DIY Fire Pit for the Best Summer Ever!

Here in Ontario, we just wrapped up our long weekend. Our May 2-4 weekend is notoriously cold and rainy, but this year, the sun was shining, the sweat was dripping, and it was all around pretty perfect weather-wise.

Because it was the first beautiful long weekend we’ve had in a while, my beau and I decided to get a bunch of yard work done in preparation for the summer (and for our updated flower beds, stay tuned for that post!)

We’ve been planning on building a fire pit since this time last year and unfortunately never got around to it. This weekend, however, we were feeling incredibly ambitious and productive and decided to have at it.

What you’ll need:

  • Spade shovel
  • Edger
  • Level
  • Stone (or bricks)
  • Gravel
  • Tire drum

Optional

  • Mulch, patio stone, river rock, or whatever kind of border tickles your fancy
  • Landscape blankets

First, let’s start this project off with a ‘Before’ picture:

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Our goal was to put the fire place smack-dab in the middle of those three trees.

Step One:

Place your wheel drum approximately where you want your fire pit to be and build a border of bricks (or stones, whatever you’re using) around it. We wanted a square fire pit because it felt a bit more modern than a traditional round one.

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Step Two:

Using an edger, outline the border of bricks. Once you’ve edged around the perimeter, remove bricks and wheel drum. You should be left with a square outline.

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Step Three:

Dig! You’ll want to dig out a square of approximately 6 inches deep. We encountered a bunch of roots as we were digging, so this process took us a bit longer than it should’ve.

Step Four:

Lay gravel. Create a bottom layer of gravel to even out the base. Remember, if your base is uneven, your whole fire pit will be uneven.

Step Five:

Place wheel drum in the middle and create first layer of border with bricks. Be sure to use your level for this step to ensure the drum is level and the bricks are level, as it will become super noticeable later if it’s not.

Step Four:

Build up your brick wall, and finish adding gravel around the wheel drum.

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Now, you’re more than welcome to leave it as is. I thought we were going to (this is what it looked like):

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But then we decided we wanted to make it more of a focal point in our yard, so we brainstormed and decided we’d use to mulch and get creative.

Note* you may want to consider using landscape blankets for this part as well to prevent weeds from sprouting.

Step Five:

Lay down landscape blankets to prevent weeds from sprouting. This will make your life easier in the long run.

Step Six:

Start spreading mulch. Rubber mulch is probably the best idea, as it’s less dry and flammable as cedar mulch, and looks and feels the exact same. Alternatively, you could spray some fire retardant on regular mulch. Alternatives to mulch include river rock and gravel.

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Step Seven:

Once you’re happy with the size and shape, feel free to finish off with a rock border. This tidies it up and makes it feel complete!

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Voila! All in a day’s work 🙂 I can’t wait to break this baby in! Happy building!

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