Building your own fire pit to bring comfort and ambiance to your backyard year-round is easier than you might think. A DIY fire pit is all about having the freedom to design exactly what you want. Cool winter days will seem longer and your backyard will be transformed into a cozy and inviting atmosphere for friends and family. This is especially true if you decide on a decorative concrete fire pit.
We’ve put together this list of five incredible DIY concrete fire pit ideas and how to build them. However, remember to check with your city’s fire regulations before building anything. You’ll also want to remember to keep 10 meters away from any structures and avoid placing your fire pit beneath any tree branches. We’ve included sources beneath each tutorial for more in-depth instructions.
1. Easy Cinder Block Fire Pit
This fire pit should be at the top of your list if hard labor isn’t your cup of tea. It’s about as simple as it gets, and it’s budget-friendly.
- 8 cinder blocks
- 8 flat cinder blocks
- 4 24″ x 24″ concrete pavers
- Water sealant spray (Optional)
Step 1: Lay the foundation
You need to make sure the foundation is solid, otherwise, it can shift over time. Lay the four concrete pavers in a 2 x 2 square formation.
Step 2: Lay the large cinder blocks
Lay the foundation using eight large cinder blocks into a single square layer. Ensure the cinder block holes are vertical so you can’t see them from the outside.
Step 3: Lay the flat cinder blocks
Next, lay the flat cinder blocks on top of the foundation. Be sure to stagger the two layers rather than just laying a block on top of another block.
Step 4: Spray with water sealant
This step is optional, though you may wish to seal the blocks with water sealant.
And voila! All you need to do now is build the fire, grab a seat, and enjoy your new budget-friendly homemade fire pit.
Source: The Dirty Loft
2. Gel Fire Bowl
This is another easy one. You’ll have to lay a little concrete, but this idea is so much simpler than you think.
- Oversized salad bowl
- Slightly smaller salad bowl
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Chicken wire or mesh
- Gel fire canister
- Smooth rocks
Step 1: Create the form
Place your smaller salad bowl inside the oversized bowl to create the form for the fire pit. The idea is that you’ll be filling concrete in between the space of the two bowls.
Step 2: Coat with non-stick spray
Spray the interior of the large salad bowl with Pam non-stick cooking spray. You’ll also want to coat the outside of the smaller bowl with spray since it’ll be in contact with the concrete.
Step 3: Mix the concrete
Next, get another large bowl to mix the concrete. An extra-large plastic lunch container will work perfectly. Keep in mind that the more water you add to the concrete, the smoother the finish will be.
Step 4: Pour the concrete
Pour the concrete into the large salad bowl once you’re satisfied with how it’s been mixed. Give it another good stir to make sure there are no air bubbles, then push your smaller bowl directly into the concrete. Don’t forget to weigh it down with something heavy, such as a 10-pound weight or a large rock. Give the outside a few taps to ensure that no new air bubbles have formed.
Step 5: Let it dry overnight
Remove the two bowls once you’ve let the concrete set overnight. You should be left with a perfect semicircle-shaped bowl. Take a razor blade to remove any excess concrete if the top isn’t smooth to your liking.
Step 6: Set up the fire
Take the gel fire canister and place it inside the concrete pot. Cover it with mesh or chicken wire to create separation between the fire and the rocks. You’ll likely need to cut the wire to the correct shape to fit inside the fire bowl. Then, gently pour a couple of packs of smooth rocks into your new fire pit to complete the look. Now all you need to do is light it with a long-reach lighter.
Source: Modern Builds
3. Round Concrete Stone Fire Pit
You won’t have to set any concrete for this fire pit, but you’ll need to be creative with laying stone. This is an affordable and simple idea that looks great.
- Concrete stone
- A can of spray paint
- Masonry adhesive
- Rubber mallet
- Shovel or another digging tool
Step 1: Create the outline for your fire pit
Lay the concrete stones where you want your firepit to be, marking the outline in spray paint. Remove a few stones to mark where they used to be to avoid getting paint on the stones, then remove them so you can connect the dots to form the circular outline.
Step 2: Dig in
Now comes the fun part – if you like a good workout. Dig the 6″ hole for your fire pit. You can always get a friend or family member to help speed up the process.
Step 3: Fill it up
You want the pit to drain properly during those rainy days, so make sure to fill it with about six inches of gravel, or until the hole is level with the ground again.
Step 4: Construct your fire pit
Finally, lay the stones around the gravel. This is where the rubber mallet comes in handy. You’ll need it to make sure the first layer of stones fits closely together. Gently tap the stones into place, fitting them snugly against each other and the gravel circle. When laying down the second layer, put a thin layer of masonry adhesive on the bottom of each concrete stone to ensure they’re held in place. You don’t want them perfectly even with the previous row – stagger the stones. You’ll do the same with the third and final row.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
4. Concrete Tree Ring Fireplace
Do you know where you can get your hands on some concrete tree rings? If so, you’re in luck.
- 14″ Webster-style portable charcoal grill
- 4 sections of 14″ tree rings
- 6 sections of 24″ tree rings
- Gravel, small stones, or decorative rocks
Step 1: Build the inner ring
First, construct the inner form with the 14″ tree rings. You can spray some weed killer and place the fire pit on your grass or opt for building it on your patio. The pattern on the concrete rings fits very well together, and you’ll need two layers to reach the desired height.
Step 2: Construct the outer ring
Next, start building the exterior form of your fire pit using the 24″ tree rings. You’ll require six sections, also built in two layers like the inner ring. The 24″ rings have a tab to lock them together, creating a stable structure for your fire pit.
Step 3: Fill with gravel or rock
There will be a 3″ gap between your inner and exterior form, which you’ll fill with your chosen gravel or decorative rock.
Step 4: Install the grill
We recommend installing the Weber Smokey Joe grill because it’s the perfect fit, but you can use any similar 14″ charcoal grill. If it has legs attached, be sure to remove them.
And that’s it! Just remove the lid of the grill whenever you want to light it up. Plus, you can conveniently put your fire out in no time with the lid.
Source: Instructables Workshop
5. Tumbled Concrete Fire Pit
Are you in a hurry to entertain guests? This is another simple option for homeowners dying to get their fire pit up and running within one afternoon.
- 48 mini tumbled wall blocks (concrete) at 3.5″ x 7″
- 48 tumbled wall blocks (concrete) at 10.25″ x 7″
- 6 bags of river rock
- Rake, shovel, and garden hoe
- Weed killer
Step 1: Lay the foundation
To create the foundation, you’ll need to create a pattern by alternating the large and mini tumbled concrete wall blocks until you form a broad circle. This will be the base of your fire pit. Make sure you’re laying the foundation on even ground.
Step 2: Build the fire pit sides
Create two more tiers on top of your base layer. Make sure the mini blocks are placed in the middle of the larger blocks when building the pattern for a staggered effect. Do this until you complete a total of three tiers.
Step 3: Bring out the weed killer
Make sure to spray weed killer around the base of your fire pit. You’ll want to do this because you’ll be laying rock surrounding the circumference of the fire pit.
Step 4: Laying the rock
Once the weeds have been removed, lay the river rock around your fire pit. This will also help hold the foundation in place.
Step 5: Add the river rock inside the pit
Pour the rest of your river rock into the center of the fire pit. This will give it a more polished and modern look while helping with drainage.
Happy backyard camping!
We hope these five incredible DIY fire pit ideas inspire you to head out into your yard to create your own. As you can see, there’s no need for heavy woodworking and masonry – anyone can do them with ease. Plus, they can be enjoyed throughout every season and for years to come.