How to Build a DIY Backyard Fire Pit

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Are you ready to prep your yard for summer? With a few upgrades like patio designs, easy-to-install backyard outlets, and some neat outdoor lighting ideas, you can turn your backyard into an inviting oasis for family and friends during warm weather. If you want to add even more flair to your gathering, a DIY fire pit can enhance your backyard’s atmosphere. 

Learning how to build a fire pit may be easier and more affordable than you think. Here are a few of our favorite DIY fire pit ideas to make your backyard the go-to location for any party.

1. Attractive concrete fire pit bowl

Ease of build: Medium

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This fire pit bowl by Manmade DIY is an elegant addition to any backyard décor. This fire pit design is versatile—you can build it as big or small as you like so that it can be used for s'mores nights or just for patio lighting. You can also pour the concrete into whatever shape you choose, which gives you control of the overall look. 

The flame does not give off much heat, making this fire pit idea a viable accessory for family reunions where younger children may be running around. Add some tiki torches, twinkle lights, and a cocktail, and your backyard will feel like a luxury resort. 

Here’s what you’ll need to build a concrete fire pit bowl:

  • Large plastic bowls for molding (size of a punch bowl, or larger)

  • Quick-dry concrete mix

  • Any nonstick cooking spray

  • A masonry or margin trowel

  • A bucket for mixing

  • Sanding paper or machinery

  • Fire-safe lava stones

  • Gel fuel cans (make sure they’re food safe if you’ll be roasting marshmallows)

Home Repair Tutor has an  easy-to-follow video that gives step-by-step instructions on creating the DIY fire pit bowl.

2. Fire pit that doubles as a tabletop

Ease of build: Medium

For homeowners with little ones or a small backyard, The Lilypad Cottage’s convertible tabletop is a perfect, simple backyard fire pit idea 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, making it a great solution for entertaining on a budget. Also, the combination of stone and wood is a classic style that will accentuate any backyard.

Here are the items you’ll need to build the tabletop patio fire pit idea:

  • An existing fire pit (Don’t have one? Refer to fire pit idea #3)

  • Wooden boards

  • Screws and metal brackets

  • A sander

  • Wood finish stain

  • A jigsaw (or a keyhole saw if you want a built-in arm workout)

  • Polyurethane for waterproofing

See how The Lilypad Cottage created this DIY fire pit tabletop.

3. The Mobile fire pit

Ease of build: Easy

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If you like to change the landscaping and design of your backyard frequently, or if you don't have much experience with DIY projects, try out this backyard fire pit idea. Ellora from Creatively Southern built mobility into this store-bought home fire pit by stacking the stones rather than using mortar to hold them together. You can change out the stones every once in a while for a different look. It also makes this fire pit the most flexible of the bunch; you can move it to the center or the corner of your yard based on your gathering or design preferences. 

Here are the materials you’ll need to make a mobile fire pit:

  • Fireproof concrete blocks 

  • A store-bought fire pit

Step 1: Choose the location of your fire pit. Don’t worry if you happen to have a change of heart later because this design’s mobility allows you to be flexible.

Step 2: Place the fire pit bowl where you want it and then place your blocks around it to form a ring. When building your walls, you may want to stagger the rows for a more solid foundation.

Step 3: Install the grate.

If you are interested in taking on more of a DIY challenge, this portable concrete firepit will deliver and add some wow factor to your backyard.  

4. Charming garden fire pit

Ease of build: Difficult

If you have guests who are always 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, making it a seamless fire pit landscaping idea. The ground-level pit is convertible and delivers on style, whether or not it is in use. Pro tip: You can use the ashes to fertilize your garden. 

Here are the materials you’ll need for the garden fireplace: 

  • A shovel

  • A spirit level

  • A long iron pole to determine the center of the fireplace

  • String

  • Spray paint

  • Sand

  • Cobblestones

  • Gravel

Let the DIY experts at Homes.com walk you through their step-by-step instructions of a garden fire pit.

5. Brick oven/fire pit

Ease of build: Difficult

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A DIY Brickwood oven kit is one of the best ways to combine your love of fire pits with food. If you want your backyard to be the neighborhood hangout, this idea will knock everyone else’s pizza night out of the water. If you add a DIY BBQ grill to your outdoor oven, your guests will never want to leave. Adding a brick oven to your patio is classy and elegant and may even increase your home’s resale value. 

Check out Brickwood Oven’s video gallery to learn how to build a variety of ovens.

6. Eco-friendly fire pit

Ease of build: Easy

There’s nothing quite like the ambiance of a cozy outdoor fire, but the emissions it produces can be bad for the environment. Luckily, the Fine Craft Guild has a solution: an eco-friendly fire pit. This outdoor fire pit idea offers a minimalist aesthetic to your backyard décor, and the use of eco-fuel can help you enjoy guilt-free.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A non-combustible vessel of your choice 

  • Decorative stones, rock, or glass (make sure they’re fire-friendly)

  • Eco-friendly gel fuel cans (These can be found at any hardware or big box store)

Head over to Fine Craft Guild to learn how to build this smokeless, eco-friendly fire pit.

If you want to be environmentally conscious but enjoy tending to a traditional fire, you can burn logs made of recycled material instead of traditional wood. Enviro-logs are made of recycled cardboard and wax and produce a cleaner burn. 

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Learning how to build a fire pit can be a fun weekend project and is a great way to customize your backyard. While making your home as comfortable as possible for you and your family (and your guests), don’t forget to protect your budget with home warranty coverage. American Home Shield® offers coverage for parts of up to 23 home systems and appliances, including electrical systems. Continue entertaining with your DIY fire pit, and don’t worry about your home systems and appliances inside—leave that to us.

DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations. 

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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