How to DIY a Backyard Fire Pit {Easy Weekend Project}

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Today I am sharing our latest project–a backyard Fire Pit! My husband has been talking, scheming, researching and planning a Fire Pit for the backyard in our new house.  We made good use of the built-in Fire Pit in our last rental house, so he was pretty intent on recreating one here.



One disclaimer to start–my husband is not a big fan of home improvement projects. His drill has long become “my” drill,  and either I do it or we hire it out. He’d rather spend his free-time fishing, hunting or any other sort of outdoor activity, and definitely not DIY’ing, so I was totally impressed with his dedication to this project. Short of coming along to have the final say in the color of the stone {read: control issues} I had nothing to do with this project. He rallied our 12 year old son and the two of them knocked the Fire Pit out in four hours last Saturday–and the best part is it was just over $300.

You can find tutorials online but here is a bit how they did it. All the supplies came from Home Depot.

They used:

The largest Fire Pit they had. {We used this one HERE or similar HERE}
If you use a smaller one you could save almost $100 but my husband is a “Go Big” type of person and wanted a BIG fire, what can I say? In hindsight, we’re going through quite a bit of wood so consider that when you select a size. We also removed the legs that were designed to keep it off the ground.

10 bags of Sand

8 bags of Stone {pea gravel}

42 large retaining wall stones {we had a few leftover}

Landscaping Fabric


We do have restrictions in our neighborhood, and my soccer-loving son was concerned that he would lose his backyard playing field so we were pretty limited where we could put it. I like the location as it’s right at the bottom of the deck which makes running up and down and in and out for the s’more fixing easier on me–since that falls in my job description apparently 🙂  We obviously are very careful with the sparks and the fire since it is a little closer to the house than I would have preferred. We have a hose right next to it as luck would have it and always make sure it’s all the way out before we go inside.


Here is how we made it:



He started by attaching a can of spray paint to a string, he secured the string to a point in the middle of the area we selected and went in a circle so he would have a pretty accurate circular space to build in. Then they dug it out to a depth of 6 inches.

gravel firepit


First they covered the bare ground with landscaping fabric to keep any grass from growing in. From there they filled it in with the pea gravel and went around and leveled that with a 2×4. {Excuse the shadowy pictures, my 12 year old documented the project while they made it. And do you spy my four-legged photobomber? Without fail.}


pit with sand


On top of the rocks they added the sand and leveled it again.


pit in progress copy


They figured out the center, then built the rocks around it to cover the cauldron part.




Somehow it got a little off center during construction but we’re going to do another layer of rocks, some stepping stones to the patio and a whole bunch of landscaping in this area so that is just a minor detail.




All in all, it came out great for a half a day’s work {not MY work, woo hoo!}. And we’re already enjoying it with the beautiful Fall weather we’ve had. We broke it in the first night with these:




Here it is in it’s glory…




The best part was when our neighbor’s son said “This is great! Can we do this every night?”. It made our day, and I know that made all the work they put in worth it. I am already planning a Christmas party complete with hot chocolate, gourmet s’mores and plaid blankets! Anyone have a good source for Adirondack chairs? I am on the hunt..

Thanks for stopping by~

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  1. What is the diameter of your circle after digging out 6 inches & the diameter of the finished fire pit?

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