9 Easy DIY Fire Pit Ideas
Even a do-it-yourself novice can complete a DIY fire pit for less than a hundred bucks—and within a single weekend!
After a summer spent out in the Great Wide Open, we hate to retreat indoors, but in most parts of the country, it’s only a matter of time before bitterly cold winter temperatures set in. For now, though, you can extend patio season and enjoy fall to the utmost with a DIY fire pit. Scroll down to see nine different approaches, each involving different building materials and a different level of skill to complete. The s’more-making capabilities of these DIY fire pits? Equally outstanding.
Low-Cost DIY Fire Pit Ideas
A cozy backyard retreat doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The following backyard fire pit designs are inexpensive and straightforward to build.
1. All Natural Rock Fire Pit
Rocks arranged in a circle: If there’s an older, more tried-and-true way of safely containing a fire, I’d like to know about it. No, you needn’t live near a quarry; Spoonful of Imagination built one from stones found on their property. Occasionally maintained, it’s a zero-dollar DIY fire pit that’s bound to last a lifetime. Just be sure to clear away fallen leaves and other flammable materials surrounding the stones each time you start a fire.
2. Cinder Block Fire Pit
Because they’re so inexpensive and sturdy (costing about $1 at The Home Depot), cinder blocks lend themselves well to a variety of projects around the house. Here, a course of blocks arranged in a circle creates a DIY fire pit for around $20. To beef up the assembly, an optional step would be to stack another course on top of the first and secure it with construction adhesive where the cinder blocks join one another.
3. Modern Fire Pit Table
Create a sleek modern fire pit like the one shown here by first building a sturdy wood base. Then cast a classy concrete top with a drop-in fire basket and mount it to the wood base. For additional safety, install a tempered glass flame guard around the fire basket.
Similarly, Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff made a contemporary tabletop fire pit. A can of gel fuel situated in the base—a repurposed metal planter—delivers the small flame, while decorative stones lay over cut-to-size mesh. Framing the fire bed is a transparent box made of four glass panels connected together with silicone.
4. Fire Pit with Grill
Backyard fire pits are commonly used for stick-roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, but add a grate and you have an instant grill!
You can easily build a concrete block fire pit around a portable charcoal grill using pre-made and readily available “tree rings.” Perhaps the most difficult part is to design the inner fire pit ring so that it’s of the perfect size to support the lip of a grill bowl in the center.
5. Repurposed Washing Machine Drum Fire Pit
I would never have thought of turning the drum from a busted washing machine into a DIY fire pit. But it’s possible—even trending! You first need to strip the drum of all its plastic parts. Next, unsightly edges should be removed with an angle grinder, and you can add metal legs or a pedestal using a welder. The washing machine drum is perfect for containing flames, and the metal exterior emits warmth like a homemade patio heater. Brilliant!
6. DIY Fire Pit with Pavers
Patio pavers are readily available at home improvement stores and garden centers everywhere—and they are excellent materials for building a DIY fire pit. The one shown here is made with thick, retaining wall-style blocks around the base, and then topped with flat, patio paver-style stones along the top. Beads of construction adhesive between the pavers will help the fire pit withstand all kinds of weather.
7. Easy Concrete Fire Pit
A solid concrete fire pit like this one designed by Quikrete will last for ages. To build it, simply construct whatever form floats your boat out of wood, mix and pour the concrete, and allow it to completely cure. If you’ve got some leftover concrete, cast a matching bench or a hefty outdoor planter to match!
8. Brick by Brick Fire Pit
Just as simple as the natural rock fire pit mentioned above, this brick version is constructed by simply stacking bricks. The beauty of this design is that you can disassemble it easily, so you can store it during the off-season and set it up in a new location in your yard the next year.
9. In-Ground Stone and Brick Fire Pit
Who wouldn’t love this custom fire pit and seating area in their backyard? It’s made with a mix of retaining wall blocks, edging, and various sizes of pavers locked in place with paver sand. And at center stage is a perfectly proportional built-in fire pit.
FAQ About DIY Fire Pits
Inspired to design and build a fire pit on your property this season? Read these common questions and answers first.
Can you build your own fire pit?
Yes, building a backyard fire pit is an easy DIY project for any homeowner. First, be sure to check in with your local governing bodies (building codes, homeowners association, etc.) to make sure you are allowed to build one on your property and that your plans meet any requirements that are in place.
How do you make an inexpensive fire pit?
One of the most inexpensive ways to build a fire pit is to stack natural stones (even better if you already have some on your property!) in a circle.
What do I put in the bottom of a fire pit?
Bare dirt works well, as does stone, brick, concrete, or a metal container such as an upcycled washing machine drum.