DIY Project: How to Build a Back Yard Fire Pit (It’s Easy!)

by Kathy Woodard

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? Here’s how to build a back yard fire pit step by step, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. A quick trip to the home improvement store, a little hard work and you could be roasting marshmallows tonight!


Stone pavers, bricks, cinder blocks or other non flammable building materials

Sand or gravel



Step One:

Decide where you want your fire pit 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 fire pit is from 36-45 inches across and 12 inches high.

Step Two:

Mark the center of the fire 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 fire pit. Or if you choose, use marking spray paint as shown in the photo.

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. Now start placing the stones around the perimeter of the pit. Stack the stones in a second layer until the stones or bricks are at least 12 inches tall.

Step Four:

Fill the 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.

That’s it! Pull up some chairs, find some great roasting sticks, and call the neighbors… you have just built a back yard fire pit!