DIY

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods

Florida is finally cooling off and we’re celebrating with a brand new fire pit! I’m sharing the exact list of materials, cost and my lazy person’s guide to a “smokeless” fire pit. I couldn’t believe it actually did reduce the amount of smoke.

We truly had fun doing this project together as a family. I was so impressed with the way the kids worked together and they had such a sense of accomplishment when we were done!

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit
DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit
DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs
DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs
DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs
DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

“Smokeless” fire pit

I watched a dozen or more YouTube videos on how to build a “smokeless” fire pit. Now, we know there’s no such thing as an actual smokeless fire pit, but there are ways to reduce it. The builds I saw were based off of the Breeo models that drastically reduce smoke because of their design that allows cool air in the bottom.

I’ll be honest with you, I can’t explain this science experiment (ha!), but it does seem to make a difference. Some of the DIY guys drilled holes on the top and the bottom of their fire ring. Others just drilled holes around top to draw the cooler air up in the space between the bricks and the ring. But I did a lazy person’s attempt at a “smokeless” fire pit. I skipped the drilling and bought a fire ring that has mesh slat openings. After two uses, I have to say I really think this helps! And I do like the added safety measure of the ring.

The other part of this method is to space the bottom row of pavers a couple inches apart to allow the cool air in. And then inset the top row to set on top of the fire ring, leaving less space.

In summary, to reduce smoke, I:

  • Used a slatted fire ring
  • Spaced the bottom row of pavers 2 inches apart
  • Inset the top row of pavers (by using one less brick) so it sets on top of the fire ring instead of leaving a gap

Fire pit materials - Lowe's delivery

Cost breakdown

It cost about $450 for all the supplies to build the 15-foot space and includes the $79 delivery fee from Lowes. I found a patio set of handmade wood furniture for $200 on Facebook Marketplace. We used existing stumps we had for tables and extra seating. And finally, some solar string lights make a cozy, warm glow for $40. They make it possible to enjoy the space even if there’s no fire.


Materials

I chose to pay the $79 delivery fee from Lowes because of the weight and bulk of all these items. I’m not even sure how I would pick them up in the store! They were able to deliver them within about a week. (I also have a plan for the pallets they delivered them on!)


Instructions

How to build a fire pit in the woods

Clear grass or debris away from your fire pit radius. We chose 15 feet. Also, make sure space where the pit will go is level. You might need to grab a shovel to even the ground.

Our pit is in the woods, so there are no nearby structures. If you chose to build near your house, definitely take time to check guidelines where you live to see what distance is permitted — at least 10 feet usually.

How to build a fire pit - spray painting the circumference

Mark 7.5 feet from the center. I did this with a can of spray paint tied to a stake in the center.

Place edging around circumference.

Scalloped edging around DIY fire pit - concrete mortar

We also used concrete in tubes to help keep them in place.

High temp spray paint on fire pit to protect against rain

Assemble the fire ring. I chose to spray mine with high temp spray paint to hopefully prevent rusting, as there were some scratches that didn’t have the protective coating.

DIY smokeless fire pit in the woods tutorial

I left a couple inches between pavers on the bottom to allow cool air in.

How to build a fire pit - adhesive between each layer

Then I followed up with no gaps on the second row, using adhesive between each row. There are five rows in total.

How to build a fire pit - adhesive between each layer

For the top I used an entire tube of concrete and adhesive!

DIY fire pit instructions

I used one less brick for the top row to inset it just enough so that they would rest on top of the fire ring.

How to construct a DIY fire pit in the woods

Next, we added 1 bag of sand and 2 bags of gravel inside the fire pit.

How to build a fire pit - DIY tutorial and step by step instructions

And finally we spread the remaining bags of gravel inside the circle.

DIY fire pit in the woods

Marcello snapped this photo right when we finished. It actually brings tears to my eyes how much my little Clara wants to help me do all these things. When we finished after a couple hours on the first day, she said, “You know, I think we could go back out and spread the gravel or something. Let’s just go look.”

She’s six years old and it’s the first season when her “helping” is actually helping! She helped with Christmas decorations, waterproofing this patio set and moving bricks all in one week! I would never force this DIY stuff on her, but it sure is fun that she wants to do it and we have these memories together.


DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

Boy did I have fun decorating this new space! I found a this handmade willow wood patio set on Marketplace. Clara and I found a waterproofing sealer on clearance for $3.50 at Home Depot and put a couple coats on them. Although, we’ll have to pull them in during rainy weeks and summer. They came with cushions and I even kind of like the tropical pattern.

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

We added old stumps we had sitting around for seating and tables. I love the rustic look they add and how well they go with the chairs.

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

These solar edison-style string lights cozy up the space and really add needed light to this dark section of our yard. You’ll have to watch my YouTube video below to see how beautiful it is at night! (My night still photography skills are lacking.)

I also added a strand of these solar twinkle lights because you can never have too many twinkle lights! They make everything feel magical.

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

Lanterns on shepherd’s hooks add a glow with battery-powered candles.

DIY rustic fire pit in the woods - how to build an easy fire pit - stumps as tables and chairs

Decor ideas

  • log seats
  • stump table
  • solar edison string lights
  • solar twinkle lights
  • lanterns
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • potted plants
  • solar pathway lights

I’m not quite done with this space. Next up here is a kid cabin!


DIY fire pit in the woods with smokless build ideas and solar lights
DIY rustic pallet kid playhouse, clubhouse, treehouse, pretend play, tropical, florida, palm trees

6 thoughts on “DIY rustic fire pit in the woods

  1. Is the sand/ gravel necessary for the bottom of the pit? Will that impede airflow or make it difficult to clean out ash/ soot?

  2. That’s a good question. I’ll be honest, I did that because that’s what all the other tutorials I read/watched suggested!

  3. Ah! I have the answer now! The sand and gravel is good for drainage and allowing the space to dry before starting the fire. So this helps eliminate dampness and smoke. If it hadn’t been for these ingredients tonight we wouldn’t have had a fire!

  4. wow, this looks so amazing and speechless. i just love this fantastic planning of rustic fire pit in the wood. thanks for sharing this amazing article and amazing tips or idea of rustic fire pit in the woods.

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