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 own fire pit during cool summer nights. Relax and have fun knowing that you spent very little on the DIY project, because you made it using inexpensive 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. Other types of fire pits can be made using repurposed materials such as metal planters, flower pots, 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. Real wood logs or charcoal can be used in the larger pits. Be sure to check with local air quality restrictions on burning wood outdoors.
01 of 09
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 at the near bottom of the ring to form the necessary vents. Retaining wall blocks effectively form the walls of the pit thanks to their angled sides which create a perfect circle without gaps.
02 of 09
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 laid a ring of blocks first, maintaining a diameter of 33 inches, then installed pavers inside as 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 09
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 09
As long as the size is right, unused garden ponds work perfectly as fire pits since they are already lined with non-combustible rocks. Just make sure that the pond is lined with stones or concrete, and not with a PVC or EPDM (a synthetic rubber) pond liner.
Lucy, who blogs at Lucy's Lampshades, turned her old koi pond into a DIY fire pit for outdoor gatherings. Just as well, she notes, since raccoons and owls tended to gobble up the fish. The transformation was simple. It just took a layer of sand, a covering of rocks, plus firewood in the middle to start the party.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
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 09
Here's a true mini fire pit made using a flower pot to create the size and shape. Your fire pit will take the shape of any type of 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 pour it completely full of 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 09
Costing well under $100, this square DIY fire pit developed by the blogger from Deals, Steals, and Heels is a simple and stylish 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 09
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 9 below.
09 of 09
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 up 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.