How to Make a Quick and Easy DIY Outdoor Fire Pit for the Patio

Having a patio opens a world of DIY project opportunities. If you’ve always wanted to have an outdoor fire pit on your patio but aren’t willing to pay for a professional to do it, you’re in luck. In just a few simple steps, you can build one yourself. Here’s how!

an outdoor fire pit
Get Supplies First

The best thing about this DIY gel fire pit project is that anyone can do it. You’ll need some supplies first — two plastic bowls, Quikrete (or another fast-setting concrete brand), fire gel canister, safety gear, margin trowel, orbital sander, lava granules, cooking spray, grout sponge, and water. The bowls need to be about 1’’ apart in size.

Building a Gel Fire Pit: Directions

Step 1

Grab the large bowl and coat the inside with the cooking spray. Then, coat the outside of the smaller bowl. After that, it’s time to mix the concrete. Be sure to use a quick-setting brand like Quikrete, so you don’t have to wait for days for it to cure. Mix a larger batch (more than you think you’ll need), and ensure the mixture isn’t runny. It has to be thick.

Step 2

Pour the mixture into the large bowl and then place the small bowl into it. Press firmly until the small bowel is about an inch higher than the large one. Make sure that the mixture is flush with the top of the bigger bowl. In case you come up short, you can always mix more concrete and add it to the bowl.

using an orbital sander around a big bowl full of wet concrete
Step 3

Run the orbital sander around the big bowl to ensure the concrete settles well and there are no air bubbles. Wait for the concrete to dry out (but not completely) and remove the small bowl. Because of the generous amount of cooking oil that you applied in the beginning, the bowl should come right out.

Step 4

Now that you have the rough version of your fire pit bowl, it’s time to use the grout sponge (or sandpaper) to smooth out the edges and interior. After a few more hours, you can remove the big bowl as well. Check the concrete mix instructions to know exactly when to do it.

smoothing out the edges of a DIY fire pit with sandpaper
Step 5

This is the fun part! All you have to do now is add the gel fuel and arrange the lava rocks in your fire pit. Don’t aim for perfection. It’s the little imperfections that add character. Light it up and enjoy its ambiance!