Content of the material
- Tabletop Fire Pits
- Finish the Footing
- 9. Use an old truck wheel as the fire ring
- Fill Gaps
- 15. Steel and stone fire pit
- Concrete Tree Rings
- 7. Simply Circular
- How to Build a Fire Pit
- 1. Lay Out the Blocks
- 2. Mark the Pit Location
- 3. Create a Level Trench for the Blocks
- 4. Fill the Trench
- 5. Lay and Level the First Course
- 6. Assemble the Walls
- 7. Fill the Pit
- 8. Cap the Blocks
- 9. All Squared Away
- Fire Pit Build Safety Tips
- 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
- Cost breakdown
- 2. Shovel out the grass
- How Much Does an Average DIY Fire Pit Cost?
- 5. Add gravel
- What you need
- Unconventional Fire Pit Shapes
Tabletop Fire Pits
DIY Tabletop Firebowl from Today’s Creative Life
Cheap Personal Fire Pit from The Art of Doing Stuff
Tabletop Fire Pit from Dunn Lumber
DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from Scratch from Man Made DIY
Finish the Footing
- Shovel in the remaining concrete until the forms are filled to the top and tap the tubes gently with a sledgehammer until the concrete mix is level.
- Recheck level, hammering the forms down if necessary, and smooth the top of the footer.
- Let the concrete completely set up overnight and then remove the forms.
9. Use an old truck wheel as the fire ring
What’s great about using a wheel to help form your fire pit, is that it is perfectly round! So, setting stones or bricks around it in a symmetrical fashion is a breeze. View the full instructions on how to build it here.
- Add a small amount of mortar to the joints to fill any gaps.
- Check level frequently and tap gently with a brick hammer to adjust the spacing.
- Leave a 1-in. overhang on the outside to allow for rain to drip off.
- Once all the bricks have been mortared in place, strike the joints for a smooth, finished look with a concave jointer.
15. Steel and stone fire pit
Steel sheets are another great material for building fire pits and rings. All you will need for this simple project are two steel sheets (one longer than the other) and your choice of stone. Watch the full tutorial at Homestead Economics.
Concrete Tree Rings
For less than $50, you can stack concrete tree rings into a circle shape, going as high as you like for a unique-looking fire pit. Concrete rings come in different shades of white, beige, orange, and pink hues, giving you many options, and some have scallops to them. Not all concrete is fire-safe, so line the inside of any concrete fire pits with fire brick and fire clay mortar to keep your fire pit intact or use a protective fire ring as an inner liner.
7. Simply Circular
If you aren’t interested in digging up any parts of your lawn, you can follow this easy guide instead. By using tiles and sand to create a fireproof base you can avoid any backbreaking digging.
How to Build a Fire Pit
1. Lay Out the Blocks
- Dry-lay a ring of blocks on the fire pit site, placing them end to end until you have a perfect circle positioned where you want the finished pit to be. To adjust the size of the circle, you may need to cut a block. Hold the block over the gap it will fill, then mark it on the underside at the proper width.
- Using a 3-inch cold chisel and a brick hammer, score the block on the mark, and continue the score all the way around the block.
- Place the block on a hard surface (flat rocks or gravel). Hold the chisel in the score line, then hit it with the brick hammer until the block splits.
- Clean up jagged edges with the tail of the brick hammer. Place the cut block into the ring.
2. Mark the Pit Location
- Make sure all the joints between the blocks are tight and the front and back edges line up. Using a spade, mark a circle in the ground about an inch outside the perimeter of the ring.
- Take note of how many stones make up the ring, then remove them and set them aside.
- If the blocks you are using are interlocking, remove any tongues on the bottom of the first-course blocks so they will lie flat in the trench. Chip them off with the tail of a brick hammer.
3. Create a Level Trench for the Blocks
- Using a spade, dig a straight-sided trench, 12 inches deep and as wide as one block, within the circle marked out on the ground. Then dig down 6 inches in the area encircled by the trench.
- Lay the ring of blocks in the trench to see if all the pieces fit in a circle. If not, dig more to widen the trench. Remove blocks.
4. Fill the Trench
- Fill the trench with 6 inches of 3/4-inch drainage gravel. Using a hand tamper, compact the gravel. If necessary, add more gravel to keep the trench level and even.
- Always make sure the blocks line up perfectly in the front and back when you lay them out; a difference of 1 inch in the circle’s diameter could create a 3-inch gap between blocks.
5. Lay and Level the First Course
- Place the first block in the ring. Using a 2-foot level, check that it sits level both side to side and front to back. Where the block is too high, tap it down with a rubber mallet. Where it’s too low, shim it slightly with a handful of patio base. Make sure this first block is perfectly level and positioned correctly in the trench before moving on.
- Lay another block next to the first one. Butt the sides together tightly and line up the front and back edges. Using the first block as a reference, level the second block side to side and front to back.
