Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (2022)

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (1)

Starry winter nights and an outdoor fire pit is a match made in heaven. It’s a luxury anyone can afford as there are many designs you can build yourself. Simple above ground fire pits can be made by stacking bricks, flagstones or pavers. (See many images below to get an idea.) In-ground or underground fire pits are a bit more challenging as you need to dig a hole or sink the pit into your patio. We’ve hand-picked these top 40 DIY ideas for every taste and style so you should be able to find one to incorporate into your backyard.

In-ground fire pits are a visual delight. They bury the pit underground so that the flames appear to rise from the ground itself. They are also much less dangerous than above ground fire pits, as these are usually quite a safe distance away from overhanging branches and trees.

Underground fire pits are subtle by nature. These aren’t meant to be the center of attention but serve as the perfect gathering spot for bonfire night. If you have a grassy backyard, these are simpler to create, and all it really takes is a hole in the ground and some lining materials.

You can create a wonderful patio sunken fire pit using flagstones. Keep your DIY design simple by lining it with retaining wall blocks or bricks. Complete the area with a designated flagstone patio or cover it with gravel or soil. Add some chairs around the pit, and you have a perfectly cozy yet earthy seating area for your yard.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (2)

If all of this seems too plain for your taste, then let your creativity glow. You can add a metal bowl in the pit to add visual appeal to your idea. Place lava rocks over your pit base and fill it up to the surface or fill it up with sand. Over time, the sand combined with ashes creates an aesthetically pleasing design.

If you still aren’t satisfied, you can instead create a stacked fire pit. Stacked pits are layered above the ground and do create attractive centerpieces that can be incorporated in any patio setting.

You can use natural rocks to create a stack above ground to define the pit area. They give an earthy appearance that makes the pit look like it’s a part of the surroundings and is meant to blend with nature.

You can use flagstones to create bolder pieces. Fill them up with twigs or place a metal bowl as a firepit. Stacked firepits offer a lot more design variety. Create a single retaining wall meant to act as protection against the wind or create a full structure intended to serve as the base for the fire pit.

You can even use DIY kits and concrete blocks to create beautiful sunken or stacked fire pits. In fact, you can combine the two and build a windbreaker wall on one side of your in-ground fire pit. Whether you want to create a stacked brick clad fire pit or use flagstone instead, the result will be exciting nonetheless.

(Video) How To Build a DIY Smokeless Fire Pit That Really Works!

There’s an option for everyone. Even if you’re on a very small budget and are looking for cheap ideas, you can build a fully functional fire pit using leftover construction material. Here are 40 pictures to help you choose from the many DIY ideas and designs.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (3)

This rustic pit is built with larger rocks, put together like a puzzle. A masonry fire area really does elevate your backyard ambience.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (4)

This would be a super simple fire area to build. Bricks hold the heat and the patio stones and gravel give it an interesting aesthetic.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (5)

Another masonry pit – this one is a little more ordered, less rustic and looks more formal thanks to the ordered patio stone floor.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (6)

Another way to go is the built-in pit, flush to ground level. This one is made with clay bricks and a rough rock border. There’s gravel on the bottom to provide a base for your fire.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (7)

You can turn your patio fire spot into a cooking pit with the addition of a grill or grate — just find one that suits the dimensions of your pit and of the food you want to cook outdoors.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (8)

This inground pit uses only bricks and gravel, the bricks in a delightful sun shape on the bottom. The bricks will hold the heat and keep you hanging at the fir longer. This is a simple build, you could do it in a day.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (9)

More sunny days design, or is it a flower? Once again, utilizing bricks and building inground for your pit is a great way to design the fire feature in your backyard or patio area. And it will extend your outdoor season.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (10)

A rustic lakeside fire feature — who doesn’t like to sit down by the lake as the sun is going down? And as we all know, late summer nights can be cooler – you want a fire for sure. This pit uses large rocks as heat holders, and is a flat paved bottom, not as deep as most. And as an added safety (and design) feature, there are two rows of bricks running around the circular shape of the pit. If sparks should fly, the bricks won’t catch fire.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (11)

