If you’re looking for an easy DIY inexpensive firepit tutorial, then you’ve come to the right place.
Summer and fall are the best times to be outside, enjoying nature. One aspect we love most about summer and fall are bonfires. However, it’s hard to achieve that true bonfire feel in anything but a firepit. Chimenea’s just don’t get the job done.
It’s amazing how something like sitting around a fire can bring people together and get them talking. Add hot dogs, smores, or food cooking in heavy duty tin-foil and you’ve got a party!
After my husband got way to fire happy and cracked the Chimenea we had, we decided to build a real firepit.
You can read about it below, or watch the video that my husband created that I embedded below:
Step 1. Contact your Fire Marshal
I called my local Fire Marshal and ask what size “recreational” firepit we were allowed to have in our residential backyard. (This is not for burning brush piles people- its “recreational”).
Step 2. Gather Your DIY Inexpensive Fire Pit Supplies
- Head down to your local home improvement or landscape supply store.
- Go into the garden department.
- Look at the various retaining wall and/or fire stone options they have.
- We decided to go with concrete the retaining wall blocks because they were $1.25 each.
- We bought about 40 which means it cost us around $50 to build.
- They come in many styles and colors so you can get all fancy if you want to.
Note: If you don’t have any cash but you’ve got a lot of rocks, we also wrote an article about how to build a fire pit with rocks: Build Your Own Backyard Fire pit Using Free Materials.
Step 3. Prep Your DIY Fire pit Area
- No mortar is needed. It’s all about stacking them correctly.
- We broke one block in half using chisel and hammer on purpose. (This is for level 2 of the pit so that air can reach the fire and you’ll see this noted in the instructions below.).
- We picked a flat area in the back yard and cleared out the grass/pine straw.
Note that some people like to get fancy here and add pea gravel or other stones to the base of thier firepit and that’s totally up to you. We kept it simple to keep the cost of building the DIY fire pit to a minimum.
Step 4: Stack the bricks.
In this step I’m going to show you level by level how we stacked the bricks and what pattern so that you can get a visual for how we did it layer by layer.
Again, refer to the video if you find these illustrations confusing.
Level 1 DIY Fire Pit-
We began the base by placing 10 “blocks” in a circle on the ground. They fit together nicely.
Level 2 DIY Fire Pit-
Then we started level two, placing these blocks so that they were centered on the cracks of the level 1 blocks. This way the structure is sturdy. (You don’t want 10 blocks stacked 4 high straight on top of one another because you are just asking for them to fall over.)
Also on level two, we had to place the broken in half blocks midway between two neighboring blocks on opposite sides. That way air could get into the pit and we don’t have a smoky mess.
Level 3 DIY Fire Pit –
Level three was the same as level one. 10 whole blocks stacked centered on the crack of the blocks below.
Level 4 DIY Fire Pit-
Level four is 10 whole blocks stacked centered on the crack of the blocks below and the lip left on these blocks formed a lip around the inside. You can see the small ridge on the inside of each top block in the pictures below. (Note that you may not buy bricks with a lip so you don’t have to worry about it.) That’s it!
What is the size of the diy fire pit opening?
I’ve had many readers ask about the size of the opening when the project is complete and it is just around 2ft in diameter.
Step 5: Clean Up the Fire Pit Area
Once you’ve got everything for your DIY inexpenisive fire pit arranged the way that you want it you can now clean up any of your tools and left over supplies.
Consider clearing, raking or flattening the area that you plan to place your firepit chairs.
Find a good place to stack your firepit wood nearby.
Step 6: Set Up the Fire Pit Entertainment Area
What I love most about having this backyard fire pit is that in the spring, summer and fall it serves as a great place to hang out with friends and family.
The 2 Main Acccessories that every DIY fire pit area needs are:
- Comfortable chairs
- Side Tables or Drink Holders
If you plan to do a lot of entertaining and want to keep your people comfortable, check out my article on 10 Must Have Backyard Fire Pit Accessories.
Step 7: Plan Your First Fire Pit Gathering
Now that you have the area all set up and you’ve got your accessories squared away you can invite people over for a backyard firepit party.
Having everyone gather around with a good beer and or things to cook can be a ton of fun. This article on 6 Foods to Cook on a Stick is fun.
Important DIY Fire Pit Safety Notes:
Please note that we are not firepit professionals, if you copy this design and use the fire pit, you do so at your own risk. This was made for simple recreational use.
Always be careful with animals and small children around firepits. The sides of the pit are NOT made to be sat upon.
The fire should not be raging above the blocks at the top of the pit.
For more tips on how to build a safe fire as well as put one out, check out this article on 5 Precautions to Keep Your Fire Safe.
I hope you found this tutorial on how we made an easy DIY inexpensive firepit ourselves with only $60 helpful as you tackle your own project.
I’ve loved seeing readers finished firepits on Instagram so if you build it, consider givng me tag @thriftylilmom so I can check out what you made!
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!