21 Ideas for Fire Pits in a Backyard to Make You All Fired Up
A fire pit is a kind of design element from which almost any backyard can benefit. Whether it’s purely decorative or used for warmth on a chill evening, or set up for you to enjoy delicacies cooked on an open flame — there are ideas for fire pits in a backyard for everyone! Especially since there are so many design options, varying from simple to sophisticated. Today, we’re inviting you to take a look at some of them — and choose the one that fits you the most.
1. Easy as Pie: A Tried and True Way to Build a Fire
It’s not necessary to be a master builder to make fire pits. Some ideas on how to build a fire pit in the backyard can be applied very easily, as this DIY project proves. Just dig a hole and line it with some sand and stone. That’s it!
2. Not a Goblet, Just a Bowl: A Portable Solution
If you’re looking for some more sophisticated ideas that are still simple to build and use, there are pits shaped as bowls, like the one in the picture. If you work with metal, it’s easy to make yourself, and many shops sell things like this if you’d prefer to buy one.
3. Gather Round: A Simple Patio
You can build a pit right into your patio, although it will require some planning in advance. For example, this area is designed specifically in a way that makes the flame a focal point. The picture also showcases one of the ideas for what to put around a fire pit: just some chairs can be enough!
4. Flower Power: A Backyard Getaway
This is one of the more elaborate ideas for backyard fire pit landscaping and the result is truly beautiful! The pit itself is reminiscent of a flower with stone “petals”. A multicolored brick patio adds to the floral theme, while a pergola cover and a swing seat complete the romantic look.
5. Feeling Fresh: Nothing’s Wrong with Something Less Traditional
Here’s another complex fire pit idea, this time in a more modern style. Rectangular multilevel pits like this one are perfect for those who want something bold and different for their backyard. Also, note how it matches the design of the stone path.
6. Fire with Extras: All-in-One Setup
What should you put around a fire pit — or, rather, why not put something unusual there? This propane-fed open flame pit features shelves built right into it, so you can enjoy snacks and drinks without the need for a table.
7. Not Just for Suburbs: A Pit with a View
As we saw, the answer to the question “Can you have a fire pit in your backyard?” is a definite yes, but what about having it in an apartment? Yes, you can — if you have a terrace! This project shows how beautiful it may look. So, even if you’re a city dweller, such pits are something in the realm of possibility — something to think about.
8. There’s More than One Way to Place Your Pit: A New Look at a Patio Layout
This variation on a design is amazing! First of all, it’s an original solution on where to put a backyard fire pit: as you see, the traditional patio layout with the seats around the flame is not a requirement. Another thing about it is the shape and how it fits the general structure. Very elegant but modern.
9. Just Add Food: How to Get More out of Your Fire
Fire pits can be practical, too: in addition to enjoying just looking at the flames, you can enjoy some freshly cooked food! This design with clever pulleys and levers is highly functional and looks pretty good. There are, of course, simpler ways to make a grilling setup over the open flame, but why not get a little creative?
10. Hiding the Ashes: Add Even More Function
This idea for a DIY tabletop to cover a pit is fantastic in its simplicity! It protects the place from the weather, so it doesn’t get damp after the rain. What’s more, such a tabletop looks absolutely terrific and serves as, well, a table when the pit is not in use. Easy and convenient!
11. Making an Art Project: Let the Imagination Run Wild
Some designs can be truly called works of art. This modern piece transforms your backyard into a real art exhibition. Obviously, it’s not for everyone — but if something like that would work for your place, it’s a great idea to consider.
12. A Bench Worth Staying On: Planning an Ensemble
This patio design with a semicircular stone bench centered around the flames is a great example of planning ahead, as it’s obviously a part of a complex landscaping project. It takes into account different ground levels and makes it all work! The result is a nice cozy space to hang out in.
13. Fire and Water: A Perfect Mix
This poolside space is a slice of luxury. The simple straight lines of this pool are complemented by the rectangular pit and the surrounding seating. What could be nicer than gathering around the warming flame after the evening swim?
14. Getting Everything Covered: A Setup for a Rainy Day
This mobile steel bowl with a cover is a great solution for somebody looking for small backyard fire pit ideas. You can fit it practically anywhere, and its interesting design and rustic style make it a worthwhile addition to your yard. And even if it rains — you can keep the flame going!
