I love what a fire pit does for any yard or garden. It brings family and friends together and makes any garden into a warm, welcoming place to let go of the stress of the day. Plus, let’s be honest, it feels like camping, and who doesn’t love that? So here’s an easy DIY fire pit idea with step by step instructions, and its’s a pretty inexpensive project as well. A quick trip to the home improvement store, a little hard work and you could be roasting marshmallows tonight!


Photo below from ‘All Created

How to Build a Backyard DIY Fire Pit



  • Stone pavers, bricks, cinder blocks, concrete blocks or landscape blocks
  • Sand or gravel
  • Shovel
  • Rake


Easy DIY Fire Pit Idea – Instructions

Step One

Decide where you want your fire pit blocks to sit, and what dimensions you would like. Make sure you choose a spot at least 25 feet away from structures or overhanging trees. An average outdoor fire pit is from 36-45 inches across and 12 inches high.


Step Two – How to Outline Your Round Fire Pit

Mark the center of the pit, the easiet way is with a stake. Then tie a string half the total diameter you want the finished pit to be. In other words, if your pit will be 36 inches across, make the string 18 inches. Tie the other end of the string to another stake or stick, and pulling the string taut, walk around the stick marking a prefect circle. This is the outline of the DIY fire pit. Or if you choose, use marking spray paint as shown in the photo.

diy outdoor fire pit


Step Three

Dig out the entire hole a few inches deep. This is to remove any flammable materials under the pit, and also to give space for the non flammable layer.

diy outdoor fire pit


Step Four – Bricks or Block Placement

Now start placing the concrete blocks or cinder blocks around the perimeter of the pit. Stack them in the second and third layer as shown, until the blocks or bricks are at least 12 inches tall.

diy outdoor fire pit


Step Five – Laying The Sand or Gravel Base

Fill the diy fire pit with several inches of sand or gravel to prevent fire embers from burning into the ground. Add another row of stones if necessary to keep the edge of the pit at least 12 inches above the surface of the sand.

diy outdoor fire pit


And that’s all there is to it! Now pull up some chairs, find some great roasting sticks, and call the neighbors… you have just built your own backyard DIY fire pit! How easy was that?

diy outdoor fire pit

We hope you enjoyed this project! However, if you still want something even easier and you want to do something a little scaled down, check out our post on DIY Table Top Fire Bowls! You might also be interested in Planter Box Ideas & Projects For Your Patio on our sister site OhMeOhMy or Fireplace Christmas Decor Ideas over at TBD…





This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.


  1. Stan simpson October 16, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Do the brick need to be high heat or any will do. Thanks

  2. george March 1, 2018 at 11:50 am

    You don’t need step 1: painting a circle. The cinder block sides are cut at a specific angle. Whatever angle they’re cut at determines the size of the fire pit.

    Cleaning is the other issue. You might consider flattening out a metal garbage can lid if it’s the right size, so you can easily lift out the ashes rather than spend time with a shovel (digging out all the gravel you added to the bottom of the pit).

  3. Miko January 26, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    I come with same idea, like a year ago, and did it pretty same way like you. And for about one year serve me right! BUT, last week I ruined it :(
    Hiow? Very simple: i put some charcoal inside, and wire mesh over pit to make barbecue!
    Few days after, all those blocks ( same like you used) start crunching and falling apart!

  4. maspolin October 20, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Very good article. I absolutely love this site. Stick
    with it!

  5. Simple one September 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    To all who are over thinking this, just do it if you live on enough land and where it’s legal. I’m 5′ and tried it before reading for a half hour all these questions. It was easy! I used 9 bricks in diameter, 3 rows, I also had a metal topper I used from a previous home depot fire pit that was El cheapo! And no problems! ! Easy .. with 40 minutes of sweat and pinched fingers voila it was done and I even made an outer ring with stone between the perimeter and fire pit. JUST DO IT!

  6. Rob Dub June 9, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Don’t the bricks have to be “fire rated” to use with open flame? I’ve always heard that non-firebrick can absorb too much moisture and then run the risk of exploding at high temps.

    1. Kathy Woodard June 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      There is a lot of controversy about this…If you were building a closed fireplace that may be true, but with an open pit and smaller open flame of most home fire pits, from the research we’ve done, we don’t see an issue. However, buying fire rated cinder blocks is your best course of action if you are concerned.

  7. Vero May 28, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    That looks awesome, thanks for sharing!

  8. Derek March 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Great fire pit!
    My reservation about the fire pit has always been cleaning. How easy is it to clean? Would you recommend including a brazier or pot? What some people do where I come from is use the inner stainless steel perforated drum you get in washing machines as an inner bowl. Simply remove to clean. Also last forever and makes for a very nice mobile bbq.