- Lay the rest of the blocks in the trench in this manner until the ring is complete and all the blocks you counted earlier are used. Make sure each block is perfectly leveled and lined up tight with its neighbor before moving on to the next one. (You may have to coax the last block into place with a mallet.) Using a 4-foot level, occasionally check level across the ring.
- A small hit with a mallet can make a big adjustment; work slowly and carefully, block by block.
6. Assemble the Walls
- Using a caulking gun, squeeze a zigzag bead of masonry adhesive across two adjacent blocks. Lay a block on top of the glue-covered pieces, centering it over the seam between the two. Make sure any interlocking parts on the blocks fit together well.
- Continue until the second course is finished.
7. Fill the Pit
- Fill the pit with 6 inches of gravel, which will help support the first two courses as they set up. Glue and lay the third and fourth courses, continuing to stagger the joints.
- Insert the iron campfire ring into the circle. Adjust it to sit even with the top of the block wall. Fill any space between the ring and the block wall to the top with gravel.
- Work quickly and only in a small area at one time; masonry adhesive sets up quickly.
8. Cap the Blocks
- Loosely arrange the cap pieces on top of the pit walls. (If you are using natural stone, try to arrange the pieces together like a puzzle.) Lay one stone edge over the next and mark the upper stone where they meet. Also, roughly mark the stone for a 2-inch overhang on the outside of the circle and an inch on the inside. Using a brick hammer and a chisel, score the stone on those marks. On thick natural stone, use a grinder fitted with a diamond blade to score it more deeply.
- Lay the stone on a hard surface. Split it by hitting a chisel in the score mark, or by tapping against the stone’s edge with the brick hammer until it breaks. Score and split each stone this way, moving around the circle in one direction until you’ve made a cap that fits together tightly.
- If you’re using blocks, glue the pieces on top of the wall. If you’re using natural stone, combine the dry mortar with enough bonding additive—not water—to make a mix with a peanut-butter consistency.
- Wet the wall with some bonding agent. Lay a large mound of mortar on two blocks. With the point of the trowel, make a groove across the mortar. Lay the capstone on top, push it down, then tap it with the rubber mallet to set and level it. Continue to lay the capstones in this manner until the wall is finished. Wait two days before lighting a fire.
9. All Squared Away
If a concrete square is a little too spartan for your tastes, but a circle seems passé, try a concrete block square! Using blocks in a square avoids the time consuming process of cutting the blocks to fit into a tidy circle.
Fire Pit Build Safety Tips
Building a fire pit, while it indeed can be a fun weekend project, is also a serious undertaking with high stakes for the safety of your friends and family. It’s imperative that safety is top of mind through each step in the process to ensure a final product that offers not only fun and beauty, but a safe environment for all involved.
Start by ensuring that your fire pit is built in a safe area, away from flammable structures and plant life. Ensure that every material used in your pit is fire-resistant and safe for high-heat situations. This includes the stones, adhesive, and mortar you use to construct the fire pit. Build the pit carefully and solidly, and when enjoying an evening around your pit, always have a fire extinguisher or water source close at hand in case things get out of control.
- Do not use regular bricks to build a fire pit. They may crumble and degrade or, worse, because they may contain trapped water and gases, they can explode.
- Do not use river rocks as the base layer of your pit. They, too, can contain moisture that can explode.
- If possible, have a second human on the premises when you’re constructing your pit. If a heavy block lands on your foot or if you get carried away with the rock chisel, it’s good to have someone nearby to render first aid.
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.
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.
2. Shovel out the grass
Using a large shovel, dig out the grass inside the circle.
For safety purposes, the hole for a fire pit should be about 6-12 inches deep. Be sure to call 811 before you start digging to ensure there are no utility lines buried under the spot you’ve chosen.
How Much Does an Average DIY Fire Pit Cost?
A fire pit costs on average $700 to build. The cost of the project might range from $300 to $1,400. Labor is charged at a cost of $55 per hour, or approximately $340 per task, while supplies are charged at a rate of around $400.
Naturally, this will vary depending on the materials you use, whether you hire a contractor or decide to do this yourself, what type of fuel the fire pit is going to use, or what type of material you want surrounding the pit, if any.
If you live in a location where spring and summer bring forth swarms of flying pests, you may want to consider an enclosure.
One of the decisions you’ll need to make before determining the materials and supplies you’ll require, and the cost of your project is the type of fuel you’ll use in the fire pit.
Certain materials are not suitable for all fuel types, the maintenance requirements may vary, and some will require the assistance of an electrician or plumber.
5. Add gravel
Put a pretty thick layer of gravel in the fire pit (at least a couple of inches). Spread the gravel around evenly.
What you need
Unconventional Fire Pit Shapes
Experiment with how you stack your bricks or rocks around the fire pit. You can raise up one side or one half or create a teardrop shape around a circular pit with all bricks tapering up to a point on one side. Playing with design can leave you with something that is pleasing to the eye while also acting effectively as a windbreaker, keeping the fire alive.