Enjoying the radiant heat of a comforting fire isn’t something that you can only enjoy in the immediate vicinity of a indoor fireplace. With a little know-how, you can easily build an excellent outdoor fire pit that will allow you to relax, roast hotdogs and s’mores, and keep cool; all while still enjoying the natural charms of the great outdoors.
If you are ever thinking about building your own fire pit, this is a great list of ideas to start with.
1. Washing Machine Fire Pit
Do you have an old washing machine taking up space in your den or even worse somewhere rusting away on your property? If so, you can repurpose the rustproof interior of this old eyesore and gain a beautiful looking pit. All you have to do is remove the center drum and attach piping for legs.
When you light your fire, the fire’s lighting will display beautifully through all of the tiny holes in the drum’s body. Check out the full tutorial from The Flourishing Abode.
2. Grocery Cart Fire Pit
This one ensures that you’ll be able to take your pit with you when you need it. Most grocery managers will part with a old broken cart fairly easily; just consult them, and you can purchase one for as low as $10.
Remember: always remove all of the plastic parts of the grocery cart before you try this conversion. For safety, look for a chrome cart, since burning ones with powder coats can be dangerous. Check out the full tutorial from Instructables.
3. Gas Fire Pit Table
Many people have the black grated patio tables that tend to go unused for seasons in their backyard. For this cool conversion, you’ll have to cut away the center section in a circle and drop in a rounded metal pan (some grill bottoms are perfect for this), drop in some wood, and you’ll be done.
Check out the full tutorial from Wc Welding.
4. Wash Pail Fire Pit
We’ve provided several very cheap pit options, and this one is no different. You’ll probably spend a little more than 20 bucks on this type, which means you can put them all around your backyard if you want.
Just buy some wash pails, line the bottoms with firebricks, and toss in your flammable logs. If you need a more in-depth guide, check this one out at Renew Redo
5. Tabletop Fire Pit
You’re probably thinking, “Didn’t we do a table pit already?” Yes we did, but this type of pit can be made of any type of non flammable table; not just a patio table.
The construction is similar; you’ll have to cut out a circular section in the middle. Check out complete tutorial at The Art of Doing Stuff.
6. Paved Brick Fire Pit
Bricks are naturally fire-resistant, so what better material is there to create a pit that you’ll be using for years. You can either arrange your bricks in a cylindrical, well-like setup, or you can make a square pit to conduct your heat.
Remember, be sure to clear away all brush before you start the burning process. Check out tutorial from Lowes.
7. Square Metal-Based Fire Pit
This is one of the more attractive pits that you can make at home. There is one caveat with this one though: you’ll need to do a bit of welding.
Simply find four sheets of metal and use a powerful magnet to hold them at 90 degree angles, weld them together, and then add four rebar spokes to each corner that will keep the metal walls planted in the ground. See full tutorial at The Brick House.
8. Large Stone Square Fire Pit
For this type, you’ll simply need some wood planks for the exterior forming and concrete. First, place fine, fire-proof gravel down in a large area around where your pit will be.
Then, use spray paint to mark the square area that you wish to utilize, use wooden planking to create two layers of framing, and pour wet, well-blended concrete between them. After this, you can add a fire bowl to the center as well as some more gravel and slate for decoration. Check out full tutorial from Carole Knits.
9. Wood and Cement Styled Fire Pit
This is a square shaped pit that will require a large amount of space since the outer layer is ringed by wood. Similarly to our large square fire pit, you’ll use the wood as a frame, but instead of removing it once the concrete has set, you’ll keep it as an aesthetic feature.
With this type, it’s important to have a very clear space in the middle for flammables, so that your wood design notes don’t catch fire. See full project at The Project Modern.
10. Flower Pot Pit
You know those large ceramic fire pots that we use for our outdoor plants? This fire pit uses these as a vessel. Ceramic is another fire resistant material, so you can just burry it about 4 inches in the soil, place some gravel inside for decoration, and add your wood.
There are even some DIY projects out there that use propane as an ignition source. Like this one: Propane Project
11. Fire Pit on a Budget
Don’t have a lot of cash for a material heavy fire pit project? This one is perfect as it only requires cinder blocks, landscape blocks for the edging; both of which are very cheap, and some cement.
To construct this pit, simply stack the cinder blocks to provide stability in the center of the pit, utilize the landscape blocks for the externals, and finally bind it together with some cement. For more on this pit, check out this DIY project for more details.