  9. Chris Kay September 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    hi! How do the blocks stay together? Don’t they slide/move over time?

    1. Kathy Woodard September 17, 2015 at 8:42 am

      They are pretty heavy and textured so they shouldn’t move… Hope that helps!

    2. george March 1, 2018 at 11:46 am

      friction keeps them in place.

    3. Megan May 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      To ensure the blocks don’t move over time, you musg dig the deep enough that you can fill with a few inches of crushed gravel (sometimes called crush and run or commercial base, or something along those lines) and that your base layer of blocks somewhat below ground level, level and tamp. The same as when building a retaining wall…..

  10. deborah August 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    You can add a stone surround patio. Here’s a blog link to step one….step two….so you can spread it out over various weekends! We did the firepit first, then added a flagstone patio later. Also, if you are willing to make a quick trip to your local scrap yard, we’ve added a tip to make your fire pit much more durable than the average Joe.


  11. lee July 21, 2015 at 11:47 am

    awesome idea i’m just starting a project like this and want to know how big a round your fire pit was

    1. Kathy Woodard September 17, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Hi Lee! This project was done by Home Depot, but I’m guessing around 4 feet across!

  12. Nancy June 28, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Can this be built on a concrete patio?

    1. Kathy Woodard July 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Have any of our readers done this on a patio?

  13. Teddy June 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    i was wondering how many bricks this project will take if I use stone pavers?

    1. Kathy Woodard August 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      I think that depends on the size you want to make it! You can measure the stones that you plant to buy, then do the math to figure out how many you might need based on the size… Anyone have some better tips?

  14. paul larsen June 7, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Check this out!

  15. TOMMY HARKEY April 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm


  16. danielle February 8, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Can you build this over pavers? We have a brick patio that would be a perfect location.

    1. Jean April 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

      My husband and I bought a deep fire pit with a lip around the top and metal legs on it on sale at Lowe’s at the end of the season, and instead of assembling it, we brought only the bowl part to Home Depot and dry-fit a firepit with the wall blocks right there in the garden center with blocks used to make a retaining wall. That way we knew exactly what we would need and could play around with design. We bought what we needed and rebuilt it at home on our paver patio. The fire bowl we bought is quite deep so the blocks around it are secure. And the bowl itself can be lifted out every now and then to be cleaned. Hope this helps.

  17. Heather October 3, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for this tutorial, I was wondering about the lip. I’m going 4 high for child safety. I was wondering about the fire getting o2… with the ridge in the center I’d the blocks, do you think it’s enough so I dont have to leave an opening?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 31, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Hi Heather! That’s a good question, and Im afraid I can’t be 100% sure of the answer since we have never done one that tall… My gut says you should be fine… Please let us know if you try it, and if it works out for you!

  18. Marie July 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    So, the metal firepit ring isn’t necessary? Those are $70 or over near me and have been the reason I haven’t done my firepit yet…
    Do you know if the concrete blocks without the lip would work without the metal liner? They are about 2x the price as those with the lip but I wouldn’t have to chisel it off. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Kathy Woodard July 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Any concrete block should work!

  19. Mike June 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Make sure you leave one brick out on the bottom so your fire gets oxygen.

  20. Jason May 22, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had the same problem that the stones would lean out and topple over. But, I had four rows with the lip facing up in each row, and only had 11 stones in each row. I noticed here that you use 12 stones in each row, so I am going to widen my pit by one stone and use your tip to put the lip down on the first row. Thank you so much!

  21. Adrienne Frydenger May 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    We have heard that these concrete blocks have the potential to explode when exposed to fire. Is there any truth to t his?

    1. Kathy Woodard May 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I have not heard of such a thing… I know some of the projects we used were from Home Depot and HGTV…so it is a widely used DIY project… As with any project, common sense is in order, hopefully no one is building ten foot high bonfires in small backyard fire pits! I suppose anything could explode if its misused, but we have not had any issues or known anyone with such issues… Hope that helps!

      1. Adrienne Frydenger May 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

        That does. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

      2. redneck July 3, 2014 at 8:43 am

        How big is you pit

  22. Joey April 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

    An old hammer and chisel will take those interlocking edges off in a half an hour. Maybe a little more if you are new to the task.

  23. Beth Ellen April 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    What about a cover? How to buy or make one?

  24. Shelley April 2, 2014 at 9:14 am

    can this be used to make a gas fire pit as well? I really like the simplicity of the idea.

    1. Kathy Woodard April 9, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Hi Shelley, As I have no experience with gas fire pits, I don’t think I’m the one to safely advise you there… I’d suggest giving a call to a local landscape contractor and see if thats a possible DIY project. Thx!

