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Make This Easy DIY Fire Pit Area (with String Lights!)

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Inside: We made a super easy DIY fire pit for our backyard (with outdoor string lights!), and I’m sharing step by step instructions so you can build one, too!

I’m SO excited to finally share one of the first projects from our newly landscaped backyard…our easy DIY fire pit area!

When we were first deciding on which lot we wanted, I was drawn to space we decided on because it was the biggest in the development. Who doesn’t want to the biggest yard!

Well, it would have been nice to have the biggest yard, if it already came landscaped…since we’re the first owners of our home, we got dirt for a back yard and a huge space that we’ve essentially had to design ourselves.

The flipside to having a ton of space to landscape is that we got to pick exactly what we wanted and had room to install lots of fun things in our backyard; the first being a fire pit area!

This is a project perfect for those who just bought a new construction, or for those who have lived in their house for 20+ years. Having a fire pit in your back yard will add instant value when you decide to move and sell your home. More on that later! 

Today I’ll share all of the materials we used, exactly how we built our fire pit area, and the total cost so you can get an idea of how much it will be to build your own.

Related: Make This Easy Modern Fall Wreath In An Hour

A homemade fire pit in the backyard.

What is the Best Base for a Fire Pit?

Our fire pit area is a 12′ x 12′ square with a wood border. We decided to build it this way because we were adding lots of other rectangle-shaped boxes around the fire pit, so doing a circle would have looked a little out of place.

We also decided to do a wood border to keep all of the gravel in a confined space so it wouldn’t mix with the mulch we have on the rest of our top level. You could do rock or not have a border at all, but I wanted to keep everything uniform with the other boxes we built for our back yard so everything “matched.”

The tools needed to build a DIY outdoor fire area

Materials 

Here are the items you need to build your own fire pit:

  • 4- 12 ft. 2 x 4’s (cut in half to create 6 ft. pieces)
  • 1 – 4 x 4 (cut into 4 in. blocks)
  • 1 – 1 x 3 strip wood (cut into 4 in. pieces)
  • 2 in. and 3 in. wood screws
  • 4 -12 qt pails
  • 2 bags of fast set concrete
  • 4 – 8 ft. 2 x 2’s
  • Hook screws
  • Black steel fire pit
  • String lights
  • 2 – curved benches

Easy DIY Fire Pit Step-By-Step Instructions

The first thing we did was assemble the wood box frame. Originally, we thought we could just attach the 2 x 4’s to the 4 x 4 blocks out in our yard with our impact driver, because that thing can drill through anything, right??

Wrong.

Build a fire pit for cheap by using this plan.

PRO TIP: Drill 2 pilot holes at the end of each wood piece to make assembly a lot easier.

Another mistake was trying to build the box out in the yard. Once we brought the pieces into our garage, assembly was a lot easier because we weren’t out in the hot sun and my husband could prop the box up on some other pieces of wood to get the leverage he needed to drill.

A man builds structure for outdoor string lights

PRO TIP: Assemble the box on a raised surface. Because the wood sits so close to the ground, it’s hard to get the leverage you need to drill into the wood blocks without some height.

And yet a third mistake (we made A LOT of mistakes building this first box lol) was not buying long enough screws. We started with 2 in. wood screws because we figured that was plenty of length to get through both pieces of wood. Well, it wasn’t.

PRO TIP: You need at least 3 in. screws to connect the 2 x 4 to the 4 x 4.

Finally, after we had all of those problems ironed out. We built four separate corner pieces and then took them to our back yard for the final assembly. The only reason we had to cut the 2 x 4’s was so they would fit in our car. If you have a truck or car long enough to transport 12 ft. pieces of wood, you can skip this next part.

We joined the 2, 2 x 4’s in the middle with the pieces of strip wood using 2 in. screws. Those are long enough to get through the 2 x 4 and the skinny strip wood. Our box was built!

Structure for DIY backyard entertainment area

Next, we transported gravel into the space using a wheelbarrow and rake to get it all evened out. We had gravel left on our property when we moved in, so that was a saved cost for us.

After we had the box filled in and level, we worked on the poles for the outdoor string lights.

To build these, we filled each pail half full with the concrete mix. Next, we added 4 cups of water and mixed the concrete together until it was wet. Then we inserted the 2 x 2 in the middle and held it straight until it was dry enough to stand on its own.

PRO TIP: Build the light poles on level ground so you can ensure they are straight.