12. Fire Pit that’s Eco-Friendly
Since environmental considerations are at the forefront of many homeowner’s lists of concerns, it’s great to know that you can build a completely eco-friendly fire pit in your backyard. You can make this type using the majority of the previous DIY styles, but you’ll simply need to replace the wood that you’d use with those types for bio-fuel canisters that tend to contain eco-friendly granulated charcoal briquettes, which can be set in pebbles or even glass beads.
Check out complete tutorial from Fine Craft Guild.
13. Propane Gas Fire Pit
Propane gas fire pits can be constructed in a variety of ways, and many of the types we’ve listed here can be converted to this style of outdoor heating. You’ll have to do some welding, but the result will be a easier to control fire that requires less overall fuel.
You’ll have to weld copper tubing to your fire pit’s base and connect that tubing to a gas supply, and then it’s simply a matter of ignition. Check out full tutorial from Cambridge Pavers.
14. Concrete Bowl Style Fire Pit
This is a beautiful style of pit that requires two large bowls for molding the concrete, quick-set concrete, and gel fuel canisters for ignition. Simply place the well-mixed concrete in a large bowl that is coated in plastic to prevent sticking, add another, smaller bowl to the center so that you have an area for your ignition sources, and let dry.
Check out full step-by-step tutorial at Man Made DIY.
15. Glass Bead Propane Fire Pit
This is another style of fire pit can utilize many of the DIY fire pit styles that we’ve mentioned previously. The key difference is that you’ll need a propane burner and propane tank for an ignition source.
This is because the glass beads used in this type are made of fire glass, which wont crack or soot under high heat conditions.
16. Camping Fire Pit
All you need is a hand trowel or shovel to clear out about two inches of soil for your pit. Make sure that you have rid the area of the majority of flammable scrub, then encircle your cleared area in large stones; don’t use river rocks because they can have water inside that will expand and crack the rocks violently.
This gentleman outlines the whole process here.
17. Secret Backyard Fire Pit
This type of fire pit is very similar to the camping pit, but is best used in an area that’s on your property as it is deeper and more permanent. First, you’ll need to clear flammables, and then dig a one foot deep hole.
Once this is completed, you can add your logs for your fire. If you want to add to the rustic appeal of this type of fire feature, you can use two by fours to craft makeshift benches for your company. Learn how to build it from Art of Manliness.
18. Surround-Style Fire Pit
Simply establish a center by pounding a stick of rebar into the ground, use some spray paint and some string with the rebar as the center to make a circular frame on the soil that you wish to use as a fire pit.
Then, dig out about six inches of soil and create an inner circle that will mark your pit’s walls. Coat the outer ring in well-mixed concrete and add stones and mortar to the center area to create the pit itself. DIY Networks has a guide for this type of fire feature.
19. In-Ground Fire Pit
This type will require a bit more digging. Simply dig up about three feet of soil in a cylindrical shape. Utilize stones and mortar to build an inner wall that provides at least two feet of inner space for your ignition material.
Finally, coat the bottom of your pit in fireproof concrete, and you’ll be ready to get burning.
via Tracy’s Nook
20. Concrete Tree Ring Fire Pit
Though it may sound natural, these tree rings are made of concrete and you can buy them at many Home Depots. Since they are fluted on top, you’ll have to place the second layer of rings upside down so that they interlock somewhat. See full tutorial from Instructables.
21. Cinder Block Fire Pit
This is one of the more simple styles of fire pits that you’ll find on our list of DIY fire pits. It only requires cinderblocks that are arranged neatly in a square or circle formation.
Simply leave about two feet in the middle and you’ll have your pit.
22. Fieldstone and Sand Fire Pit
This style is very similar to the cinderblock type. Just stack large stones in a circular area and add wood to the center. This is a relatively temporary style DIY pit, as the stones aren’t mortared together.
Just be sure to use uniformly textured stones, as these are less likely to crack. See full tutorial at DIY Network.
23. Propane Wine Barrel Fire Pit
Simply convert an old wine or water barrel into a propane burning pit by adding a tank to its insides and a propane coil to its top. Use a metal bowl at the top of the barrel rather than the traditional wooden top, so that there is no burning wood.
You can also add fire glass to the top for decoration. Here’s an example of this barrel type.
Start Building Your Own Fire Pit Today
Remember, as with any project that will require flammable materials, it’s a great idea to build your new pit as far away from your house or flammable wood as possible. Typically, around a 25 foot clearance should do the job. Also, be sure that you know about the codes for your area.
Some municipalities have very stringent rules about creating a pit, so you will need to do a bit of research before you get going on your project.