With an adjustable-height grill, your outdoor, inground fire feature becomes an awesome barbeque area. And wood-fired food always tastes so good. The smoke gives it just that extra flavor it needs, especially if you are lucky enough to find hickory or mesquite. And if not, add some “smoke chips” — chips of hickory or mesquite, prepackaged and widely available at lawn and garden centers. In fact, widely available at any store that sells barbeque accessories. Sprinkle them on your wood and there’s your extra flavor.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (12)

(Video) 10 Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

This pit, built with two sizes and two colors of brick (quite artistic), goes the extra mile. They’ve added a metal liner around the inside edge.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (13)

This great fire feature is simple and elegant with windows that not only provide a sight line to the dancing flames, but allow extra heat to escape the pit. It looks very upscale and yet, it’s nothing more than simple bricks. Well done!

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (14)

This one is made using flat rocks, layered on top of each other and building a horseshoe-shaped pit with an eye to barbequing. There’s a great deal of space for the food this way.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (15)

Just a simple seating area for two and a simple pit, part inground and part above ground. But it’s always nice to have a fire.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (16)

This is one of the more artistic firepits. It almost looks like a donut-shaped waterfall with the rock placement. Thin rocks have been positioned artistically on their edges to present a stunning design, really. And inside the ring is the iron pot that holds the fire. It’s a really nice one.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (17)

No matter which design you choose, if you’re building an inground firepit, the first step is always digging the hole and making sure the edges are all aligned and smooth.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (18)

Once again, there’s a metal bowl in the center – it’s much more efficient to clean out the ashes this way and you are double protected. This above-ground pit is created from thicker rocks, chosen deliberately to fit together in this fashion. The rocks would be a good heat retention source.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (19)

This inground pit was madewith coordinated terra cotta stones and brick liner. It’s a large fire area – for big outdoor parties.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (20)

This simple fire area was made by stacking shale-type rocks, flatter, unmatched pieces. And it looks great sitting on the shale patio stone floor. We love the natural log benches and flower pot planters. Who couldn’t find a little Zen here?

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (21)

Here’s a handy photo DIY to show you the steps you’ll have to take to create your own backyard fire pit. First, you need to measure out and mark a circular area you want to use for the pit. Be sure it’s the size you want – this is where it all begins. Next, time to dig it out. Probably the least fun part! You’ll need to line your pit – in this case, they have used standard terra cotta colored bricks. And then the hearth area has been designed with wavy flagstones, and loose rocks in between. Note how there are terra cotta rocks to pick up the color of the brick liner and first row around the pit. Now you are entirely ready to cook over fire. Call some of your friends and have an outdoor get-together to celebrate.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (22)

(Video) Super Easy Fire Pit build - DIY How to build a patio firepit - Little Known Tips, design & ideas

This is a clever design. Square patio stones, piled on top of each other in a half circle really makes a woven pattern on the inside and stair-like design at the ends. Very well thought out!

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (23)

They’ve chosen a more unusual patio stone shape on this pit for their terra cotta bricks and it gives the area a bit more interest. This is a wide, shallow pit but it’s still well-lined. And off to one side, a little area for cooking. Well, not so little, you see the number of cast iron pots on the grill. But it’s an offshoot, the way you see a hot tub attached to a pool. Part of the area, but separate.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (24)

This above-ground firepit is higher than most, allowing the liner to be a deep metal bowl with a grate for cooking. The fire sits high in the pit, thanks to the bowl. In fact, why don’t we call this one a fire bowl inside a pit? Interesting DIY.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (25)

This inground pit is full of rocks – back to the sauna model – and they’ll sure retain the heat and keep it warm. The ring is a simple decoration of standard terra cotta bricks. Quite an easy DIY, this one.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (26)

This in-ground pit is the same sort of theory, but the rocks are circled around the edge of the pit. And the bricks are also in-ground. This one looks more like a traditional campfire design.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (27)

The multicolored rocks have been fit very snugly in this above-ground pit. And they match the flagstones that make up the ground area. We love the little shelter area for the extra wood. That would make stoking the fire a much easier job.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (28)

This is a great design, and it will really make your pit the star of your yard or patio. Once again, we have rocks in the pit as a heat retainer and a bit of a buffer for the walls.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (29)

Another simple pit, above ground and with gravel both inside and out. You could DIY this one in a matter of hours.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (30)

Some thought and care was taken with the design of this fire pit. It’s quite pleasing to the eye!

