Content of the material
- 1. Concrete Block Fire Pit
- Can You Make an Indoor DIY Fire Pit?
- STEP 6: Add Paver Sand, Tamper, and Check for Level
- STEP 3: Plan Your First Layer of Fire Pit Bricks
- Complete the Outside Walls with Face Brick
- DIY Adirondack Style Fire Pit
- Custom Backyard Fire Pit
- DIY Mini Fire Pit
- Set the Face Brick
- How to Make a DIY Fire Pit Table
- Step 1: Cut Your Wood
- Step 2: Put the Wood Together
- Step 3: Stain or Paint the Table
- Step 4: Cut a Hole
- Step 5: Install the Fire Pit Bix
- Step 6: Attach the Box to the Table
- Step 7: Add the Fire Pit Insert
- Fire Pit on a Paver Patio
- Building a Fire Pit: Steps to Follow
- Prepare the Area
- Dig and level the Base
- Lay the Foundation
- Constructing the Walls
- Adding the Fire Bricks
- That’s it!
- Tools Materials
- FAQ About Building a Fire Pit
- What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?
- How do you prepare the ground for a fire pit?
- Can you build a fire pit on dirt?
- What is the best base for a fire pit?
- Cost breakdown
- Fire Pit Parts: An Overview
- 12. Crazy Paving
- If you enjoyed these outdoor fire pit ideas, have a look at our other outdoor DIY projects:
1. Concrete Block Fire Pit
This stylish, circular fire pit design is the classic. This simple fire pit will last for years to come and provide the perfect ambience for many thrilling campfire stories.
Can You Make an Indoor DIY Fire Pit?
Most people choose to build a fire pit in their backyard as it is easier to clean up, but you may be wondering if it is possible to build your own fire pit indoors.
The good news is, you absolutely can. Indoor fire pits can be used to spruce up a sitting room or lounge area during the cold winter months.
Be aware, however, that building a fire pit indoors is a big project, and you will need to ensure the fire pit runs on gas, as wood-burning fires are not safe to have indoors.
If you absolutely must have a wood-burning fire indoors, it’s best to keep it in the fireplace rather than building a DIY indoor fire pit.
STEP 6: Add Paver Sand, Tamper, and Check for Level
Using paver sand under a fire pit helps to level the ground and provide some stability for the bricks. I did use paver sand under the fire pit when I built it last summer. I added about 1.5″ to 2″ of paver sand…..tossed some water on it to help make it compact…..and then tampered it.
You can’t tamper more than about 2″ at a time, so after that was tampered down, I added the second bag of paver sand with some water on top, and tampered again.
My yard is a bit sloped. I didn’t realize it until after I was 2 layers into it and realized–oh, crap–my fire pit is about 1″ sloped on one side!
So unless you want a crooked fire pit like mine, make sure you check the level of the paver sand before adding your fire pit bricks!
Now, one thing I did do was check that every two bricks lined up together was level. Otherwise, when the next layer was stacked on top, it would rock back and forth.
I don’t mind a fire pit that slopes a bit, but rocking bricks?? Huh uh. That ain’t gonna work. This thing needed to at least be steady! So I made some small adjustments and that seemed to help, including using a rubber mallet to help adjust them.
STEP 3: Plan Your First Layer of Fire Pit Bricks
I laid out the first layer of the bricks at the 20-feet mark, adding the ring so that I knew exactly where I would be placing it in the yard.
You can make a DIY fire pit out of random bricks or stones, but you can also buy fire pit kits from home improvement stores like The Home Depot. They usually range in price from $200 – $600, spending on the bricks. But you could also use concrete blocks to build one for super cheap. But the kits have everything you need to build a chic fire pit.
Complete the Outside Walls with Face Brick
- We used SW (“severe weathering”) face brick (also called “common” or “building” brick) to line the outside circle fire pit walls. If your climate doesn’t include freeze/thaw cycles, you can use MW (“moderate weathering”) building brick. Home centers and brickyards carry a large variety of brick.
- You’ll need 80 face bricks for a 3-ft.-diameter pit. Face brick with holes (“cored”) is easy to split with a brick hammer. It’s easier to form the curve of the pit walls with half bricks. You’ll lay three courses of face brick and mortar them together with Type N mortar mix (sold in 80-lb. bag at home centers, and you’ll need about five bags).
- Because face brick is smaller than firebrick, you’ll need to make up the size difference as you lay your three courses of face brick. The difference between the height of your firebrick and the total height of three stacked face bricks will determine the width of your mortar beds between courses.
