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Backyard DIY Fire Pit Done in a Weekend

A step-by-step tutorial for how to build a DIY backyard fire pit + the best equipment for making the job faster and easier.

This post is sponsored by STIHL.

Merry Christmas to us! Maybe some couples wrap jewelry and a new winter coat to put under the tree to give each other but gifted ourselves a DIY fire pit.

diy fire pit in the backyard

We apparently haul gravel instead of tie bows on gift boxes. Because we built our homemade fire pit in a weekend! And actually we had this one knocked out completely in about 9 hours total, but we had to wait for our next day gravel delivery to finish on Day 2.

As Cousin Eddie would say, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whoooooole year.” 😉

We busted out our STIHL Yard Boss again like we did on our flower bed makeover from this past summer, and it made the job go way faster. Honestly, we were SHOCKED that we knocked this one out so fast. That never seems to happen with big projects.

If you’ve been around a while, you might remember when our backyard looked like this.

backyard before with overgrown trees and old pergola

Fence falling in, wooden pergola rotting, bricks scattered around, shrubs taking over… it needed some love.

backyard before with broken fence and overgrown weeds

Robert and a close friend of ours demolished the fence and pergola a couple of years ago, and we called in the pros for the tree/shrub removal and grading/seeding this fall to make it a wide open space our family can enjoy.

backyard after removing trees and brush

The grass is still working its way in, so it’s not cute back here yet. But come spring, this outdoor space is going to look brand new and green!

backyard after grading and seeding

And now it looks like this with the awesome new DIY fire pit!

cozy outdoor diy fire pit

I shot this just as the sun was setting, and it was absolutely dreamy out here.

Here’s how we knocked out the fire pit so quickly.

DIY Fire Pit Done in a Weekend

Supplies:

  • Tape measure
  • Spray paint
  • Flag markers
  • Heavy duty landscape fabric
  • Landscape fabric staples
  • Mallet
  • Scissors and/or utility knife
  • Wooden stake
  • String
  • STIHL Yard Boss
  • STIHL Yard Boss Edger Attachment
  • STIHL Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment
  • Heavy duty construction adhesive
  • Caulk gun (for applying adhesive)
  • Fire pit stone kit (We used a Tremron Munich stone kit in the color Sand)
  • Edging stone (We used Tremron Munich Sand wedge blocks)
  • Pea gravel (We used Colonial Grits pea gravel)
  • Large shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Rake

The Steps:

1. First, we planned out our space using flag markers to visualize our pathway and circular fire pit area. During our planning, we kept our edging stone length in mind (6 inches), so that each walkway edge wouldn’t require any stone cuts.

2. At this point, we dry-fitted our stone fire pit kit (no adhesive) so that we knew for sure the area around it was large enough for chairs and foot traffic.

stone fire pit diy

3. To plan our circular fire pit area, we drove a wooden stake into the ground, tied a string to the end, and used it as a center point to form a perfect circle as we marked with flags.

marking the layout of a fire pit

4. Once we were happy with our fire pit layout, we spray painted the lines and removed the flag markers.

marking layout for a fire pit

5. To create an edge, Robert walked along with spray painted lines with the STIHL Yard Boss equipped with the Edger Attachment.

STIHL Yard Boss

STIHL Yard Boss

6. Then to remove any grass, go over the area with the STIHL Yard Boss equipped with Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment. Brush the removed layer of grass out of the way to start with a smooth, dirt surface. Users should always wear all proper protective equipment and review the instruction manual before operation

STIHL Yard Boss edging the outline of a fire pit

7. We then rolled out landscape fabric cut to the size and shape we needed and secured it to the dirt surface with landscape staples using a mallet. Leave a hole in the fabric in the middle for the actual fire pit. (Since we already had an old canvas painting tarp, we used that underneath the landscape fabric too as an extra weed barrier.)

landscape fabric around fire pit

8. Next, we placed the edging stone all around the sides of the landscape fabric. Once happy with the layout, you can attach the stones to each other (including the fire pit kit) using heavy duty construction adhesive.

landscape fabric around a fire pit edged with stones

9. Finally, we hauled the pea gravel with a wheelbarrow to pour over the landscape fabric surface and raked it smooth.

Raking pea gravel on landscape fabric for a fire pit

stone diy backyard fire pit with pea gravel and adirondack chairs

DIY fire pit with stone and pea gravel surrounded by adirondack chairs

We added black Adirondack chairs for comfy lounging and lit that newly built bad boy up! I turned over a wooden barrel planter as a little table for accessing s’mores supplies too. 😉