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (31)

This above-ground pit is more complicated – it’s actually stonemasonry and the rocks are bonded together with cement.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (32)

(Video) DIY Fire Pit with Adjustable Draft (for under $50!)

This builder has used cement on the interior lining, to secure the bricks for the pit portion. The sides are layered stones, and the top is smooth and fitted like tiles.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (33)

This inground pit has a well-defined “hearth” area, and it keeps stray embers from starting unwanted fires. It makes for not only a very safe fire area but also a very pleasing design.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (34)

Sometimes, simple can be best for your needs. Just dig a hole, layer your bricks, and voila. A semi-inground pit.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (35)

Another inground fire pit and this one is rigged with brick columns so you can cook in it. You can even make tea!

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (36)

Of course, an above-ground pit is easier on your back, not as much bending over. And always, always, open any tin can before heating. Just saying.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (37)

Another simple pit, but a very coordinated design. Grass has been allowed to grow through the top patio stones. This one is an easy DIY.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (38)

Another stairway to a great fire pit design. We love this creative approach and the back wall will limit the fire’s exposure to wind.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (39)

Smaller bricks on the liner layer, and larger, fitted patio stones for the hearth. Use your imagination.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (40)

Wow – this is almost a pizza oven! We love this fire pit (and the view is quite nice, too).

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (41)

Another fire bowl style pit, and this one is super simple, you can DIY it in under half an hour. Ideal for a temporary camping site!

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (42)

(Video) Cheap and Easy DIY Square Fire Pit - 11

This is another simple pit, built right on top of the patio. With the raised fire area, there is no danger of scorching your patio stones.

Top 40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas - Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs (43)

A lovely seating area, and a lovely way to end a small dinner party, or just to end the day. Take your beverage of choice, and gather round the fire to tell your stories. As humans have been doing for centuries.

FAQs

What do you put in the bottom of a homemade fire pit? ›

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit? You'll want to start with a layer of sand at the bottom of the pit, and then top the sand with gravel, lava rocks, fire pit glass, paving stones or even bricks for your fire pit. Alternatively, you can simply use dirt.

How many layers do you need for a fire pit? ›

A fire pit typically has three or four rows of blocks. Repeat the test-fitting for each layer before securing with adhesive. The bowl sits on top and can be removed for easy cleaning.

How deep should a homemade fire pit be? ›

The hole should be 12 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep. Fill this hole with large gravel. If the soil doesn't drain well or there is heavy precipitation, dig a trench from the center out. If you're adding a drainpipe, dig about 10 feet from the fire pit.

How many blocks high should a fire pit be? ›

A good rule of thumb is to make an above-ground fire pit with 12 to 14 inches of height. Or you can measure your furniture seat height around and make the fire pit a few inches shorter. Don't make a fire pit so tall that it will hold heat in and make it hard to enjoy the warmth.

Should I put rocks in my fire pit? ›

Some materials like hard rock, gravel, or sand weren't meant to reach high temperatures and can spark and explode if your fire gets too hot. Instead, use lava rocks for your fire pit or lava glass beads as a filler for your fire pit. They are a safe way to create drainage and make your fire pit look nice.

Do you put sand in the bottom of a fire pit? ›

It is recommended to put sand at the bottom of a fire pit. Sand absorbs the heat and distributes it equally throughout the whole base of the pit. If there's no sand, then the heat may become more concentrated in one area of the base.

Should there be gaps in a for fire pit? ›

Proper air circulation is essential for a successful firepit. Making sure there are at least three to four small gaps is important to allow your fire to breathe within the pit. Without it, your fire will quickly be snuffed out.

How tall should a fire pit be? ›

A good rule of thumb is to make an above-ground fire pit 12-14 inches tall. This is a few inches shorter than standard patio furniture seat height. If you want to be able to sit on the edge of the pit itself go a bit higher, 18-20 inches will be comfortable.