- Dry-set the face brick, marking where each course of face brick has to hit the firebrick to make the third course of face brick level with the firebrick.
DIY Adirondack Style Fire Pit
Combine a hexagon-shaped fire pit made with lumber for the frame, fence boards for the slatted table, and Adirondack chairs for a spot-on design match. Marie, from The Interior Frugalista, built this fire pit table to blend in with her Adirondack chairs. Her fire pit fits snugly inside the frame. Flames are supplied either by gel fireplace fuel canisters or Eco Logs that tend to eliminate sparks.
Custom Backyard Fire Pit
Take a metal fire ring and some landscape bricks along with a few other supplies, and you'll have a great looking firepit. The free plan includes choosing and leveling a spot in your yard before putting the fire pit together.
DIY Mini Fire Pit
Here's a true mini fire pit made using a flower pot to create the size and shape. Your fire pit will take the form of any large plastic container you choose, such as a flowerpot or urn.
For this DIY fire pit, Deb McDaniel at Evansville Living sprayed the inside of the container with non-stick cooking spray and poured in quickly setting concrete. Set one or more gel fuel canisters into the wet concrete to create the right-sized space (coat the canister with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal). Place rocks or beach glass into the still-wet, pliable concrete mix for a sparkling finishing touch. When the concrete dries, remove the container (gently break it apart if necessary or glide the concrete out of the container) for your unique fire pit.
Set the Face Brick
- To keep your mortar joints between courses a reasonable width, lay a 2-3-in. thick bed of mortar right on top of the footing.
- Let it set up slightly (give it at least 15 minutes) and smooth out the top.
How to Make a DIY Fire Pit Table
The only thing more fun than a DIY fire pit is a DIY fire pit table, and it’s about as easy to make. Follow these instructions to create your very own DIY fire pit table.
- Kreg Jig
- Wood Glue
- Sander or Sand Paper
- box cutter
- 5 boards (2x4x8)
- 1 board (1x4x8)
- Fire Pit Insert
- Energy Source for the Fire
- Cement Board
- Stain/Paint as desired
Step 1: Cut Your Wood
Cut the wood into equal pieces to make the square sides of your table. The pieces for the top can be a little bit longer to make a rectangle-shaped table.
Step 2: Put the Wood Together
Drill holes into a couple of the boards. Use these to assemble the others into squares. It is recommended to make your squares for the sides of the table 5 boards put together.
Lay the longer pieces across the top and screw in place. You can use wood glue as well if you need extra adhesion.
Step 3: Stain or Paint the Table
Now is the time to stain or paint your table if you plan to do so. You should also sand any rough ends.
Step 4: Cut a Hole
Next, cut a hole in the table where you want the fire pit insert to be. You’ll want to cut the hole slightly larger than the size of the kit, approximately an inch on each side.
Step 5: Install the Fire Pit Bix
Cut and assemble a wooden box the size of the fire pit kit starter you purchased. Be sure it is a little larger than the hole you just cut. Place your cement board at the bottom of the box. Use caulk to hold it into place.
Step 6: Attach the Box to the Table
Use screws and wood glue to attach the box to the bottom of the table. It needs to be secure and dry before you move on to the next step.
Step 7: Add the Fire Pit Insert
Place your completed fire pit table where you plan to use it. Once it is in place, put the fire pit insert into the box. Fill any excess space with fireproof materials like fire glass or stones. Now you can enjoy your new fire pit table.
Fire Pit on a Paver Patio
This fire pit plan is for those of you who already have a patio made of pavers that you'd like to use as your base for a fire pit. We love that it's an easy DIY project that utilizes supplies you already have on hand.
Building a Fire Pit: Steps to Follow
You have your design, materials & tools. It’s now time to get started with the fun stuff.
Regardless of the size, shape and complexity of the project, you’ll just have to follow these simple set of steps:
Prepare the Area
1. Start by marking the shape and the size of the fire pit on the ground. For square or rectangular fire pits, lay down blocks and mark the ground with your shovel around the perimeter of your fire pit.
For circular fire pits, hammer a stake into the ground and attach some string. Use the string like a compass and mark out a circle with a can of spray paint.
Dig and level the Base
You’ll need to now create a base for your fire pit. A solid base is going to ensuring its stability and longevity for years to come.
2. With your shovel, start digging up the grass and dirt inside the marked area of your fire pit; do this until the area is 5cm or 2″ deep. It’s best to place the grass and dirt into a wheelbarrow to discard easily later on. 3. Next, use your hand-tamper to tamp down the soil and make sure that the entire surface is compressed and level. You can also check its level with a spirit level.
