turn a fire pit into a FIRE PIT

Summer is almost over!  I mean, honestly, you can’t even call this summer. Summer is warm days, grillin’, and swimming.

Lately, here in Texas the pools are too hot, the propane tanks are dangerously close to exploding, and thankfully, the cicadas are too hot to make it sound like Hades.

So, like washing a car to make it rain, here is an outdoor project to bring on the cold fronts! 

Here’s how we turned a rinky dink fire pit into a big sexy FIRE PIT!

This is the fire pit equivalent to padding your bra, or extensions in your hair,

or whatever they say about a sow and her ear and purses. 


You’ll need (upcycling everything was easy except the cedar and rocks):

A cheap fire bowl and the ring that supports it. Ours was a 30″ bowl (you won’t need its legs)

metal mesh that your rocks wont fall through,

sheet metal pieces,

staple gun,

deck screws,

brackets, unless you’re good at toenailing,

wood for skeleton, we used 4×4 for the main legs, 1×1 pieces to hold up the mesh and rocks, and 2×4 for frame pieces,

wood for the skin, we used cedar for the vertical skin,

and the top where we rest our feet and drinks is pressure treated 2x6s mitered together.

Flat black spray paint, we happened to have grill paint on hand

black rocks- check the fountain/koi pond/water garden supply store

outdoor stain

our finished box base measures 53×53

the added top is 57×57

and 19″ high, but go with what you prefer…measure your coffee table to start and adjust for the width of the boards that you’ll use for the skin. Ours is 5 boards high..see below 


rinky dink… in need of padding.


Above: legs are 4×4, runners and their corner braces for added strength are 2×6, the ring sits on 1×1, continue to fill with more 1×1 to support the mesh .

We also added sheet metal pieces to cover any wood that was near the bowl. Leave a little air space between the wood and metal.


remove the ring’s legs if they’re too heavy.

Notice the brackets that join the horizontal pieces to the legs.


add mesh and paint it out black.

Add cedar skin, cover the raw corners with wood corner trim, add the 2×6 top using 1×1 supports underneath for added strength.


Add rocks.

Get some wine. Call some friends


fyi: if it’s too hot for a fire, plug the hole with a plastic bag and a brick,

fill halfway (not too heavy) with play sand and add 20 mason jars with tealights!


And in case you need a sexy little patio to put it on:

 Using string and stakes, measure a 12 foot by 12 foot SQUARE into your lawn. Use orange paint to transfer measurements.

 Cut around edge with a sharp shovel. Till up the rest to a depth of 2.5 inches or the height of your stone plus 1″ of sand.

 Line the inside of excavated area with green plastic lawn edging. Stake it into place with the supplied anchors. Make sure the top of the edging is level with the  dirt, not the top of the grass.  You don’t want to feel the edging with your bare foot. Ours is about 1/8 inch below the top of the stones.

Lay landscaping cloth/weed blocker out, cut, stake down.

Cover with an inch of sand. Use a 2×4 and level to get it all level. Stamp and level, stamp and level.

Cover with 144  12″ concrete stepping stones with no space between stones.

Fill all the cracks with more sand using a push broom. Keep adding and pack tightly by hand. Use a puddy knife or thin tool and be patient.  This is the most time consuming part, but most important. It took me almost two days!

Stain it if you like.  We used a stain that had a brownish/taupe undertone to knock down that cement gray color

 Four years later…

Our pecan tree landed on it during a freak wind storm so The Hubbers had to rebuild the top.

I’ve restained the firepit since then as well…less orange, more brown.


So there you have it. Bookmark it, make your supply list, keep an eye out for scrap skeleton wood, get ready for home improvement sales, and check the ‘Oops Stains and Paints’ every time you’re in the paint section.




Filed under DIY, make it or fake it, out in the yard

2 responses to “turn a fire pit into a FIRE PIT

  1. That’s a pretty cool project! I can’t ever imagine a time here in TX that i’ve been cool enough to use a fire pit!!

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