Does a fire pit need a liner? ›

If you're envisioning your fire pit as a permanent part of your backyard or patio, you'll definitely want to use a fire pit liner. Doing so can prevent you from spending time and money fixing cracked or damaged materials.

What is a good diameter for a fire pit? ›

The optimal size for a fire pit is between 36 and 44 inches inside diameter. That will create enough room for a healthy fire but still keep gatherers close enough to chat. As an added precaution, the fire pit should be lined with a thick steel ring like the ones used for park campfires.

Do I need a metal ring for a fire pit? ›

If your fire pit is intended to be semi-permanent or temporary, an insert may not be entirely necessary. The use of a fire pit ring will assist in maintaining the structural integrity of your fire pit and the surface on which it sits all while protecting its long-term appearance.

What is the best gravel to use around a fire pit? ›

Pea gravel is great to add to a fire pit area because you don't have to be precise, it's comfortable to walk on, and it doesn't cost much per bag. Cover the entire weed block fabric with the pea gravel.

Does an inground fire pit need drainage? ›

In-ground and metal fire pits need a drainage hole for water to drain out. If you have an open and in-ground fire pit in your backyard, you must have drainage for your fire pit. Otherwise, water will pool inside your fire pit causing it to rust. It can severely damage your fire pit burner making it difficult to light.

How do you keep a ground fire pit filling with water? ›

How to Keep Your Fire Pit from Filling with Water
  1. Choose the Right Type of Fire Pit. If your fire pit is stationary (e.g. built into the ground), you may have trouble keeping rainwater out of it. ...
  2. Cover it with a Tarp. You can protect your fire pit from rain by covering it with a tarp. ...
  3. Store it Under a Covered Area.
27 Mar 2017

How do you build an inground fire pit? ›

How To Build An In-Ground Fire Pit - YouTube

Why did my lava rock explode? ›

The lava rocks are popping because they have water trapped inside them. Water enters the porous rocks through the tiny holes, and when the rocks become hot, this water turns to steam. The pressure caused by the steam leads to the rocks exploding. If you hear a pop, don't panic.

What is the best material for a fire pit? ›

Best Fire Pit Materials

The steel material makes the fire pit lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move. Cast Iron: For a classic but rustic choice, opt for a cast-iron fire pit. It is sturdy and heavy, giving you peace of mind knowing that it won't be easily knocked over.

Are pavers safe for fire pit? ›

These bricks are typically fired to 1800ºF and easily withstand the heat of flames. Landscaping brick that's been kiln-fired is safe to use. Brick paver stones should also be safe to use. Check on a manufacturer's website to be sure if the paver material you want to use is fire-rated.

Is concrete OK for a fire pit? ›

Is concrete OK for a fire pit? Absolutely. Concrete is designed to withstand extremely high temperatures, so you can definitely put your fire pit on a concrete surface. However, you'll still want to protect your concrete with a pit mat, a fire ring, or a heat shield to prevent cracking.

What to put under a fire pit to protect pavers? ›

How To Protect Pavers From Fire Pit?
  1. Placing a layer of sand on the bottom before place any pavers. ...
  2. You can build a small stone wall around your fire pit which serves two purposes: keeps kids away while creating a barrier between the heat and pavers (remember that metal is much hotter than ashes).
23 Aug 2022

What do you put around a fire pit? ›

Gravel works well as a natural surrounding for a fire pit. It's a great material to lay down around your fire pit since it won't show any noticeable charring or ash stains if the fire is raging. Just don't put any gravel in the fire pit itself.

What is the best gravel to use around a fire pit? ›

Pea gravel is great to add to a fire pit area because you don't have to be precise, it's comfortable to walk on, and it doesn't cost much per bag. Cover the entire weed block fabric with the pea gravel.

Do fire pits need drainage? ›

In-ground and metal fire pits need a drainage hole for water to drain out. If you have an open and in-ground fire pit in your backyard, you must have drainage for your fire pit. Otherwise, water will pool inside your fire pit causing it to rust. It can severely damage your fire pit burner making it difficult to light.

