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$60 DIY Fire Pit Idea

An easy and cheap DIY fire pit you can build in under an hour and use for years to come!

backyard fire pit with chairs

I love backyard DIY projects that give you big bang for your buck. This easy DIY fire pit is definitely one of those projects!

We used affordable concrete retaining wall blocks to create a fire pit that we will hopefully use for years, all for under $60 and less than an hour.

This guide will walk you through the process, from planning to the final touches, ensuring you have a safe, durable and attractive fire pit for cozy evenings in your backyard. 

Why A DIY Fire Pit? 

backyard diy fire pit

There are a few reasons why creating your own backyard fire pit is preferable to buying a premade fire pit or hiring someone to build one for you. 

First, building your own fire pit is significantly cheaper than purchasing a pre-made one or hiring a professional. Concrete retaining wall blocks are affordable and widely available, making this a cost-effective project.

Store bought fire pit kits will run anywhere from $120 t0 $600, depending on the size and materials. Metal fire rings tend to be cheaper, but don’t have the same aesthetic as a block or stone fire pit. The materials for this project were $58 (tax included), making it a super affordable option for a backyard fire pit. 

When you build a DIY fire pit, you also are able to customize it to your liking. You have complete control over its size, shape, and design. This means you can tailor it to fit your backyard perfectly, whether you have a sprawling lawn or a cozy patio.

Planning Location and Size

perfect spot for a backyard fire pit

You’ll want to spend some time deciding on exactly where to place your fire pit. There was a bald spot in my backyard where a tree had once stood, so it was the natural spot for a fire pit!

Select a location that is at least 10-20 feet away from any structures, trees, or other flammable materials. Ensure the area is flat and well-drained. Consider the direction of the wind and the flow of traffic in your yard to find the perfect spot.

Gather Your Materials

concrete retaining wall blocks

I put a lot of thought into what blocks I wanted to use for this project. We wanted a round pit, so I wanted blocks that would look nice in a circle. Also, cost was a big consideration, as I wanted to keep this fire pit as budget-friendly as possible.

After some research it was clear that concrete retaining wall blocks were the best choice of material. 

However the standard size retaining wall blocks are HEAVY – 22 lbs each. 

I wanted my daughter to be able to help build the fire pit, so I decided to use smaller blocks that were easy for both of us to handle. We went with these Mini Beltis Wall Blocks from Home Depot which are only 8 lbs each.  

concrete retaining wall blocks for diy fire pit

We knew roughly the size we wanted our fire pit to be, so we actually went ahead and laid it out in the store aisle. Then we knew exactly how many blocks to buy for the right diameter and height!

We decided on three layers of 11 blocks each, so 33 blocks in total. 

This made a fire pit that was 32 inches wide across (from outside edge to outside edge) which was perfect for the spot in our yard. 

Other materials you may want for your fire pit include: 

  • Gravel or paver base (if trying to build on very uneven ground)
  • Sand
  • Construction adhesive (if you want it to be permanent)

You’ll also possibly need these tools: 

  • Shovel/hoe for leveling the ground
  • Tamper
  • Level (we obviously just eyeballed it)

Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your DIY Fire Pit

laying out blocks for diy fire pit

My first step was to make sure the base of where I wanted to place the blocks was as level as possible. I wasn’t going for perfection, but I didn’t want it to be an eyesore. 

Since I was starting with dirt, it was pretty easy to level the area with just a maddock and hoe. You may need leveling sand or gravel if your site is very unlevel or bumpy

We used a wheelbarrow to transport the blocks from the back of my car to the yard. We had to make four trips so we didn’t blow out the tire on our little wheelbarrow!

concrete retaining wall blocks first layer

We laid out the first layer and had to move the blocks around and level the ground a little more to make sure the first layer wasn’t wonky. I actually ended up leveling the ground more after the above picture was taken. 

loctite concrete adhesive

At this point you may opt to use a concrete adhesive such as this one from Loctite to attach the next layer of blocks. This will make the structure more sturdy and stable. 

We didn’t do this because we want to be able to easily move our fire pit if we need to. 

We did alternate blocks (lined up the edge of the next layer of blocks with the middle of the blocks below) to make it sturdier. 

backyard oasis with two adirondack chairs

You may want to consider adding sand to the interior of your fire pit to make cleaning up ashes easier, but it’s not required. 

After we were done building my daughter added some river stones along the outside edge that we already had in our yard. I like that she added her own touch to the DIY fire pit. 

It took us less than 20 minutes to build our fire pit and I think it could be even faster if you site was already level!

For another cheap and easy outdoor project, check out this easy DIY walkway idea.

Enjoying Your DIY Fire Pit

BACKYARD BEFORE AND AFTER

I love how our easy and cheap diy fire pit turned out – it really transformed our backyard. 

Here are some tips for enjoying your own fire pit:

Regularly remove ashes and debris from your fire pit to maintain good airflow and prevent unintended fires.

Only burn dry, seasoned wood. Avoid using softwoods like pine, as they can produce excessive smoke and sparks. Never burn trash, treated wood, or other harmful materials.

Check with your local authorities for any fire pit regulations or restrictions in your area. Some places have specific rules regarding the size and location of fire pits.

smores by fire pit

Gather your loved ones for a classic s’mores night. Stock up on marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, and let everyone enjoy roasting their treats.

Set up a projector and screen (or just a white sheet) and enjoy a movie night under the stars. The fire pit will keep you warm while you enjoy your favorite films.

Sometimes, the best way to enjoy your fire pit is to simply sit back and relax. Grab a blanket, a good book, or some music, and unwind.

fire ring from above

I hope this post helped inspire you to tackle your own DIY fire pit with concrete retaining wall blocks. Any questions? Just leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Check out these related posts: 

Easy DIY House Number Sign

Easy Concrete Patio Makeover

Free DIY Wooden Swingset Plans

diy fire pit pin

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