete.
- Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Take the plastic sheeting off of your sand mound and begin to cover it with wet concrete. Apply concrete in layers until it is at least three inches thick all over the sand mound.
- When your concrete is finished, cover it with plastic sheeting.
- Use a flat board and a level to create a flat base at the top center of your mound. This will be the base your bowl will sit on, so make sure that it is centered, flat, straight, and large enough for the bowl to balance on. Remove the plastic sheeting for a moment.
- Use a stick or straw to poke a few holes in the flat top of your concrete mound, so that water can drain from your bowl. Smooth the surface if necessary.
- Allow your concrete bowl to dry slowly for at least 48 hours.
- Once the bowl is dry, lift it off the sand and turn it right side up. You may want to sand it smooth
As with any fire pit, place your fire bowl in a large, clear area with no overhead branches or other items that may catch fire. You may want to put a layer of gravel or sand in the bottom to prevent burning wood from resting directly on the concrete.
DIY Outdoor Fire Grill Pit
If you want to be able to enjoy the smell and flavors of authentically grilled food, there’s no better way than with an outdoor grill pit. Building a DIY outdoor fire grill pit is a simple project, although it requires physical effort. However, when you taste foods from your own fire grill pit, you’ll feel that the trouble was worth it.
To make a DIY outdoor fire grill pit, you will need:
- Pavers, blocks, or stones
- Gravel and/or larger rocks
- A grill grate
- You will also need a shovel and digging tools, work gloves, and other garden equipment.
To make the DIY outdoor fire grill pit, follow these steps:
- Lay out your grill pit. Draw a circle or square on the ground the size of your grill pit and a second area outside of that for the cleared area.
- Clear the soil. Using a shovel or digging tools, remove grass, plants, and sod to expose the bare earth of the pit and the surrounding area.
- Dig your pit. A good fire grill pit should be built in a hole at least 12 inches deep.
- Line the pit. Using your stones, blocks, or pavers, line the sides of your hole, creating a strong and even structure inside the hole.
- Build up the outside of the pit. Using your blocks, stones, and pavers, continue building the pit wall up above the surface of the ground. This wall will be where you rest your grill, so consider how high you want it to be placed over the fire and build accordingly. The stones should fit tightly together but do not need to be mortared.
- Add a layer of sand to the inner bottom of your grill pit, followed by a layer of gravel or stones. The blocks on the wall, and the sand and gravel at the base of your pit, will retain heat, creating a more consistent, even heating environment for your grill.
Depending on your pit and your grate’s size, you may want or need to build a lip or other structure to hold your grate over the fire.
DIY Tabletop Fire Pit
If you live with a balcony or small outdoor space, you can still enjoy the beauty and warmth of a fire pit and toast marshmallows to your heart’s content. This DIY tabletop fire pit is exceptionally safe because it does not emit excess heat, only burns for a set time, and couldn’t be easier to make.
To make a DIY tabletop fire pit, you will need:
- A decorative bowl or pot. Choose a heat-resistant material like ceramic, glass, or terracotta
- A small piece of chicken wire or metal mesh
- A gel fuel can
- Decorative rocks or stones. Vase fillers are excellent for this project, as long as they are made of heat-resistant materials
To make a DIY tabletop fire pit, follow these steps:
- Place the gel fuel canister inside the bowl. If necessary, use stones or filler beneath the canister so that the top of the can is near the bowl’s top.
- Cut a circle metal mesh to rest on top of the canister inside the bowl.
- Place decorative rocks or stones over the top of the metal mesh, concealing the mesh and the can of fuel.
- When you are ready, remove the stones and mesh and light the fuel, then replace them, so the fire comes up through them.
These DIY projects are an excellent way for anyone to enjoy a fire pit, no matter their personal style or outdoor space. These are great projects for people of any skill level and can even be a fun way for friends and family to work together before sitting down to relax around the fire.