Does a fire pit need a liner? ›

If you're envisioning your fire pit as a permanent part of your backyard or patio, you'll definitely want to use a fire pit liner. Doing so can prevent you from spending time and money fixing cracked or damaged materials.

What kind of sand do you use in a fire pit? ›

Fire-proof silica sand is an excellent base layer for a fire pit. Silica sand can be used as cost-effective filler to cover the bottom areas of a fire pit. Fire glass or lava rock can be added on top of the sand for effect.

Do you need gravel around fire pit? ›

While gravel is not required, it is one of the most affordable materials to put around your fire pit and is certainly worth considering, particularly if you are on a budget.

How long do lava rocks last in a fire pit? ›

Lava rocks should last for around two years before they start to show signs of wear. Keep using them in your fire pit until you notice them getting a little crumbly looking.

How do you build an inground fire pit? ›

How To Build An In-Ground Fire Pit - YouTube

Are cinder blocks good for fire pits? ›

A simple outdoor fire pit can be constructed out of cinder block. Create a backyard fire pit with little effort—or money—by using cinder blocks. A cinder block fire pit is quick, cheap, and doesn't require any special DIY skills to make.

How do you keep rain out of a fire pit? ›

You can protect your fire pit from rain by covering it with a tarp. You can use a special tarp designed for fire pits, or you can use one designed for grills. Either way, a heavy-duty tarp made of a strong synthetic material should protect your fire pit from the elements.

How deep should a sunken fire pit be? ›

Excavate to a depth of six to 12 inches, depending on how deep you want your fire base. Be sure to create a level base in your fire pit. Afterwards, excavate a smaller, three- to four-inch-deep circle inside the fire pit. This area should equal roughly one-third the fire pit diameter.

What is the purpose of the metal ring in a fire pit? ›

An outdoor fire pit ring, also known as a campfire ring, is a fire-proof framework set directly on the ground to contain a fire. Its primary task is to prevent fires from spreading outside the perimeter and accidentally starting a wildfire.

What material is best for fire pit? ›

Best Fire Pit Materials

The steel material makes the fire pit lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move. Cast Iron: For a classic but rustic choice, opt for a cast-iron fire pit. It is sturdy and heavy, giving you peace of mind knowing that it won't be easily knocked over.

What do you line a fire pit with? ›

  • Sand. Sand is probably the most popular material used in the bottom of a fire pit. ...
  • Dirt. Dirt is very similar to sand in many ways and it makes a great choice for the bottom of a firepit. ...
  • Gravel. Gravel consists of small, shredded rocks that are easy to spread over an area. ...
  • Lava Rocks. ...
  • Fire Glass.
26 Apr 2022

How big should a fire pit area be? ›

A fire pit itself is rarely larger than four or five feet across. The patio space around it should be an additional four to six feet on all sides. Seat walls are a great way to both visually define the space and allow for lots of seating.

Does sand catch on fire? ›

No, sand does not burn. This is because it has already been oxidized to the highest state, and cannot burn any further. The most common constituent of sand is silica or silicon dioxide (SiO2), which is what you get when you burn silicon in the air.

Do you need sand under fire glass? ›

We recommend using sand or pea gravel (fine) to achieve this result. DO NOT use lava rock, lava pebbles, rocks/pebbles or any other porous material UNDER the fire glass as natural gas or propane (LPG) may sink between the gaps, becoming trapped and potentially causing hot glass to pop or jump from your fire pit.

Videos

1. SUPER HOT SMOKELESS FIRE PIT - DIY Under $200! SLOWMO PROOF!
(Jon Chan)
2. Save Hundreds on Fire Glass! - The Lava Rock Trick
(Montana Fire Pits)
3. I Perfected The DIY Smokeless Fire Pit That Works
(HAXMAN)
4. How To Install a Fire Pit in YOUR Yard for Less than $50
(Keep On Wrenching)
5. How To Build A Fire Pit Under $60 Easy Simple
(StatUpBox)
6. DIY Fire Pit | Modern Square Fire Ring [Step-by-Step Guide]
(Welcome to the Woods)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated: 11/03/2022

Views: 5888

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.