If you'd like to make memories around the bonfire this summer, building your own fire pit is a terrific way to go. Although premade fire pits are readily available, they tend to be pricey and somewhat generic. By rolling up your sleeves and getting a little creative, you can build a backyard pit in no time flat — and without breaking the bank.
There are tons of exciting backyard fire pit ideas to explore, from repurposing old items like washing machine tubs to utilizing everyday landscaping pavers and bricks. Here are seven straightforward, affordable, and unique projects to get you started:
1. Concrete Tree Ring DIY Fire Pit
This clever outdoor fire pit utilizes premade concrete rings meant to be placed around the bases of trees to create flower beds.
- 1 14” charcoal grill with legs removed
- 4 concrete tree ring sections – 14” inside diameter
- 6 concrete tree ring sections – 24” inside diameter
- 2 cubic feet of small stones, rocks, pebbles, or gravel
- Select a level area of the backyard. Mark out an area measuring 3 feet in diameter. Remove grass and weeds, and lay down landscaping fabric.
- Form an inner ring two sections tall by turning the fluted top sections of each 14"-diameter ring upside down and interlocking them together.
- Create an outer ring, repeating the process above with the six 24"-diameter sections.
- Position the outer ring as desired. Fill 2 inches deep with small stones.
- Set the inner ring inside, creating a 3" gap between the rings. Fill the space with more stones.
- Install the grill, positioning it into the inner ring. Make sure the cover fits securely.
2. Reinforced Hole-in-the-Ground Fire Pit
You can put together this super-easy DIY fire pit in a matter of minutes.
- lava stones
- Select a suitable area in the yard approximately 4 feet in diameter.
- Dig out the selected area to form a roughly 12" deep hole.
- Fill the bottom of the hole with lava stones.
- Position bricks around the inside of the circle, slightly reclining them so that they stay in place.
- Remove grass from around the outer perimeter of the hole.
- Place flat rocks or additional bricks around the rim, covering the tops of the bricks around the perimeter.
- Fill the area around and between the top layer of rocks with sand.
3. Backyard Fire Pit Made Out of Landscaping Pavers
If you're wondering what looks good around a fire pit, landscaping pavers should do the trick.
- premade fire pit tray with screen
- landscaping pavers
- Place the screen on the ground where you want to build your fire pit, marking the circle's center.
- Using landscaping pavers, create the first fire pit wall layer around the circle.
- Repeat with a second, third, and fourth layer of pavers, staggering the joints to create a stable, circular wall.
- Install the fire pit tray and grate.
4. Personal Fire Pit
Many DIY fire pit ideas involve full-size pits, but mini fire pits, which you can use outdoors or on a tabletop inside, are also fun ideas to consider.
- marine silicone
- 4 pieces of glass from old picture frames
- assorted small rocks
- metal mesh
- can of gel fuel
- square planter with lip
- Create a box with the four pieces of glass. Start by applying a bead of silicone around the edges of two pieces of glass and positioning them at a 90-degree angle. Allow the pieces to dry thoroughly. Add the other two pieces, repeating the process to create a box shape.
- Apply silicone around the bottom of the glass box. Position it onto the square planter, exposing enough lip to support the mesh screen.
- Cut the mesh screen to size. Position it onto the exposed lip of the planter, and cover it with rocks.
- Place can of gel fuel in the center of mesh screen, and cover the surrounding area with additional rocks.
5. Wheelbarrow DIY Fire Pit
For times when you're wondering how to build a simple backyard fire pit in a snap, utilizing an old wheelbarrow is a unique and easy way to go.
- Clean out the wheelbarrow, rinsing it out to ensure there's no residue.
- Spray the inside and outside of the metal part of the wheelbarrow with high-heat spray paint to ward off rusting and decay. Allow to dry.
- Position the wheelbarrow on stable ground. Use cinder blocks or large stones to anchor it in place.
- Place wood directly inside the wheelbarrow, or add a layer of rocks or lava glass first.
6. Washing Machine Tub Backyard Fire Pit
Old washing machine tubs are perfect receptacles for burning fires in the backyard. If you have one handy, it's a great way to build an inexpensive, durable fire pit for your summertime bonfires.
- old washing machine drum with all plastic pieces removed
- painter’s tape
- assorted colors of high-heat spray paint
- 4 ½-inch black iron pipes, 18” long
- 4 ½-inch black iron floor flanges
- 4 ½-inch black iron 90-degree street elbows
- 4 ½-inch black iron caps
- 16 stainless steel wing nuts – 8-32
- large pavers for the base
- Prepare the washing machine tub by hammering down any sharp edges along the top rim.
- Use painter's tape to mark patterns across the outside of the drum; simple diagonal lines work well.
- Apply high-heat spray paint in your choice of colors to the exposed sides of the drum, coating thoroughly. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Repeat the process with the iron pipes, if desired.
- Remove the painter’s tape, revealing the painted pattern.
- Assemble the legs, adding caps to the ends of the 18" pieces of pipe. Attach each piece of pipe to an elbow. Attach each elbow to a flange, forming legs for the drum.
- Attach the legs to the drum by flipping it over and lining up holes in each flange with holes in the drum. Position screws through each hole and flange, securing them with wing nuts on the inside portion of the drum. Repeat for all four legs.
- Position the laundry drum fire pit on a patio, or place it on large pavers on the lawn to ensure stability.
- Fill with logs, light, and enjoy.
7. Wine Barrel Fire Pit
This creative DIY fire pit uses an old wine barrel to create a rustic look.
- wine barrel cut in half
- sheet or belt sander
- sandpaper – 60/80 grit and 120/150 grit
- wood stain
- 29” bowl-style fire pit
- Sand the exterior of the wine barrel, starting with rough-grain sandpaper and then refining it with fine-grain sandpaper until very smooth.
- Stain the wine barrel to your liking and allow to dry.
- Use sandpaper to remove excess stain from the metal bands around the barrel.
- Insert the fire pit bowl and grate into the wine barrel.
Build a DIY Backyard Fire Pit for Summer 2022 Today
Summer is nearly here, making this the perfect time to put one of the above outdoor fire pit ideas to use. Choose one that works best for you based on available materials, the design of your backyard, and your general style preferences. True Value stores have everything you need to create these and other DIY fire pits, so find a location near you today to get started!