40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas – Stacked, Inground and Above Ground Designs

40 DIY Fire Pit Ideas and Designs

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A fire pit is the perfect DIY project for beginners and experts alike. You can build your pit from any natural stone or, alternatively, from manufactured pavers. Ultimately, your design depends on the aesthetic you prefer and the materials you have on hand (or can easily obtain).

In this article, we’ve hand-picked 40 DIY fire pit ideas in various styles for a multitude of tastes. With so many options at your disposal, you should be able to find one suitable for your backyard. And don’t worry if you’re on a small budget and looking for cheap options. You can build a fully functional fire pit using some of these genius ideas.

Simple above ground fire pits can be made by stacking bricks, flagstones, or pavers. In-ground or underground fire pits can be a bit more challenging as you need to dig a hole or sink the pit into your patio. However, we’ll take you through your options step-by-step. Ready? Let’s get building.


Here are 40 ideas and pictures to help you choose from the many creative designs, listed by stone type.


1. Use Pavers to Build the Cheapest Fire Pit

Paver stone fire pits are some of the easiest to build and the best for DIY. Pavers are also called patio blocks, paver blocks, or landscaping stones and are generally manufactured from concrete.

What makes them so great is that they’re super simple to put together, and if you get trapezoidal pavers, it becomes even easier, as they can form a perfect circle. That is why these clever concrete blocks are great for building attractive circular fire pits. That said, installation above the ground is preferable, so you don’t have to dig any holes.

Easy and cheap paver fire pit idea and a video

Pavers are large and inexpensive, so you will only need a few. Here’s one simple DIY idea with video guidance

When building a fire pit in your backyard, it’s important to level out the demarcated area ahead of laying your stones. Once constructed, I recommend adding a base layer of small rocks or sand to prevent potential fire hazards. Two to three rings of paver blocks should suffice, but it depends on how high you want your pit to be. The choice is yours.

This design is simple enough but I would simplify it even more. If you’re building a pit in your backyard and it’s covered with just grass or dirt then don’t even bother with adding sand or gravel. Simply level the ground and lay out 2 or 3 rings of heavy pavers. If necessary, hold them together with some outdoor glue. And you’re done.


2. Build a Simple Round Pit in Under One Hour

Cheap above ground firepit you can build yourself

Building on the previous idea, this good-looking pit has a ring of pebbles around it to complement the base inside the ring itself. 36 paver stones set out in a circle, and roughly two bags of gravel, won’t cost you much in either time or money. In fact, you should be able to knock out this design in under an hour! Best of all, the outer pebble ring is not only aesthetically pleasing but serves the dual purpose of preventing longer grass from setting alight.


3. Build Your Pit Around a Metal Ring

Stacked pavers fire pit with a metal ring insert

Want to make your fire pit look even neater? Buy a prefabricated metal ring from a hardware store (or garden center) and lay paver stones around it.

The trickiest part of getting this right is figuring out how many pavers you’ll need. But generally, if you plan your measurements in advance, you’ll be able to determine the number of required pavers by dividing their width into the total diameter of the ring. Jazz up your design by using different color pavers, like in the example above.


4. Create an Elegant Design with Pavers and Bricks

A unique DIY firepit idea

Give your fire pit a creative edge by incorporating this stylish chic design. A simple combination of upright bricks and paver stones gives you a line of sight to the dancing flames while simultaneously allowing excess heat to escape.

While this looks a lot fancier than its low cost belies, we suggest securing your stones with outdoor glue to ensure they remain in place.


5. Simplify Your Fire Pit Design and Save

Simple fire pit design uses less pavers

When it comes to designing your fire pit, there are no rules in terms of aesthetics. You can stack your pavers in perfect circles or alternate them to create a pleasing pattern. In this example, the designer has opted to use square pavers, which you can find in most nurseries and hardware stores for an affordable price.

Because they don’t interlock like curved pavers, arranging them with their top corners touching is the best way to make a circle shape. And it looks really rustic and pretty too.


6. Add a Resting Spot for Cooking Pots

Homemade BBQ grill fire pit design

Who says fire pits have to be round? Some more unusual shapes – like this semi-circle keyhole shape – are equally attractive and effective. While relatively shallow, this terracotta paver stone pit is separated into two sections: one for the fire and one for coals to cook on. The narrower bottom section is ideal for a grill grate, which can double up as a resting spot for pots to keep your food warm.