Stone DIY fire pit with pea gravel and adirondack chairs

Adirondack chair with barrel side table and s'mores ingredients

These little Christmas trees were a lucky backwoods tree farm find that we scored for $18 each! I put them in wooden barrel planters too and I’m thinking some long-term shrubs will look really cute in them once the trees meet their ultimate demise.

backyard Fire pit with pea gravel, stone edge, and black adirondack chairs

diy backyard fire pit with pea gravel, stone edgers, and adirondack chairs

homemade fire pit with pea gravel, stone edgers, and adirondack chairs with barrel planter for a side table

stone diy fire pit with pea gravel, stone edgers, and adirondack chairs with a barrel planter as a side table

Y’all have no idea how thankful we are to have a backyard finally starting to take shape. We have mighty big plans for the rest of this backyard in 2021 (crossing fingers for a work shed, play area for the girls, and a new fence).

diy fire pit with pea gravel and adirondack chairs

It’s been quite a journey, and the adventure’s over yet.

For more of STIHL’s products and to find a local dealer, you can see all of the info here.   A homemade fire pit really was the best Christmas gift ever for our family that we’re so excited to enjoy all year-round.

Backyard before

stone DIY fire pit with pea gravel and adirondack chairs

Home wasn’t built in a day. And this backyard is a witness to that.

If you want to see more of our outdoor projects from the past, you can find them all here:

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DIY Fire Pit Done in a Weekend | A step-by-step tutorial for how to build a DIY backyard fire pit + the best equipment for making the job faster and easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dimensions of your fire pit?

The fire pit is 4′ in diameter. The circular seating area is 20′ in diameter.

Where is the best place to purchase pea gravel and pavers for a fire pit?

We prefer to support our local small business landscape suppliers. We have found the selection to be better with local suppliers in comparison to big box stores as well. Our supplier is 360 Supply in Rock Hill, SC.

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55 Comments

  1. We are going to work on our fire pit area this summer and we have hesitated to use pea gravel as we’re worried it will get stuck in shoe bottoms and track into the house. Have you found that to be true?

    1. Hi Kristin! We haven’t had that issue. It does migrate a little bit onto our concrete patio next to it, but not badly. We have no regrets using it.

  2. Hi! I love this!! My husband and I have always wanted to put in a fire pit and I am hoping to convince him that this is the way to go. But I have a couple questions. How deep is the gravel 1-2”? Or more? And how did you figure out how much pea gravel you needed? Thanks a bunch for sharing your awesome projects!

    1. It’s roughly about 3″ deep. If you provide measurements of your space to the sales people at your local landscaping supply yard, they can usually tell you how much you need. 🙂 That’s what we did.

  3. Wow! that looks fantastic! I can’t believe you did it in 9 hours. Can I borrow Robert? He seems like a real dream and so helpful and knowledgeable with your projects.

  4. I love this! Quick question – did you attach the fire pit stones or just stack them on top of each other? Thanks!

  5. I love the evergreens in the barrels. Will those be able to stay in there for awhile or will you have to move at a later date?

  6. That looks fabulous! What a wonderful Christmas gift. Thank you for your very detailed instructions, and Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

  7. Lauren, you and your hubby sure did a nice job of your fire pit. You are all going to enjoy sitting out there by the fire! It’s so cozy. I bet your girls are going to go through the marshmallows pretty fast! We sure enjoy our fire pit but can only use it from May to October because of our snowy winters.

    May you and your dear family be blessed with a wonderful Christmas!

  8. This turned out simple and beautiful.I always enjoy seeing your projects. You have a great way of explaining your work that makes sense to even the most average diy folks like me. Thank-you for sharing your knowledge and talents with all of us!

  9. It looks AWESOME!! Y’all are amazing!! Good work. Just would like to come hang out with you! But I live in Texas! LOL

  10. It looks great! One question though, when you walk on the gravel, do you sink through the gravel to the landscape fabric? Did your chair legs sink down in it too? We are considering something similar, but don’t want the gravel to spread everywhere and make a mess on our existing patio. Thanks for your help!

    1. Nope! It feels almost like walking on icy snow. You can wet it and tamp it down to help firm it up. It seems to stay well contained.

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