Learn how to build an easy DIY fire pit in just one day with our step-by-step guide. Perfect for any backyard upgrade!

Creating an outdoor fire pit is a fantastic way to enhance your backyard and provide a cozy gathering spot for friends and family. In this guide, we’ll show you how to build an easy DIY fire pit in just one day.

With step-by-step instructions and a list of necessary materials, you’ll have a beautiful, functional fire pit ready for your next outdoor event. Whether you’re looking for inexpensive fire pit ideas or tips on fire pit safety, this project is perfect for any DIY enthusiast.

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Step-by-Step Guide: Build Your Own DIY Outdoor Fire Pit in a Day

We were having coffee one Saturday morning mapping out the day, when we started conceptually talking about building a DIY fire pit. I’m not quite sure what happened, because I was planning to spread mulch in my gardens that day.

But next thing I know, Chris was at the local garden center looking at different types of stone. When this happens you gotta just go with it, right?

We chose to site the new fire pit area in a debris-accumulating area of the backyard. Do you have one of those? LOL.

This spot used to contain my girls’ playhouse. Since they outgrew it, we dismantled it and the space became a place to store firewood.

Chris cleared the area and went to the local nursery to shop for some stones while I finished mulching the front gardens.

We wanted our DIY fire pit to be very rustic and casual. Here’s how we did it.

A small, fenced garden area with a wooden gate. In the center, there's a tree with an inviting diy fire pit made from a pile of wood and leaves at its base. To the left, there is a patch of green plants, and the ground is a mix of grass and bare soil. The background shows a grassy lawn and trees.
After dismantling the play area, this spot was used to store firewood. (Before the DIY fire pit).

Choosing the Stone

When choosing the stone for your DIY fire pit, consider both aesthetics and functionality. Opt for durable, heat-resistant materials like fire-rated bricks, lava rocks, or natural stone. These materials not only withstand high temperatures but also blend beautifully with various outdoor decors.

Ensure the stones are evenly sized for easier stacking and a stable structure. Additionally, check local building codes to ensure the materials comply with safety regulations.

While I was mulching, he was texting me photos of various stone options. Do you know how hard it is to text this stuff while mulching?

Not to mention I did not have my readers on, but I digress. The option I chose was a little more expensive and provided more stone than we needed.

He wanted to go with the less expensive option that gave us just the right amount to build the fire pit.

A large stack of irregularly shaped, rough stones bound together with wire rests on a wooden pallet. Placed on a gravel surface and surrounded by greenery including bushes and grass, this setup offers an inspiring base for outdoor fire pit ideas or even a DIY fire pit project.
The stone option that I wanted to use.
A stack of large flat stones is neatly arranged on a wooden pallet. Perfect for a DIY fire pit, the stones are held together with metal wire mesh and surrounded by greenery, including small trees and shrubs in the background.
The stone option that Chris chose.

The one I preferred had more of the look we wanted for the yard with larger, thicker, more rustic-looking stone. His preference had thinner and flatter pieces of stone.

After some discussion, we went with the larger stone.

Although we were getting more stone than necessary, we decided we are doing this once, so let’s make it look the way we want!

I’m sure we could have bought something pre-fab or a kit, but we wanted something that looked rustic and natural, so we chose the larger stone that gave us a surplus.

Since we had more stone than necessary, we built a stone bench for extra seating.

A person wearing shorts and socks stands next to a tree surrounded by large, irregularly shaped stones and rocks, likely for a backyard fire pit. There is a wooden fence in the background with green grass and foliage. Some earth and leaves are scattered among the rocks, suggesting DIY outdoor fire pit ideas.
We have a pick-up truck so Chris was able to pick up 3500 lbs of stone himself. It was a lot to move!

Essential Supplies for Building a DIY Fire Pit

While you don’t need much to build this DIY fire pit idea, here’s what we used:

  • 1 pallet of stone
  • Sand
  • Pea Gravel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Work Gloves
A serene backyard setup featuring two wooden Adirondack chairs with a side table in between, set on a gravel area. A cozy blanket is draped over one chair. In the foreground, a backyard fire pit adds charm and warmth, while vibrant flowers in pots enhance the lush greenery.

Directions For Building a Backyard Fire Pit

While this project was labor-intensive because of the heavy rock, it was not difficult to do. Start by selecting a level spot in your backyard, ensuring it’s a safe distance from any structures or overhanging branches.

Outline the shape of your fire pit using a string and stakes, then dig a shallow trench for the base. Fill the trench with a layer of sand and compact it for stability.

Begin laying the stones in your desired pattern, stacking them securely. Once the structure is complete, fill the center with a layer of gravel to aid drainage and prevent fire hazards.