7. Add a Cooking Grate

Firepit design with a round cooking grate on top

On the topic of cooking grates, they’re always handy to have around if you feel like a barbeque. In this case, the fire pit has been constructed and measured to the grate size so that once the wood has burned down, the coals can be used for grilling a feast.

If you plan to use your fire pit for cooking, we recommend building it relatively tall, with three to four layers of stacked pavers, so that there is some distance between the heat of the coals and your food.


8. Use Square Pavers to Build an In-Ground Fire

Circular in-ground design made with square pavers

Pavers aren’t only great for above-ground pits – they work just as well for sunken designs. You’ll be amazed at how easy and quick it is to build this DIY in-ground pit in your own backyard.

All you need to do is dig out a hole to the size of your choice (this is the most labor-intensive part of the build) and then lay down a layer of sand or pebbles for the base. Arrange square or curved pavers in a circle, and then add a metal ring (if you like), surrounded by largeish rocks to help retain heat. In no time, this beautiful campfire effect will be yours.


9. Make a Half Circle Fire Pit with Stepping Stones

When we think of stepping stones, we think of garden pathways. But these versatile concrete slabs can be used for building beautiful fire pits, too, and they’re superb at retaining heat. While much flatter and more geometric than pavers, stepping stones are generally larger in surface area and way cheaper.

Stacking a few on top of each other in an attractive alternating pattern is an excellent idea for an elegant half-circle fire pit, like the one in the example below.

DIY steppingstones design

You can stack a layer of bricks in front of your pit to prevent any coals from spilling over. Don’t you think it looks a bit like a pizza oven? Now there’s an idea!


10. Build the Simplest In-Ground Stepping Stone Pit

A circular firepit overgrown with grass

Like pavers, steppingstones can also be used to build stunning in-ground campfire pits. The principles remain the same. Dig your hole to size, arrange stones in a circular pattern, and fill it in with gravel. The benefit of in-ground fire pits is that, over time, grass will grow around them, and they’ll look like an unobtrusive part of the scenery.


11. Use Masonry Techniques to Create a Rustic Fire Pit

A unique masonry fire pit idea

Masonry, or the art of stonework, is one of the best ways to elevate the look and feel of your DIY fire pit for a surprisingly low budget. Many homeware stores sell paving stones in different shapes and sizes. And if you’re smart about it, fitting them together like a puzzle will lend to an aesthetic that looks plenty more expensive than it is.

This rustic stone pit filled with gravel has an exceptional ambiance and will be the envy of your guests, especially when you reveal that you made it yourself. This appears to be a biofuel-based fire.


12. Build a Firepit from Molded Concrete Stepping Stones

An underground firepit built using concrete mold

If you’re not keen on buying prefabricated stones, you can throw your own using concrete molds. This makes for some pretty interesting shapes. Plus, you can arrange them in unique and creative patterns. 

In this example, the designer has made a simple sunken brickwork fire pit and created a pattern around the pit with different homemade pavers. It looks super cool – and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.


13. Build Cheap Fire Pits Using Bricks

DIY Brick Fire Pit Plans

Bricks are, without a doubt, every DIY enthusiast’s best friend. To start, they’re super affordable and accessible. And secondly, they’re very convenient for creating all sorts of designs – from small to large, to stepped and patterned pits.

Indeed, there are plenty of DIY brick fire pit plans that you can peruse in great detail if this is the way you plan to go. Make sure to cast your eye over the pyramid pit! 

You can use bricks of different colors for alternating patterns or regular red bricks for sunken pits, considering you won’t really see them. Bricks are also relatively fire retardant, making them a great choice of material for this purpose.


14. Use Different Materials

Round sunken brick fire pit surrounded by flagstones and pebbles

We’ve spoken a lot about the benefits of bricks, pavers, and masonry rocks for DIY. That said, why not combine different materials to create this super good-looking fire pit while remaining within your budget? In this design, a simple sunken brick fire pit is measured out and filled – and then surrounded by a perimeter of flagstones and small pebbles.

This serves as an excellent base for a teepee stand, perfect for slow-cooking stews or soups outdoors. The additional strip of “paving” also makes it more fire-safe in general.

TIP: to make sure you’re making the right size hole, first put bricks together in the same round shape on the ground, then trace the outer circle with a stick, removed the bricks, and now only start digging.


15. Build an Extended Brick Fire Pit for Cooking

Circular brick clad firepit with a metal ring inside

Earlier in this article, we looked at building fire pits with those big metal rings you sometimes find at hardware stores. In this intelligent design, the ring is recessed and then surrounded by bricks in horizontal and vertical layouts. The extra bit of perimeter space is ideal for resting grates and rotisserie irons if you plan to use your fire pit for cooking.


