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Build Your Own Backyard Fire Pit

The Cozy Campfire You’ve Been Missing

I’ll admit it – I’ve never been much of a camping person. Sure, I’ve done my fair share of it over the years, but I much prefer the comforts of my own bed and a proper shower at the end of the day. However, there’s one outdoor activity I absolutely adore: the humble campfire.

There’s just something so warm, cozy, and downright magical about gathering around a crackling fire, toasting marshmallows, and swapping stories late into the night. It’s the perfect way to unwind and connect with loved ones, all while enjoying the great outdoors.

So when my partner and I bought a small, portable fire pit for our backyard last fall, we were instantly hooked. The only problem? We wanted to have fires more often, but the little tabletop unit just didn’t quite cut it. That’s when we decided to take on a new project: building our very own backyard fire pit.

Digging In: Planning Your Fire Pit

Now, I know what you might be thinking – building a fire pit sounds like a lot of work. But I’m here to tell you that it’s really not as difficult as it might seem. In fact, with a little elbow grease and the right materials, you can create a professional-looking, custom fire pit in your own backyard.

The first step is to check the recreational fire codes in your area. Today’s Gardens, our local garden design and landscaping company, was a huge help with this. They gave us the green light and some valuable tips on placement and safety.

Once you have the go-ahead, you’ll want to choose a spot that’s at least 10 feet away from any buildings, trees, fences, or other obstructions. You’ll also need to make sure there’s nothing hanging directly above the fire pit, as that could be a fire hazard.

Gathering Materials and Digging In

Now, for the fun part! To build your fire pit, you’ll need:
– Colored spray paint for marking
– Gravel to fill the pit
– A shovel, mattock, or other digging tool
– Concrete landscaping stones
– A metal fire pit ring (optional)
– Masonry adhesive
– A rubber mallet

The great thing about this project is that you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the stones. You can go with a simple, classic look or get creative with different shapes, sizes, and colors. We actually ended up sourcing our stones from a local landscape supplier, as they had a much broader selection than the big box stores.

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to start digging. Using your shovel or mattock, create a circular hole about 6 inches deep where you want your fire pit to be. This might be the most physically demanding part of the whole process, especially if you have tough, root-filled soil like we do. But trust me, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Building the Pit

After you’ve dug out the hole, it’s time to fill it with gravel. This will help with drainage and ensure your fire pit stays dry, even in wet weather. Once the gravel is level with the ground, you can start laying your first row of stones around the edge.

If you’re using a metal ring, you can use that as a guide to help you get the shape and size just right. Just make sure to leave a little space between the stones so you can add the masonry adhesive. Speaking of which, when you get to the second row, you’ll want to apply a small amount of adhesive to the bottom of each stone before placing it. This will help the whole structure stay nice and sturdy.

Remember to stagger the placement of the second row, so the middle of each stone sits on the seams of the row below. Keep repeating this process until you’ve reached your desired height, using the rubber mallet to tamp the stones down as you go.

Lighting the First Fire

Once your fire pit is built, you’re ready to enjoy your very first backyard campfire! Start with a small pile of dry leaves, sticks, and newspaper to get the fire going. As that starter pile catches, you can gradually add larger logs and branches.

After a few fires, you’ll want to use a shovel or shop vac to clear out the accumulated ashes. Too much ash can actually smother the fire and lead to those pesky little white flecks blowing everywhere. Trust me, those aren’t nearly as magical as the dancing flames.

Leveling Up: The Fire Pit Bench

If you really want to take your backyard fire pit experience to the next level, I highly recommend building a custom bench to go along with it. My partner, Josh, is the handy one in our relationship, and he put together an amazing semi-circular bench that perfectly complements our fire pit.

Not only does it provide comfy seating for our guests, but it also helps define the space and gives the whole setup a really polished, intentional look. Plus, it’s the perfect spot to curl up with a cozy blanket and a hot toddy on a chilly autumn evening.

Now, I know what you might be thinking – a bench sounds like even more work. But the team at A Beautiful Mess has a great tutorial that breaks down the process step-by-step. Trust me, it’s totally worth the effort.

Bringing It All Together

As you can probably tell, I’m absolutely smitten with our new backyard fire pit. It feels like the perfect addition to our outdoor living space, and we’ve already enjoyed so many cozy evenings gathered around the flickering flames.

Heck, we even have a whole set of fire pit accessories – a set of roasting sticks, a mountain pie maker, and the all-important s’mores supplies. Because what’s a fire pit without a little gooey, melty goodness, am I right?

So, if you’re looking to add a touch of hygge to your backyard this season, I can’t recommend building your own fire pit enough. It’s a relatively simple project that can transform your outdoor space in the most delightful way. Plus, with a little creativity and the right materials, you can make it truly your own.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time to light another fire. Who’s up for some stargazing and s’mores?

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

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