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5 DIY Fire Pit Ideas To Die For (And 3 Tips You Need to Know)

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Photographed by Ilyse Whitney, from Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution

Anyone who’s ever sat around a fire before can tell you that there’s something special about spending time with the people you love with a bonfire in front of you.

However, for a lot of people, bonfires are a treat that happens every other year whenever they get the chance to visit friends or spend time in the woods.

The fun doesn’t have to end when your camping trip is over, however.

Did you know that you can make your own fire pit in less than a day if you want to?

If you’re looking for DIY fire pit ideas and tips that you can implement before lunchtime, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading.

3 Quick and Dirty Tips For a DIY Fire Pit
The first thing to do is look up your local Fire Department codes. The last thing you want to do is go to the trouble of setting up a fire pit in your backyard only to find out that it’s illegal.

Assuming all of the legal stuff checks out, here are a few general rules of thumb that’ll save you time, money, or both!

1. Use a Wash Bucket as Fire Pit Lining

Photographed by Karl_Holm, via PixaBay, under Creative Commons No Attribution

With many store bought fire pits, there’s a common theme: they almost always have fire pit liners built right into them. This is with good reason. For one, it looks more attractive. Second, a liner will extend the life of your fire pit because it will protect the bricks and rocks from the heat of the flames. Third, a lot of local fire departments insist on it.

That being said, many fire pit liners are almost as expensive to buy individually as the fire pit itself. At those prices, you would never guess that all you need for a liner is ideally some kind of steel or cast iron. Luckily for would-be DIY fire pit builders, Renew Redo blogged about the thrifty idea of buying a 15 gallon wash pail. They come in steel, they’re durable, and they can be bought for less than $20.

2. Check Out Your Local Classifieds

Pavers and stones made specifically with fire pits in mind are surprisingly inexpensive if you just stop by your local Lowes or home hardware store. You generally don’t need more than 50 or so for the whole fire pit.

That said, did you know that it’s not unusual for people to just give away materials like this for free?

Photographed by Grant Guarino, via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution, Some Rights Reserved

Frugal Ain’t Cheap found a way to bring down the cost of their DIY fire pit by scouring the local ads and finding free gravel on Craig’s List. There’s no guarantee that the pieces you need for your particular fire pit will be there, but you never know what you can find.

3. Look Above

Photographed by Lena1, via PixaBay, under Creative Commons, No Attribution

Most fire department codes will discuss making sure that the fire pit isn’t situated too close to your house or to anything that’s flammable.

When you’re choosing the location for your fire pit, however, it’s also a good idea to look up and make sure there are no branches hanging around even if there’s distance between the trees and the fire. The reason for this is that a roaring bonfire combined with a sudden gust of breeze can have unintended consequences.

So it never hurts to scope out the area above your future fire pit to be safe.

5 Awesome Family-Friendly Fire Pit Ideas

So without further ado, here’s a short list of 5 fun, family-friendly DIY fire pits.

These DIY fire pits all have safety benefits, are quick and easy to make, and they ‘ll all look great in your backyard.

1. Submerged Fire Pit

Photographed by Ilyse Whitney, from Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution

What You’ll Need:

Fire pit lining
Measuring sticks
Tape or paint for marking
Landscape block adhesive
The submerged DIY fire pit, named as such because it’susually either partially or totally below surface level, is an idea worth exploring. Due to the fact that it’s underground, kids and pets are less likely to get burned as long as they keep a safe distance. In addition, it looks much cleaner and tidier when it’s not in use.

This short, 5 minute YouTube tutorial on building an in-ground fire pit will be more than enough to get you started.

2. Elevated Fire Pit With a Bowl

Photo via Creatively Southern

What You’ll Need:

35 in. steel firepit (just the bowl)
Fire pit screen (optional)
One of the advantages of this one is the fact that there’s no adhesives needed. With most of the parts already present and just needing to be put together, you’ll easily have this DIY fire pit built before supper time. Best of all, cleaning it up is almost as easy as building it. At Creatively Southern, they show you exactly how this pit was built.

3. Tin Fire Pit

Photographed by Daryl_Mitchell, from Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution

What You’ll Need:

A barrel-shaped item like a massive wash pail, a barrel, an oil drum, or anything on hand
Paint (optional)
Stencils (optional)
With this DIY fire pit, the time is mostly spent on the decorating. As you can see, the fire is nicely contained within your barrel and with some creativity, this fire pit will be uniquely yours. At Live Creatively Inspired, you can see the decorative heights this thrifty fire pit idea is capable of reaching.

4. Stacked Stone Fire Pit

Photo via OurFairFieldHomeandGarden, through Hometalk

What You’ll Need:

Shovels for digging up ground
Fire pit liner (optional)
Depending on whether you have stone or merely grass in the spot beneath your fire pit, the hardest part here will be clearing space for your fire pit. Once that’s done, however, as demonstrated by Our Fair Field Home and Garden, you’ll have a beautiful end product on your hands once the stone stacking is done.

For extra reference, here’s a YouTube video that’ll walk you through the process in less than 90 seconds. That’s a record!

5. Quick and Easy Backyard Fire Pit

Photographed by Nick Bramhall, via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike

What You’ll Need:

Cast Iron Fire Bowl
Garbage bag or alternatively shovels for digging up ground
To dig or not to dig?

With this fire pit idea, the cast iron fire bowl both contains the fire and frees you up to focus on giving the bowl an attractive surrounding. The DIY fire pit, as shown by Kleinworth & Co, uses gravel surrounded by a flat circle of stones to quickly and easily create a warm, cozy feel.


Marshmallows, hot dogs, and chestnuts, are just a few of the foods that taste better roasted over an open fire at home.

Building your own fire pit doesn’t have to be a long and complicated renovation. In fact, as all of these fire pit ideas demonstrate, DIY fire pits don’t even have to take a full hour to complete. Whether roasting hot dogs with the whole family gathered around or angling for a more intimate setting for two, a DIY fire pit can make it happen.

What’s your favorite fire pit idea?



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