Lay the Foundation
Once you’ve dug out the base of the fire pit, its time to strengthen the foundation! 4. Start with adding a 2.5cm or 1″ layer of gravel on the base and distribute evenly with a garden rake. 5. Lightly wet the first layer of gravel with your garden hose and tamp down the gravel with your hand tamp. 6. Next add a second 1.5cm or 1/2″ layer of gravel on top and tamp down one final time. Compressed layers of gravel will be the strong and stable foundation we need for our diy firepit.
Constructing the Walls
7. Lay the first row of blocks or bricks inside the perimeter of the base and use a level to make sure they sit evenly.
8. Once the first layer or blocks are down, place down the next layer of blocks on top and stagger them like a ‘brick wall’ until you have a two layers of blocks. We are laying the second layer of blocks to see how they will look before we apply an adhesive. (If there are any gaps in your second layer – you will need to use a saw with a masonry cutting black and cut a block to size and fill the gap. 9. If you are happy how the second layer of blocks look, remove each block one-by-one, apply concrete adhesive with a caulking gun and replace the block back in to position for permanent fixture. 10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 for each of remaining blocks until you have three or four completed layers around the fire pit. The amount of layers will depend on how high you would like build you fire pit.
Adding the Fire Bricks
Once the concrete adhesive has dried, its time to add in the fire bricks! These clay fire bricks will evenly distribute the heat and will prevent any of your blocks from cracking! 11. Place the clay fire bricks in an upright position and line the inside of walls of the fire pit. To get the correct height, you should either add a bit more gravel on the base or you can place a some of fire bricks along the bottom of the pit too. 12. Once the fire bricks are in position, fill the pit with lava rocks around 7cm or 3″ or half way up the fire bricks. This will hold the bricks into position and create a nice base to place your wood to burn.
Your DIY fire pit is ready for burning! All you have to do now is place your fire wood in and kick back and relax!
Level – 2 foot
Level – 4 foot
FAQ About Building a Fire Pit
What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?
You’ll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.
How do you prepare the ground for a fire pit?
Clear away all grass and plant material. Excavate about 8 inches of soil, ensuring that the bottom of the pit is level and the soil is compact.
Can you build a fire pit on dirt?
Yes, you can build a fire pit on dirt. Make sure the dirt is compact and level.
What is the best base for a fire pit?
You have several options. Plain dirt is fine, but sand topped with gravel makes a more attractive base.
It cost about $450 for all the supplies to build the 15-foot space and includes the $79 delivery fee from Lowes. I found a patio set of handmade wood furniture for $200 on Facebook Marketplace. We used existing stumps we had for tables and extra seating. And finally, some solar string lights make a cozy, warm glow for $40. They make it possible to enjoy the space even if there’s no fire.
Fire Pit Parts: An Overview
A built-in fire pit is a glorified campfire, with sturdy walls of stone that help contain the flames and heat. That’s especially important in the parts of the country where there’s a risk of brush fires. So the first task in building any fire pit is checking local codes on open flames. The pit must be located far from overhanging trees, the house, and any other flammable structure.
To make building stone walls easier, you can use blocks made from cast concrete and molded to look like real stone (available at any home center). They’re flat on the top and bottom so they stack neatly, and some interlock for added strength. Glue them together with masonry adhesive. Choose a block with angled sides, meant to form curves when butted against each other. The optimal size for a fire pit is between 36 and 44 inches inside diameter. That will create enough room for a healthy fire but still keep gatherers close enough to chat.
As an added precaution, the fire pit should be lined with a thick steel ring like the ones used for park campfires. These protect the concrete in the blocks from the heat, which can cause them to dry out and break down prematurely.
A fire pit should sit low to the ground, with walls rising no more than a foot off the ground. But for stability, the base of the wall must be buried below ground in a hole lined with gravel, providing drainage and protecting against frost heaves in winter. The gravel also creates a level base for the stones to rest on. Most concrete blocks are about 4 inches high, so if the first course and a half sit underground, and there are two and a half courses above ground with a cap on top, you’ll end up with a foot-high wall—just right for resting your feet on while sitting in an outdoor chair.
12. Crazy Paving
Make your fire pit stand out from the rest with this unusual tiling. This is one of the simplest and most effective DIY fire pit ideas, it goes to show that one small change can affect the whole look of your pit. Maybe you have some of your own creative designs in mind after seeing these DIY fire pit ideas…?