Nothing says cozy and comfortable, like flames crackling in a backyard fire pit. Imagine gathering with friends and family, sipping wine, roasting hot dogs, and making s'mores around your fire pit during cool summer nights. Relax and have fun knowing that you spent very little on your DIY backyard fire pit idea because you made it using inexpensive or repurposed materials.
Nearly every fire pit in this gallery costs between $50 and $150. The secret to these super-low costs is the basic building materials used to form the fire pits, such as bricks, pavers, concrete, and retaining wall blocks. You can make fire pits from repurposed materials such as metal planters, flower pots, steel receptacles, and even glass.
Fire Pit Fuel Sources
Gel canisters designed for fireplaces or low-combustion pressed wood logs can supply the fire's fuel in most smaller fire pits. You can use real wood logs or charcoal in the larger pits. Be sure to check with local air quality restrictions on burning wood outdoors.
01 of 20
After her husband cracked their clay chimenea, Kim Anderson of the Thrifty Little Mom blog decided she wasn't about to give up her backyard fire source.
So they purchased retaining wall blocks from their local home improvement store and stacked them four tiers high, using the lawn as the pit's floor. To increase the oxygen flow, they cut one of the blocks in half and placed each half on opposite sides near the bottom of the ring to form the necessary vents. Retaining wall blocks effectively form the pit walls thanks to their angled sides, creating a perfect circle without gaps.
02 of 20
Fast, easy, and most importantly, inexpensive describes the approach taken to creating this fire pit. Kaysi, from the home and craft blog called Keeping It Simple, and her husband wanted a quick backyard fire pit for the weekend and decided to build it with retaining wall blocks.
A trip to Home Depot cost them around $50 for retaining wall blocks, sand, and pavers. They first laid a ring of blocks, maintaining a diameter of 33 inches, then installed pavers for the floor. A quick sweep of sand across the pavers was enough to lock them in place and prevent the blocks from shifting.
The project did not include grout, mortar, or concrete, making it a perfect starter masonry project. The hardest part was paring down some pavers with a hammer to create a circle. Kaysi used a hammer and masonry chisel, making sure to wear heavy gloves and safety glasses.
03 of 20
Combine a hexagon-shaped fire pit made with lumber for the frame, fence boards for the slatted table, and Adirondack chairs for a spot-on design match. Marie, from The Interior Frugalista, built this fire pit table to blend in with her Adirondack chairs. Her fire pit fits snugly inside the frame. Flames are supplied either by gel fireplace fuel canisters or Eco Logs that tend to eliminate sparks.
04 of 20
As long as the size is correct, old garden ponds work perfectly as fire pits since they are usually lined with non-combustible rocks. Ensure that the pond has stone or concrete lining, not PVC, EPDM (a synthetic rubber), or other flammable pond liners.
Lucy, who blogs at Lucy's Lampshades, turned her old koi pond into a DIY fire pit for outdoor gatherings. She was ready for the change since raccoons and owls tended to gobble up the fish. The transformation was simple, and it took a layer of sand, a covering of rocks, plus firewood in the middle to start the party.Continue to 5 of 20 below.
05 of 20
For less than $25, Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff blog crafted this small, sleek, and contemporary-style fire pit out of glass frame coverings, a metal planter, and a metal grate.
She glued the sheets of glass together with marine silicone, then placed the four-sided glass structure into a rectangular metal planter. A grate was placed on the bottom for gel canisters to fuel the flames. Karen notes that if you cannot find a metal planter like hers, a terra cotta planter will work equally as well.
06 of 20
Here's a true mini fire pit made using a flower pot to create the size and shape. Your fire pit will take the form of any large plastic container you choose, such as a flowerpot or urn.
For this DIY fire pit, Deb McDaniel at Evansville Living sprayed the inside of the container with non-stick cooking spray and poured in quickly setting concrete. Set one or more gel fuel canisters into the wet concrete to create the right-sized space (coat the canister with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal). Place rocks or beach glass into the still-wet, pliable concrete mix for a sparkling finishing touch. When the concrete dries, remove the container (gently break it apart if necessary or glide the concrete out of the container) for your unique fire pit.
07 of 20
Costing well under $100, this square DIY fire pit developed by the blogger from Deals, Steals, and Heels is a stylish and straightforward backyard design element constructed from cement wall blocks laid in a bed of sand. To prevent the sand from shifting, dig a 4-inch-deep hole in the grass with a spade, remove the turf, and fill the hole with paver sand. Just add firewood and bring a supply of marshmallows to roast.
08 of 20
Not all fire pits need to be created entirely from scratch. Melissa at The Inspired Room combined a do-it-yourself ring of 44 Allen + Roth retaining wall blocks from Lowe's Home Improvement store with a factory-made, ready-to-go metal fire pit kit. The result is a fire pit with a cozy, natural-stone look.Continue to 9 of 20 below.
09 of 20
Most backyard fire pits offer the charm of flames that can roast marshmallows. But Stacy at Red Door Home wanted a completely functional fire pit that can be used for cooking throughout the summer.
