So I decided to build a fire pit…and since I can never do anything half-a$$ed, unless I’m halfway through a project and get sick of it, I borrowed a truck and went to town.

What you need:

  • A steel ring.
  • Landscaping blocks of your choice. (Enough to make a few layers, I did 3)
  • Gravel (I used 14 bags of pea gravel)
  • Shovel
  • Tamper (optional)
  • Levels (1 ft and 4 foot)
  • Rubber mallet
  • Brick hammer (optional)
  • Putting It All Together:

    Get a steel ring, set it down and lay the blocks that you’re using around it.

    Take your shovel and mark outside the blocks an inch or two. Move the ring, then mark inside the blocks as well.

    Move all the blocks and dig in between the lines about a foot deep. If you want grass to come right up to the pit, try to save some of it.

    Now you’ve got a sweet looking donut in your grass and the neighbors will look at you funny, or at least mine did. Once the hole is a uniform depth, fill it with a couple bags of pea gravel. Then you’ll want to take a tamper, if you have one and stomp the gravel down to flatten it. I didn’t have one, so I just used one of the blocks, which is why I didn’t list it in the tools you need. Only flatten one or two bags at a time, it will be too loose otherwise. Keep doing this until you’ve filled the hole halfway.

    Now you’re going to start laying bricks. Set one down and use your 1′ level and the rubber mallet to make sure it’s level front and back and side to side. Next you’ll lay a brick right next to it and do the same thing. Then you’ll make sure the joint between them is also level. It’s really tedious to make sure it’s completely level all the way, but its necessary for a sturdy fire pit. Once you’ve gotten halfway around, start using the 4′ level to measure across the firepit to make sure it’s level across both sides.

    Once you’ve gotten the entire pit filled with the first layer and it’s level, around and inside the blocks with gravel. Once that’s, its time to add the second layer. I used landscaping blocks which have a lip on them. I used the brick hammer to break off the lips so that I could make the layers flush.

    Stagger the next layer so the blocks fall on the joints of the previous layer. Do this again for the third layer. If you need to cut a block in half, score it with the brick hammer fairly deep then throw it at the corner of another block, or if you’re fancy, you can saw it in half with a brick saw. 

    Once you’ve put the final layer on, put the steel ring in and fill the inside with gravel until you’ve got 12 inches or so space inside. Fires will put themselves out if they don’t get enough oxygen. 20″ or more will not let it breathe enough.


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