An easy, DIY fire pit that you can build in less than two hours and will last you many years? You’d think something like this would cost big bucks, right? What if I told you it can be done for less than $100?
Less than $80? 😉
Guess what…we built this one for under $68.
And with no metal ring to rust out, we’re excited for all the many years of s’mores, hotdogs (don’t judge), and tall tales told ’round the bonfire. Our nights will be filled with the smell of bonfires, and the trees will ring with laughter. Bring on the fun of summer!
Ready to make your own fire pit? Here’s a step by step tutorial for you.
*This post contains links for your convenience. See my full disclosure here.*
DIY Fire Pit 101
What you’ll need:
- wheelbarrow or wagon for sod removal
- all purpose sand
- mortar adhesive
- landscaping blocks from your local hardware store
Let’s get started!
We decided we wanted a bigger fire pit than the old one that was already here when we bought our house. It was old and broken down…see? Sadness…
Since we’ve got a family of six (and the boys often have friends over), we knew we needed a bigger fire pit. One that gave everyone plenty of room to gather around without feeling crowded.
A note about placement:
I’m really assuming that I don’t need to tell you this, but you know what happens when you assume… 😉 So. Here goes. Be sure that there are no overhanging trees or low-hanging power lines right above the area where you plan to put your fire pit. Because, you know…safety. 😀
Lay it out
Once you’ve located the spot for all your new bonfire memories, lay out your blocks for the size fire pit you want.
This will give you a great visual for how big you want your pit to be. It’s a lot easier to adjust now (before any digging has begun) – than to just start digging and realize you’ve got it all wrong.
Once your blocks are placed where and how you like them, NOW you can take your shovel and cut around the outer edges – giving yourself the perfect outline.
Remove the blocks and dig up all the sod within your circle. You don’t need to go deep – we’re just going for removal of all the grass and whatnot.
Once the sod is out of your circle, use a rake to smooth out the ground and then tamp it down to help it settle.
Mr. 1915 even went so far as to take a level to the soil and said it was necessary, so I
rolled my eyes nodded supportively and took more photos. 😉
Sand for Drainage
We got two bags of all purpose sand to help with drainage (standing water and fire pits don’t mix well. Apparently.) and poured them into the bottom of our pit.
Mr. 1915 smoothed and leveled the sand out to perfection, again. He explained
to a certain scoffing/skeptical person that by leveling the sand, all our blocks will line up perfectly and our fire pit will last so much longer. Aaaahhh….. of course. I knew that. 😉
I’m so glad he’s the real brains behind these kinds of projects.
Laying the blocks
Our blocks had a small raised lip on the inside edge and we knew that if we didn’t chip that off, the blocks would lay all wonky and it would just end up looking weird. So, using a hammer and a chisel, Mr. 1915 chipped off the raised lip.
Yes, it made for slightly ragged edges, but they all face the inside of the fire pit, so no biggie.
Once we had the first layer down, we set the next layer in place – but didn’t adhere them together until we had the placement just right. *Don’t start gluing everything together until you know your placement is good*. That would just be a giant pain.
Repeat the process again for layer three and you’re done with the walls! So fast and easy!! We nabbed some big ol’ rocks from over by the shed and placed them in the bottom…
and then shoveled in some leftover pea gravel from a previous project. This wasn’t really necessary, but it looked nice. 😉
So How long did this DIY fire pit take?
From start to finish, it took us exactly 1 hour and 40 minutes. THAT’S IT!
This whole project only cost us $67.80 in materials.
- stone blocks – $50.04
- all purpose sand – $6.78
- mortar/adhesive – $10.98
- large rocks for middle of fire pit – nabbed from behind the shed 😉
- pea gravel – leftover from previous project
- Final Total: $67.80
Be sure to watch your local home improvement store ads for deals and you might be able to make it for even less.A huge DIY fire pit for UNDER $70 and DONE in under two hours?! Best summer DIY ever.Click To Tweet
Time for s’mores!! (and who knows…maybe the goalie gloves that son #2 is wearing provide extra protection against the heat of the bonfire. Perhaps he’s on to something…) 😉
Stay tuned, because next week, I’ll be showing our DIY cooking rack for this fire pit (I did mention it’s pretty big, right? That means a custom grill rack). 😉 AND a delicious recipe to get you cooking on your fire pit or grill!