15. Beautiful Geometry: A Worthwhile DIY Project
This is another quick and easy solution that can be built in a day by yourself. It looks deceptively complicated due to the arrangement of bricks, but don’t be fooled — this project is very accessible. Note that the material has to be fireproof, though (or you can reinforce it with metal on the inside).
16. Some Ideas Are Bigger than Others: A Home for a Flame
This one is a real hut! Inspired by a traditional Norwegian type of building, this setup obviously isn’t easy to build — but the way it looks is worth it! A cozy and inviting space to gather around the flame and tell stories, it just radiates warmth and promises many well-spent evenings.
17. Simple Elegance: Details Make the Design
For design ideas that are not as hard to implement as the previous one, but still look fantastic, consider something like this table. A simple shape overall, it features eye-catching patterns that make it look sophisticated and elegant. Fitting for any space, from a tiny backyard to a poolside lounge!
18. Drum up Some Support: An Unexpected DIY
There are so many ideas for DIY pits in this article because it’s one of the things that’s really easy to DIY (and we think it’s great)! Here’s an idea that made the rounds on blogs: a design made out of an old washer drum. Both eco-friendly (recycling!) and nice-looking, this can be a decent addition to your backyard.
19. Open Flames Under an Open Sky: Choosing the Right Size
A place like this patio — that feels wide open — calls for a fire pit in the same style. One way to achieve it is to make the pit a simple large circle with no adornments at all: this one here definitely supports this feeling of spaciousness. Note that the flame itself is confined to a small area in the middle: in this case, less is more.
20. Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: A Foodie’s Dream
This pit is another of the more practical options. It’s supplemented with a smoker, perfect for somebody who’s a fan of hunting or fishing. This was designed with a clear purpose in mind, and yet, it’s not purely utilitarian: the tidy brickwork is really nice to look at.
21. No Escaping This Inferno: A Star of Your Collection
If you like to incorporate references to your favorite pop culture phenomena into your home, ideas for pits like this one are probably just what you need! Some metalworkers can make a custom one for you — both to scratch that collector’s itch and to show off.
In this section, we summarized the answers to some frequently asked questions about fire pits.
Yes, you can — that’s the beauty of it! Fire pits are one of those things that you can make entirely by yourself since it’s so easy. However, consider a few things:
Check the local laws around where you live — whether residents are permitted to use an open flame, and are there any requirements you need to meet;
When choosing a spot to place your pit in, pay attention to fire hazards on your land and around it, such as dry grass, brush, etc.;
Pick fireproof materials. Not everything should come in close contact with flames, even seemingly sturdy materials (some of them can even explode when they heat up, so do some careful research).
If you checked all those points, you’re probably all set — choose a DIY idea you like and start building!
This is probably better reframed as “what type is best for you in particular” since there are various types of pits, and different people have different requirements. Some of the questions you need to answer to make your choice are:
What will be your heat source, wood or natural gas? If it’s the former, you’ll be better suited with a deep stone pit or a metal bowl. For pits using natural gas, there are more shapes available, including fire tables. Note that natural gas probably won’t get you that nostalgic campfire feeling, though;
Do you need your pit to be portable? If you do, a small metal bowl will probably serve you best;
Is it simply decorative, or are you planning to cook there? The need to add a grill grate or a smoker limits your choices;
Where are you planning to place it, and which fire hazards may lurk around?
And, of course, your style: do you prefer heavy masonry, thin metal, or something in between?
Don’t worry, though: there are options for everyone, all of them awesome!
Some of those ideas are:
A classic cast iron bowl. You can make one yourself or buy it — they are usually quite cheap;
Small gas stove for tourists. There are many variations; some of them are more expensive and some not, but keep in mind that many are pretty small;
A covered DIY construction made of rolled-up sheet metal;
A repurposed washer drum (this one may not cost you anything if you have an old washer just rusting away!)
Generally, repurposed metal things like a cast iron pan can work great with some minimal modifications.
One of the few arguments against using fire pits is having to put up with smoke in your eyes. It’s not unavoidable, though! Look at the tips on building a smokeless one:
Having a campfire to gather around in your yard is a great idea: it’s cozy, invokes the nostalgia for simpler times and campsite stories, and there are so many options that you can choose from! You are really bound to find the one that will greatly enhance your design. To spur your imagination, we’ve shown you quite a lot of ideas for fire pits in a backyard — hopefully, they’ve convinced you to make your own! And, as always, you’re welcome back for more ideas.