Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom


Simple DIY Outdoor Fire Pit

One of the items on our never ending to-do list, was to put in some sort of outdoor fire pit.  We have such a pretty outdoor setting and a perfect little clearing down by our dry creek bed.  It seemed like a waste to not be enjoying every part of it.  But there always seemed to be something more important on the list and the fire pit project kept getting put off.  

Last October, we had a multi-family camping trip and stayed at an awesome RV park in New Braunfels.  The park had a heated pool, game room, a big bouncing pillow/trampoline thing and best of all, a great big fire pit with lots of seating.  We had such a great time around the fire pit on that trip, that my hubby got motivated to get our fire pit done in time for Thanksgiving.  (We were hosting Thanksgiving weekend for 18 people.)

Spruce up your backyard with this fun and easy DIY Outdoor Fire Pit.  It's the perfect outdoor project to complete in a weekend.

Spruce up your backyard with this fun and easy DIY Outdoor Fire Pit. It's the perfect outdoor project to complete in a weekend.

The fire pit turned out to be such an easy project, we're not exactly sure why we waited so long to get it done!  (Easy if you don't count all the shoveling and unloading of the retaining wall blocks my hubby had to do.)
How to make a fire pit
I've written up how he put the fire pit together.  I don't have any photos of the process, but it's very simple and photo's aren't really necessary.  (My hubby generally starts these projects on Saturdays when he's home with the kids and I'm at work.  And he's not one to read directions, let alone stop and take photos to document his steps...  ;) )

How to make a very simple and easy firepit.

Materials used:
  • Decomposed granite, sand or pea gravel.  You could get away with a couple of bags, but we chose to make a 14 foot diameter circle around the fire pit.  (For safety and aesthetic reasons.) We got 2 yards of crushed/decomposed granite for the circle and pathway and still had some left over.  It was $40 per yard plus delivery.
  • optional landscape retaining wall adhesive
  • Shovels, rakes, wheel barrow and other misc gardening supplies, plus a very strong back 

1.  Check on your city and local codes and restrictions to find out what is required for a fire pit.

2.  Chose an open spot, 10 to 20 feet away from trees, bushes, grass and other flammable items.

3.  Use rake and or shovel to clear out grass and debris and smooth out fire pit area.

4.  If you are plan to create a circular sitting area similar to ours, you might want to mark out the area first using a measuring tape and marking the ground with spray paint.  (Have someone stand in the center of the fire pit area with the end of a measuring tape and the 2nd person can walk around at the desired measurement and mark the ground in a circle.)

5.  The retaining wall block I linked to above, will form a perfect 4 foot circle when stacked angled edge to angled edge.  Lay out your first layer of retaining wall bock directly on the ground.  

6.  Dig out about 4 to 6 inches of dirt from inside the fire pit circle.  (You may need to dig out more or less depending on your local code.)

7.  Stack the second and third layer of retaining wall block.  Fill the bottom of the fire pit with  4 to 6 inches of decomposed granite, sand or pea gravel. 

8.  Add the 4th row of retaining wall block.  We chose to glue the 4th row to the third row with landscape retaining wall adhesive.  If you do this, just follow the directions for the adhesive.

9.  If creating a seating area, add the rest of your gravel, back filling around the fire pit.  Smooth out, add chairs and enjoy!

We are marshmallow roasting pros now...

Part of our local code says that we are fine if we are burning for the purpose of outdoor cooking, so we always have a pack of marshmallows or hot dogs nearby.  (Plus a garden hose for safety.)

My hubby had a special grate made by a welder for easier cooking...

And now we can cook sausage and beans to our hearts content, redneck style of course...

I wanted to hang lights in the trees and searched all over the internet for the best deal on globe lights.  Where did I find them?  Online at Target, and free shipping! Target has a 25 foot string of globe lights for $12.99.  

Globe lights from Target for $12.99. (25 ft)

 That's the water hose you see in the picture below...  (I forgot to move it until to late.)

 I took some of these pics in the fall when we still had leaves, but the entire pathway wasn't finished.  And a few more pictures yesterday...

So what do you think?  Are you ready to build yourself a fire pit?

Like this project? Don't forget to pin it!     

If you are looking for a few more semi-easy outdoor projects you can do yourself, be sure to check these out as well:

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  1. This is gorgeous! We have a fire pit that needs a little tlc, so this is super inspiring! Thanks for sharing on the Take A Look Tuesday link up!

  2. I am LOVING this! I don't really like our portable fire pit and we've been wanting to do something fun in our yard!!!! I am going to have hubs check our local code so we maybe we can do this too!!! Thanks!

  3. Stopping by from the linkup! This is amazing! My husband and I have always wanted to build our own when we move. Definitely pinning! xoxo

  4. wonderful, and i especially love it with the grill on top. i thought those were just plain bricks making up the fire pit-we have a ton of them laying around. do you think that would work, or it would have to be retaining wall blocks?

    1. You can use bricks, no problem. We used the retaining wall stones since we didn't have any bricks on hand and the retaining wall stones from Lowes are already curved, so they were super easy to lay out.
      Good luck!

  5. I love this! We don't have quite the backyard you do but we do have one of those metal fire pits and hate how small it is, and the fact that it gets rusty when my husband leaves it out. We've been wanting to do some sort of stone fire pit as well. I'm going to have to show him this! Thanks for sharing!

  6. How beautiful! I love the winding path, the lights and of course the fire pit. We have a big side yard and this would be perfect. Pinning this so I can show my hubby!

  7. Very nice fire pit! love the walkway and lights, so quaint and cozy

  8. I want that in my back yard! Gorgeous with the lights and the stumps... Pinning! Julia

  9. This is such a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends! Love it and pinning this!
    Would you mind to share this at the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop? I love to see easy DIY projects like this at our party!

  10. Oh this looks absolutely wonderful! I wish I had the space to make something like this in my garden.

  11. Wow, this is gorgeous!! We've been wanting to put in a firepit but we need to have ours covered because of municipal laws. I wish I knew a welder to make a grate cover for us... I'm still going to save this because if we ever find a cover, I'd love to make my own!

    1. You can search google or craigslist to find someone who does welding repair or makes/repairs iron gates. They are definitely out there. I just asked my hubby, he paid $150 for the cover to be made.

  12. Wow! That project looks super easy, and I love the grate for the top.

  13. I grew up with a fire pit in our backyard and have such happy memories of it. This is such and awesome idea and tutorial. I would love to have you join me for my Centerpiece
    Wednesday linky party and share this post with us. Come on over


  14. That turned out beyond awesome! Especially with the lights! I have plans to get around to mking one of these this summer! Thanks for linking it up at Monday Funday! Pinning!

  15. When you indicate that the bricks form a 4 foot circle, do you mean the inner or outer diameter?

    1. Hmm, we made this 6 months ago, so I don't remember... I will measure next time I go out there and will follow up...

  16. Does it have any vents or does it get air in through the gravel?

    1. no vents, it seems to get plenty of air.


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