This spot in our garden already had a layer of pea gravel and sand, so we laid the larger rock down in a circular pattern, then leveled it to insure it laid flat. Looking at it as a puzzle, we laid the rest of the rock around the fire pit until it was roughly 2 feet high and sturdy.

We wanted to build ours higher to keep our dogs (and small kids) out of the firepit if there was a fire burning. Since we wanted more of a rustic look, we did not mortar the stone in place and just left them as is.

And we love how it turned out! We even had some stone left over so my husband built a bench so we could get additional seating.

A serene outdoor seating area features two Adirondack chairs with cushions, a side table holding a small lamp, and a stone bench with a tray of lemonade glasses. The setting boasts lush greenery, blooming red flowers in a ceramic pot, and a gravel pathway leading to a cozy backyard fire pit.
Its really nice to sit out here, even without a fire!
A backyard scene with a diy fire pit containing a bright fire in the foreground. The grassy yard has flowers and plants along the right side and a wooden playset with slides and swings in the background, surrounded by tall trees. This setup is perfect for those seeking outdoor fire pit ideas.
First fire
A cozy outdoor setting features two red Adirondack chairs with white cushions. Nearby, a backyard fire pit adds warmth and charm. A wooden tray on the stone ledge holds a pitcher of lemon water and two mason jars with lemon slices. A pink blanket is draped over one of the chairs.

DIY Fire Pit FAQ

How far should a fire pit be from your house?

Before building a DIY fire pit, please consult with your municipality and local ordinances, as well as other building professionals regarding how to build safely fire pit in your area. They may recommend different distances so follow your local ordinances.

What do you put at the bottom of a fire pit?

When building a DIY fire pit, a good bottom layer will have sand topped with lava rock, pea gravel, fire pit glass or some sort of kiln-fired stone pavers. However, you can also just use dirt. Our DIY fire pit idea has a bottom layer of sand with pea gravel.

Do I need a permit to build a fire pit?

Check with your local authorities as regulations vary by location.

What safety precautions should I take?

Keep the fire pit away from structures, use heat-resistant materials, and have a water source nearby.

How do I maintain my fire pit?

Regularly remove ash and debris, and inspect the structure for any damage.

Two black Labrador dogs are sitting outside in a garden area with a wooden fence and green plants in the background. Both dogs wear collars with tags. The dog in the foreground is on gravel, while the one in the background is next to a stack of stones, perfect for future outdoor fire pit ideas.

Our Easy Fire Pit Project Now

We made this fire pit a few years ago and love it! It gets used spring through fall and we are out here with our family all the time. The rocks held up well and the height of the stone kept our dogs out of harms way.

Our adirondack chairs were several years old, so I spruced them up with a fresh coat of paint. I chose a neutral color too so it blended in with my surrounding gardens.

In addition to painting the chairs, I also added these AWESOME solar lanterns. They are fabulous. I hand them on shepherds hooks throughout the backyard.

A cozy garden scene at dusk features two Adirondack chairs around a small DIY fire pit. Surrounding the area are lush plants, colorful flowers, and hanging lanterns. String lights and lit torches add a warm glow to the peaceful setting, perfect for anyone seeking outdoor fire pit ideas.

Final Thoughts on Building a DIY Fire Pit

Building a DIY fire pit is an enjoyable and practical project that can transform your outdoor space into a cozy gathering spot. By following the step-by-step instructions, choosing the right materials, and adhering to safety guidelines, you can create a fire pit that is both functional and visually appealing.

Whether you’re roasting marshmallows with family or enjoying a quiet evening by the fire, this DIY project adds warmth and charm to your backyard.

What do you think of the new fire pit area? We love it and hang out there often roasting marshmallows with the kids. It is great having the additional outdoor living space.

At night, it feels so cozy and comfortable with the tiki torches we added to the fence posts. Do you have a fire pit area?

I’d love to see it if you do! If not, I hope this brought some inspiration for your outdoor spaces.

A woman in a sun hat and denim jacket sits outside by her DIY fire pit, enjoying a drink. She is petting one black Labrador, while another sits on a chair beside her. They are in a garden with greenery and a wooden fence in the background, with a potted plant on a table between them.
A beautifully lit backyard garden features string lights, lush greenery, and cozy seating around a fire pit. The text overlay reads, "DIY Fire Pit Idea You Can Make in a Day" and "Backyard Fire Pit Ideas & Inspiration." For more details, visit stacyling.com.

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stylized text 'Stacy Ling' in cursive font with a pink and orange watercolor flower illustration to the left, featuring green leaves—perfect for your next backyard fire pit design.
A beautifully lit garden at dusk with glowing lanterns hanging and placed among lush greenery and flowers. Two Adirondack chairs sit in the background, beside a charming backyard fire pit, with string lights hanging above, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
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