Two full-size grills rest atop a ring of retaining wall blocks, allowing Stacy to cook anything from steaks and kebabs to s'mores. Extending the use of the fire pit ensures that it can be used for more than just the summer season.
10 of 20
Repurposed Washing Machine Drum
If you're going for the look of a stylish, pricey fire pit for practically nothing, it helps to get inventive. A sleek receptacle that can double as a fire pit is a stainless steel washing machine drum. Stainless steel holds up to heat, and the holes throughout the drum allow for the oxygen flow a fire needs for keeping the flames lit. Another perk at night, the little holes against a dark night backdrop look like tiny twinkly dots of light. Making this firepit requires some work, such as finding a used or old drum and using an angle grinder to get rid of the centerpiece, the agitator, making space for the firewood. Make sure you remove all the plastic and rubber bits, too.
11 of 20
Suspend a Cauldron
Classic fire pits are a must-have out in the wilderness or camping; they are the primary method of getting warmth and making food. So, nothing is more old-school and referential to camping than erecting a tripod and hanging a giant cast iron cooking pot or stylish deep cauldron in your backyard. But in this case, instead of lighting the fire underneath the kettle, put the firewood inside the kettle and enjoy the warm glow.
12 of 20
Tire Rim Tower
As long as you have access to an angle grinder and can get your hands on two old truck or car tire rims that are the same size, you can make an industrial-looking fire pit. You won't need to weld the two edges together; the two can stack on top of the other. You'll need an angle grinder to cut out same-sized squares (or rectangles) from each rim, then turn one on top of the other, lining up the squares/rectangles. That should give you a large opening big enough to allow you to add firewood as needed. If you're going for more of an open fire option, you can also use only one tire rim and stack rocks and bricks stylishly around it. Tractor tire rims are giant and make an excellent option for a larger fire pit.Continue to 13 of 20 below.
13 of 20
Upcycle a Beer Keg
It probably doesn't sound pretty retooling a beer keg into a fire pit, but it can be. It depends on your skills and how much time you want to invest in this project. As long as you know how to use a welder, an angle grinder, circular saw, drill, or Dremel, you can cut down these steel receptacles (either vertically or horizontally) and add vent holes. Also, stainless steel beer kegs can be sanded and polished to a mirror finish: you only need time and a little bit of elbow grease to class up these simple containers.
14 of 20
Rustic Wheelbarrow Charm
If your home has a rustic styling, French country aesthetic, or a farmhouse look, then an old metal wheelbarrow fits right in with the pastiche, adding some authenticity to your design. A well-worn steel wheelbarrow may be past its prime for yard work, but give it a second life as a fire pit. Make sure it doesn't have any cracks or significant rust. Remove any plastic, rubber, or wooden parts. To protect your lawn and keep your fire pit safe, center the wheelbarrow on a foundation of stone or brick.
15 of 20
Concrete Tree Rings
For less than $50, you can stack concrete tree rings into a circle shape, going as high as you like for a unique-looking fire pit. Concrete rings come in different shades of white, beige, orange, and pink hues, giving you many options, and some have scallops to them. Not all concrete is fire-safe, so line the inside of any concrete fire pits with fire brick and fire clay mortar to keep your fire pit intact or use a protective fire ring as an inner liner.
16 of 20
The ridges of a galvanized steel fire ring can give your DIY fire pit a modern, industrial look. Made for containing a fire pit, these rings come in many styles at most big-box home improvement stores, including galvanized steel, lattice patterns, other cutout designs, and even square shapes. Clear a space, put down some sand or a thin layer of pebbles, and put a ring down. Get some firewood, and you're all set. It's your simplest and quickest fire pit solution.Continue to 17 of 20 below.
17 of 20
If you've grown tired of maintaining your birdbath or a costly water bill, a fire pit transformation may be just the thing you need. If your low-lying fountain is made of a fire-safe material like marble or terra cotta (concrete is not safe), disconnect all the water hookups, remove all plastic and flammable materials, and consider filling it with firewood. Or, if you want to get even fancier, switch out the water hoses for gas lines. You might want to consider hiring a professional for that part. It will instantly transform the use of your yard.
18 of 20
Get Classic Lines With Cinder Block Caps
Fire-resistant cinder block caps can be artfully designed into a square, contemporary-styled fire pit with clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. Although cinder blocks are fire-resistant, they are not fireproof and, over prolonged use, will eventually crumble. To protect and extend the viability of your fire pit, consider using a fire ring as a liner or fire bricks.
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Stonehenge of Bricks
Invoking the majestic look of Stonehenge, purchase bricks and stack them like dominoes with space in between each brick, then lay a top layer on top, lining them all up and locking them in place. The result: A fire pit with an elegant design has the practical benefit of slotted openings for free-flowing air to stoke the flames.
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Unconventional Fire Pit Shapes
Experiment with how you stack your bricks or rocks around the fire pit. You can raise up one side or one half or create a teardrop shape around a circular pit with all bricks tapering up to a point on one side. Playing with design can leave you with something that is pleasing to the eye while also acting effectively as a windbreaker, keeping the fire alive.