  25. Punk April 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    With logs coming in contact with the sides, what keeps them from scooting away from the center, especially with the lips not providing stability?

    1. Kathy Woodard April 9, 2014 at 7:06 am

      The stones are pretty heavy, we’ve never had a problem…and you would want to use logs that fit easily in the fire pit for safety. Thx for asking!

    2. Liviu June 12, 2014 at 11:04 am


      If you’re concerned about slipping outward, I would recommend this (but it’s going to be a little harder for some).
      Put the first row with the lip down. The same goes for second and third rows.
      Now here is the tricky part: You wold have to mount a diamond blade on a circular saw and “shave” the second row blocks, making them a little shorter, and the third row would have to be shortened a little more than second. Reason why, is because the inside diameter is getting smaller with each row because of the lip.

      Another somewhat easier method, would be to lay the first row down with little gaps between each block (gap size would be set by trial & error method, and I would start at 1/4″-5/16″). The second row would go on top with no shaving, and the blocks tight against each other. For the third row you would have to shave approximately the same amount as the gap on the first row( probably 1/4″-5/16″).
      All the rows will be with lip down.


  26. John February 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    And MOST importantly, if you live in an urban development, with small backyards right near your neighbors’ houses, DON’T build a fire pit!! Because then MY house ends up smelling like a forest fire, and it’s rude and bad for the environment, & increases the risk of catching out houses on fire. This ain’t a campground!

    1. Colette April 25, 2014 at 10:25 am

      I like this idea and it looks easy but….. In California someday soon it will be illegal to burn anything. I have several neighbors that burn the wrong wood, terrible smells, comes down our street right to our house. Lake Tahoe smells like wood burning not pine trees. And for someone with breathing problems it does make it unpleasant to breath wood smoke. We are putting in a propane gas fire pit. Much safer than an open flame and you will not smoke your neighbors out.

      1. Kathy Woodard May 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        Thanks for the opinion Colette!

      2. Judy April 5, 2015 at 1:44 am

        Maybe a grate instead with fuel gel cannisters placed underneath with some mexican beach peebles on top of the grate… for a safer burn.

    2. Sarah February 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Thank you for mentioning that John. Being from a rural area with no neighbors I never gave having neighbors a thought. I just moved to my first house and I was so excited about making a fire pit, but I’m definitely going to talk to them first. I don’t want to make enemies in the first couple of months living on my new street.

  27. Shay October 13, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Hi! We had all the supplies needed to do this without going to the store so my boyfriend started building it. However he found that the lip on the pavers caused the structure to lean. How did you make it more straight then what it looks like when you use pavers with the lip. Lowes doesn’t sell pavers without the lip on them.

    1. Kathy Woodard November 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Do first row – lip down (into the dirt). Make sure it is nice and level.
      2nd row – lip up and 3rd row lip up. So only the 3rd row is sitting on a lip. It ends up being only a very slight tilt – barely noticable as you can see in the photos!

      1. Aaron July 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        I ended up taking the lip off of the middle row. I used a chisel and a hammer. Wasn’t hard at all. For that section, I didn’t care if it was “pretty” where I chiseled it off, just that they would sit level.

  28. Kate September 24, 2013 at 10:47 am

    What was the approx. cost for this fire pit?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Kate,
      This fire pit can be made for just under $100, depending on the material you choose. Let us know if you make one!

  29. Kim September 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    How do u stack the block with the lip on it so they are straight like the picture?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Kim,
      Can you clarify what you mean by “straight”?

  30. Kathy Woodard August 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for the mention @DIYconcept

  31. yvon August 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I wish they would have posted where they got the brick from …. Does any one know ?….

    1. Kathy Woodard August 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      You can get the brick from most home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes etc….

    2. charles February 8, 2014 at 6:35 am

      You can get those bricks at Home Depot or Lowes. They are interlocking bricks for Making retaining walls.

      1. Steve June 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

        I did one of these and used interlocking bricks. You have to use a concrete chisel and knock off the lip.

        1. Fred July 9, 2015 at 11:15 am

          Or just use them with the lip up as they did on the top row.

    3. Stephen Dall June 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Home Depot, Lowes, almost every place that sells bricks and pavers have them. They are called restraining wall blocks. About $2.99-$3.99 each. Or you can get them free on Craugslist occasionally.

      1. Connie Pruitt February 22, 2017 at 7:09 am

        Retaining wall blocks ar Home Depot as of Feb 20 are 1.82 a piece,

  32. Paul Foresman July 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Nice tutorial. Looks like I’m gonna be building me a fire pit. :)


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.