16. Use a Steel Bowl on Top of a Simple Brick Fire

Simple stacked brick fire pit with a black bowl

In the mood for a fire but not keen to wait around, dig holes, or spend too much time planning? We have the perfect solution. This temporary fire pit is no more complicated than laying out four stacks of regular red bricks and resting a grill lid or metal bowl inside them. You’ll be done and roasting marshmallows in under half an hour.


17. Build a Brick-and-Mortar Firepit

From temporary to permanent, this gorgeous fire pit is built with bricks and cement as the center point of an outdoor entertainment area. Naturally, when you build with mortar, the idea is that your structure will be around to stay.

What I love about this design is that the inner perimeter is also lined with concrete, giving it a neat appearance. While this design may take a little longer to build, especially with the paving around it, it’s still easy to DIY and requires no specific technical skills.


18. Build Space to Entertain Around Your Fire Pit

Fire has fascinated humans since time immemorial, which is probably why we love sitting around them at night. To elevate your easy-to-build in-ground fire pit, why don’t you throw some pebbles around it to create a leveled entertainment area? This way, you and your guests can enjoy the fire without the hassle of damp grass or flyaway coals.


19. Use Red Bricks for a Quick and Easy Semi-Circle Design

This charming semi-circle fire pit can be built in just a few minutes. However, it is pretty shallow and not ideal for big bonfires. Instead, reserve this design more for aesthetics than function.


20. Design a Flagstone Firepit to Match the Patio

Flagstones are lovely for stacked fire pit designs if this is the style you prefer. The look is rustic, and you can make some truly unique looking pits. Often when a flagstone patio is built, you’ll find there are some leftovers you can use for DIY. You can create a wonderful sunken patio fire pit using flagstones.

Flagstone fire pit and patio idea

Image credit: ACM Design Architects via Creative Commons

Alternatively, here’s a good example where an above-ground pit and patio are built from the same material.


21. Build an Above-Ground Soapstone Fire Pit

Round soapstone pit design

We absolutely love this soapstone fire pit – it’s ordered but still rustic and looks well-planned, thanks to the matching patio floor. Best of all, it’s just a metal ring with rocks arranged around it using masonry techniques, so there’s no reason you can’t build it yourself.


22. Set Up Your DIY Fire Pit for Cooking

DIY natural stone design with a grill insert

You can turn your patio fire spot into a cooking pit by adding a grill or grate. You just need to find one that suits the dimensions of your pit and is practical for the food you want to cook outdoors.

Notice how the designer incorporated grooves or channels along the perimeter? This makes it easier to position a grate (or to hold some marshmallow sticks).


23. Add a Raised Grill

A firepit idea with a raised grill plate

An adjustable grill makes your outdoor fire pit a fantastic barbeque area. And we all know wood-fired food always tastes so good. However, this is something you need to plan for in your building stage to ensure a resting spot to place your grate in. The simplest and most secure solution is to cast your metal base in concrete.


24. Design an Accessible Horseshoe Shape

Flagstone DIY barbeque pit idea

In this example, the designer’s economical use of space makes for the perfect barbeque pit. Layered flagstones in a horseshoe shape leave plenty of room for the chef to maneuver. And you can add or subtract layers of stones depending on how high you want your grill.


25. DIY a Shallow Sand Pit

DIY firepit ideas

This partially above-ground, partially in-ground pit is perfect for a restful night out. It’s not too deep, meaning you can enjoy the full heat of the flames, but the sand inside and around it makes it safe.

Made from lie-around flagstones, you can quickly build this yourself without spending a cent. If anything, you may just want to invest in some outdoor glue to keep your rocks in place.


26. Create a Unique, Artistic Design

Amazing flagstone fire pit design

We’ve seen loads of examples of bricks and pavers stacked in horizontal layers, but we have to admit this unique, vertical rock design takes the cake in terms of artistry. 

This design, which comprises flat sandstones or soapstones arranged in a waterfall formation, is the perfect shape for a bowl or cast-iron fire well. And with a bit of patience, it’s easier to DIY than you think.


27. Use Mismatching Rocks for a Rustic Design

DIY rustic fire

This simple fire pit was made by stacking flat, mismatched shale-type rocks. And it looks great sitting on the stone patio floor. We love the natural log benches and flowerpots, too, that complement the overall rustic ambiance of the space.


