It’s hard to imagine a whole summer going by without at least one cookout. Barbecues are an essential summertime staple, but friends can only be so impressed by your failed attempts at Bobby Flay grill marks. If you want to add a little more flair to your gathering, fire pits can enhance your backyard’s atmosphere -- and you can build one yourself! Here are a few of our favorites to make your backyard the go-to location for any party.
1. The Concrete Fire Pit Bowl
via Man Made DIY
The fire pit bowl allows for a lot of flexibility in design. You can build it as big or small as you like, so it can be used for full blown s'mores nights or just for patio lighting. The flame does not give off much heat, and it serves as a beautiful backdrop for outdoor parties. The lower heat also makes it a viable accessory for family reunions where younger children may run around.
With a few supplies from your local hardware store you can create this ambient centerpiece in no time. Here are the essentials:
• Quick-dry concrete mix
• Large plastic bowls for molding (size of punch bowl, or larger)
• Pam or any non-stick cooking spray
• A masonry or margin trowel
• Bucket for mixing
• Sanding paper or machinery
• Fire safe lava stones
• Gel fuel cans
Home Repair Tutor also has an easy-to-follow video that gives step-by-step instructions on creating the DIY fire pit bowl.
2. The Tabletop
via The Lilypad Cottage Design
For those of you with little ones or a smaller backyard, the tabletop fire pit is perfect because it offers functionality and safety. Entertain your guests by day at the table and remove the top for a bonfire night! The removable top reveals a fire pit within, and it is a great solution for entertaining on a budget. Also, the combination of stone and wood is a classic style that will accentuate any backyard.
What you’ll need:
• Existing Fire Pit (Don’t have one? Refer to example #3)
• Wooden boards
• Screws and metal brackets
• Wood finish stain
• Polyurethane for waterproofing
See how The Lilypad Cottage created a DIY fire pit table top with a budget of only $90!
3. Mobile Fire Pit
via Creatively Southern
If you are constantly changing your backyard, or if you don't have much experience with DIY projects, try out this fire pit. Ellora from Creatively Southern built mobility into this pit by stacking the stones rather than using mortar to hold them together. It also makes this pit the most flexible of the bunch, so you can move it to the center or the corner of your yard based on your gathering. You can even change out the stones every once in a while for a different look.
What You’ll Need:
• Convenient space for structure
• Fireproof concrete blocks of choice
• Large removable fire pit bowl or fire pit foyer
• Fire pit grate How to:
Step 1: Choose the location of your pit. Don’t worry if you happen to have a change of heart later because this design’s mobility allows you to be somewhat indecisive (not encouraged, but permissible).
Step 2: Place the removable bowl in the center of where you want the fire pit to go then begin to place your blocks around the form. When building up your walls you may want to stagger the rows for a more solid foundation.
Step: 3 : Insert the fire pit bowl within your stone ring and install the grate.
- Home Warranty Plans
- View Home Warranty Coverage
- Home Appliance Warranty Plans
4. Garden Fireplace
If you always have guests who are waiting for a seat while the grill masters work, the garden fireplace provides ample space and ambiance for any group. The bench provides storage for your firewood, and the pit can easily be disguised when the fire dies out. The ground level pit is convertible and delivers on style, whether or not it's in use.
What you’ll need for the pit: • Shovel
• Spirit Level
• Long iron pole to determine center of fireplace
• String and spray paint
Let the DIY experts over at Homes.com walk you through their step-by-step instructions of a garden fire pit.
5. Concrete Corner Fire Pit
via DIY Network
If you only have a corner space in your backyard left, the square concrete fire pit is the best fit for you. Your family and friends can retreat to the corner for some solitude and relaxation away from the rest of the party. The square pit is simple to build, but does require some thought in placement.
What you’ll need: • Shovel • Stone blocks • Wall caps • Decorative lava stones • Fire ring • Burning wood • Gravel
First, map out the location and size of the square. In order to create the actual corner of the pit, you’ll need to place a corner block in your square and then cut ¾ of another block to place against the one you initially put down. From there, build out from both blocks. Repeat these steps for your second layer. Finish the structure off using wall caps.
6. Backyard Fire Place
via Sweet Pickings Furniture
For the most adventurous of the bunch, you could try a backyard fireplace. While this project is the most involved, the fireplace is a unique statement piece guaranteed to wow any crowd. However, make sure you like the stones and placement - this one is not easy to undo.
Watch this DIY network video for quick tips for build your outdoor fireplace.