Unfortunately, we built all but one of these light poles in our back yard so there’s one that’s a little crooked. Thankfully, our backyard isn’t 100% level so we were able to move the dirt around so the pole looks straight, even though it isn’t. Shhh!

After all four light poles were cemented in, we drilled pilot holes for the hook screws. You can choose to do this step before adding the cement to save yourself from having to haul all of the pails to the garage to create the holes if you have a corded drill like we do.

Next, we added the hook screws and took the pails back out to the fire pit where we added extra gravel in the bucket to keep them weighted. It’s super windy where we live and without the extra gravel, the poles fall over very easily. 

The last few parts were easy. We hung the lights from each of the hooks, assembled the curved benches, and put together the fire pit.

Lowes fire pit in backyardWe had to purchase battery powered outdoor string lights because our fire pit area is away from our house and there’s no outlet up there. That limited the type of string lights we could buy, but I’m happy with how they turned out. If you’re making a fire pit in your backyard far away from your house, you’ll likely need battery powered lights, too. The ones I found on Amazon turned out great!

Amazon backyard lights strung on DIY light poles.

Follow this tutorial for a DIY backyard entertainment area

We also bought the benches and fire pit. I wanted curved benches to fit nicely around the circle fire pit and after all the work we went to build the frame, I was not about to build the fire pit too lol.

Total Cost

The total cost for our easy fire pit area was $330!

  • $22.2o 4- 12 ft. 2 x 4’s (cut in half to create 6 ft. pieces)
  • $8.58 1 – 4 x 4 (cut into 4 in. blocks)
  • $1.82 1 – 1 x 3 strip wood (cut into 4 in. pieces)
  • $10 2 in. and 3 in. wood screws
  • $37.44 4 -12 qt pails
  • $10 2 bags of fast set concrete
  • $7.16 4 – 8 ft. 2 x 2’s
  • $6.21 Hook screws
  • $58.84 Black steel fire pit
  • $30 String lights
  • $135.98 2 – curved benches

I’d consider this a pretty cheap outdoor fire pit, but you could easily save more money by using chairs or benches you already have. Since we’ve never had a back yard before, we had to start from scratch! 

Homie logo

Add Value to Your Home and Enjoy The Homie Advantage

I mentioned above how adding this DIY backyard fire pit to your home could add instant value and that’s important if you’re looking to sell your home. Building a fire pit in your backyard, could bring in lots of additional buyers who are looking for a relaxing space to spend their evenings.

If you REALLY want to take the home selling process to the next level, you need to work with Homie!

If you’re not familiar with Homie, they are the new way to buy or sell your home! They bundle all the services you need when you buy and sell so the process is less complicated and they can cut out all the crazy fees. They offer Homie Real Estate for buying and selling, Homie Loans for mortgages and Homie Title for easy closings.

Homie helps you buy and sell your home without charging the typical 6% commission. The average customer saves over $10,000 when they use Homie!

Homie charges a flat listing fee of $1,500, regardless of the price of your home, so you can keep more of your equity. It’s just $199 to list and $1,299 at close.

Related: Want To Sell Your House Yourself? Use Homie!

Homie yard sign in a front yard.

With Homie, you get everything you would normally get from a traditional agent, plus:

  • Dedicated Homie agent and access to Homie’s team of attorneys to help you throughout the process including the legal paperwork and negotiations. 
  • Modern, professional for sale sign. 
  • Professional photography. 
  • Value report to help with pricing. 
  • Listing on the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, and even Facebook to market your property to thousands of additional potential buyers.

It’s truly the best way to sell your home in Utah or Arizona!

A mom and her two kids sit around their backyard fire pit.

We’ve LOVED Spending Time Around our Easy DIY Fire Pit!

I am absolutely in love with how our DIY fire pit turned out and I hope you’ll learn from some of our mistakes when building your own fire pit area! We love having such a fun and relaxing place to entertain friends and family in our back yard now.

And if you’re in the market to buy or sell your home, you need to check out Homie! We loved our experience with them and know you will too! This easy DIY fire pit is a great way to add value to your home and attract potential buyers!

If you don’t live in Utah or Arizona, just send them an email at [email protected] and let them know you’d like to work with them!

Want More?

Now that you’ve read my easy backyard fire pit ideas, check out A Step-by-Step Guide To Refinish A Kitchen Table!

Your Turn

If you have any questions about these DIY fire pit ideas or have any great suggestions for how to build a simple fire pit, let me know in the comments!

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