28. Make Your Fire Pit Part of the Scenery

multicolored above ground fire pit

This multicolored above-ground fire pit looks like an extension of the surrounding paving, making it fit in seamlessly. And if you add a little sheltered area for the extra wood, you can keep your fire burning all night long. Perfect for long evenings by the river.


29. Finish Your Fire Pit with Slate Stones

Above ground round flagstone pit

This well-designed fire pit looks perfectly finished off thanks to its stone and concrete capstone. Don’t you think it adds a nice touch? While the interior of this pit is made of bricks, the outside comprises layered stones, topped at the end with smooth slate. An aesthetic capstone can give even the most basic fire pit a polished edge.


30. Build a Safe In-Ground Slate and Pebble Pit

In ground flagstone fire pit idea

This in-ground pit has a well-defined “hearth” area, and it keeps stray embers from starting unwanted fires. Therefore, it makes for both a very secure bonfire and a very pleasing design.


31. Use Boulders to Make a Cost-Free Fire Pit

Boulders and rocks are the cheapest to build with, especially if you can find them on your property or in your yard. These types of pits are ideal for a rustic setting or a remote vacation home. Boulders have the added benefit of retaining heat exceptionally well.

Boulder fire pit and benches on a gravel patio

Eight large boulders make up this fire pit, and it’s filled in with the same gravel as the patio is covered with. The three benches around the fire are made from cinder blocks and wood boards. This is one of the easiest fire pit setups we’ve seen. But it looks magnificent.


32. Use Smaller Rocks for a Shallow Fire Pit

Sometimes, you have to make do with what you have on hand. This super simple fire pit, made with just a few small boulders, is a testament to that.


33. Cast Boulders into Concrete for a Built-In Fire Pit

Boulder cast into concrete to make a firepit

Are you planning to make your fire pit a permanent part of your home? This concrete-cast design is one of our favorites. Large rocks or boulders are laid out as desired, followed by a wide concrete perimeter, which is ideal for seating.


34. Add Some Ambiance with Lights

A fire pit seating area enhanced with lights

Image credit: earthturfwood.com

Natural stone and large, irregular flagstones set the scene for an intimate, cozy hangout. We love the addition of a few small wall lights that lead the way for guests to find their seating.


35. Add Colored Furniture to Complete Your Outdoor Fire

Boulder fire pit idea for a round flagstone patio

Brightly colored furniture is always a fun way to jazz up your backyard entertainment area. This relatively dull-colored stone and slate fire pit benefits from a pop of red. The natural wood and log bench further amplifies this rustic river scene.


36. Create a Rustic Fire for a Log Cabin

Rural log cabin with a rustic firepit seating area

Fire pits don’t always need to be relegated to the backyard. In fact, sometimes they’re better at forming the centerpiece of your garden, like in the example above. The combination of natural wood, different color pebbles, and a concrete-cast fire pit make this home feel like the perfect forest getaway.


37. Try Your Hand at Stonemasonry

Stone and cement DIY fire pit idea

Are you tired of building the same old stacked paver or brick fire pits? 

If you’re a DIY enthusiast and you want to give yourself a challenge, try building this gorgeous stonemasonry fire pit, which comprises rocks bonded with concrete. You may surprise yourself with how cathartic it is!


38. Use Cinder Blocks for a Fire Pit

Cinder blocks might be one of the easiest ways to build a nice backyard fire pit quickly, whether rectangular or round.

Regarding contact with fire, cinder blocks have pros and cons, and we’ve written an entire article on DIY Cinder Block Fire Pit Ideas to set you on your way.

What’s good about cinder blocks is that they are cumbersome and don’t necessarily need glue or mortar to keep them together. Your pit will stand sturdy under its own weight.

Cinder Block Fire Pit


40. Plan Your Fire Pit Before Building It

You can find ideas to build a fire pit from whatever type of stones you have handy in your yard. There are always tons of ways to save money. That said, plan before you start building, or you may unintentionally double your workload.

With proper foresight, you’ll have a stunning fire to enjoy in your backyard without breaking the bank.


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About Joe Hats 176 Articles
Joe Hats is the founder of FreshPatio.com. Joe has been remodeling homes since 1997 when he bought his first fixer-upper. He has built many pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture with his own hands and has every DIY woodworking tool in his possession. Coming from an engineering background, he has designed and built many patio fixture plans. Following his wife's lead, he is also very passionate about home decor and together they keep track of the latest trends. When he is not remodeling or trying a new woodworking tool, he is busy gardening or designing a new outdoor plan.