We created 5 free DIY plans based on the most popular round brick fire pit ideas and designs. So that you can easily build them for yourself. We researched cost estimates, how many bricks you’ll need, and the exact circular geometry (how to install them) in order for you to create the exact same shape and look. We’ve also included a plan for a pyramid design. We’ve done all the planning and now it’s time to build that backyard fire pit that you’ve always wanted.
Building a fire pit yourself is easy enough with these simple plans and a few bricks and other materials. You can be enjoying an outdoor fire in no time. These plans do not require any glue — just some bricks and some simple engineering to create your own. They can be built anywhere on the grass in the yard or anywhere you have soil. But they won’t work on the patio, as they require digging a hole. These are inground fire pit designs so they must have dirt/soil of some kind to dig into.
Which Bricks are Best for a Fire Pit?
You could use fire bricks for your fire pit, and they are more stable overall, but it’s really not necessary. Firebricks are generally used inside wood stove ovens, pizza ovens and some pits and will withstand temperatures of up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. But an outdoor fire pit generally ranges on the heat scale between 800 – 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, so standard bricks are fine (up to 1000 degrees). If you do want firebricks, they can be purchased at landscaping centers. You can use red or white brick – the color is just a design choice.
The Cheapest Brick to Make a Fire Pit
Each of the 6 plans below has been designed with this size and type of red brick in mind:
- Watsontown Brick 7.5-in x 3.75-inches – Clay Red Standard Brick – can be purchased at Lowe’s nationwide.
- Size: L 7.5″ x W 3.75″ x H 2.25″.
- Cost of one brick: $0.88.
It’s the most affordable, suitable brick that we could find for you to build your own brick fire pit. This is just one brick of many, many choices and you may have slightly different-sized bricks. That’s okay too, as none of our measurements are written in stone but meant to be more of a guideline. Just adjust the hole size.
What to Use to Fill Gaps Between Bricks
When building a fire pit with brick, it’s desirable to fill the gaps with some small stones or pebbles, otherwise, the bricks will get loose in time, and your nicely put together design will fall apart. One suggestion is to use these river rock pebbles found in Lowe’s.
Tools Needed to Build a Fire Pit
Making a brick fire pit using these plans will take 2-3 hours, as long as you have all of the materials purchased and ready. You will need the correct number of bricks and some pea gravel, also a shovel, and some rope to measure and mark the circular hole. And for some designs, a mason chisel and a hammer.
Left to right: Shovel, Rope, Mason Chisel, Mallet or Hammer
5 FREE DIY PLANS
1. Small and Easy Round Firepit Plan
Idea Picture 1:
This small cute fire pit is relatively simple to build following the plan below.
DIY Plan 1:
- Overall Diameter: 36″
- How many bricks are needed: 43
- Estimated cost: $.88 x 43 = $37.84 in bricks, per the dimensions in the plan illustrations – plus gravel costs.
Building Steps for Plan 1:
- The first step (as usual) is to dig your hole. The hole dimensions are a 32-inch diameter with a 12-inch depth!
- Then remove more dirt around the perimeter while creating a 2″ deep and 2″ wide lip. The circular lip is where the top ring of bricks goes.
- Layer the first circle of bricks forming a sunburst pattern.
- Fill the bottom with gravel and level the gravel. The best is to use pea gravel or some small crushed landscape rocks.
- Build the walls of your pit by standing the bricks, side by side, end up, around the circle to the top of the lip. Add more gravel to the bottom as needed to support the bricks.
- Create the final outer circle of bricks, once again using gravel as your base to firm up the design.
You can add or remove some dirt or gravel if you need to, to keep bricks tight in place. While we provide the exact dimensions, you can think of them as approximate.
2. Awesome Homemade Brick Clad Firepit
Idea Picture 2:
The idea picture and plans show the floor of your fire pit slightly different – using the photo (above) as your model, but fitting the bricks together like it’s shown on our plan (below), you’ll save a few bricks. You will need to chisel the bricks to get them to fit snugly.
DIY Plan 2:
- Overall Diameter: 39″
- How many bricks are needed: 92
- Estimated cost: $.88 x 92 = $80.96 in bricks
This plan requires 92 bricks to complete. Your estimated cost to purchase these bricks is $80.96. Also, we suggest that you fill the gaps in the top layer with gravel (see step 4 on the image above), instead of just dirt (as shown on the original design).
Building Steps for Plan 2:
- Your first job is to dig out a hole for a pit as shown, 12 inches deep and 31 inches in diameter.
- Then dig out an inner lip that is 4 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Your outer circle should be 39″ in diameter. Refer to illustration step #1 for details.
- Lay the bottom layer of 28 bricks in the exact pattern as shown in step 2. Break off the unwanted pieces with a hammer and chisel.
- Place the second row of 32 bricks in a circle, standing on their short side – see step 3.
- Lay the upper layer of 32 bricks in a circle and fill the gaps with gravel. To follow the design exactly, make sure to align upper bricks with those in the second layer – see step 4.
3. The Cheapest Circular Brick Firepit Plan
Idea Picture 3:
This is the simplest and the cheapest of our six brick fire pit plans to make. In the photo above, there are two layers above ground and two in-ground but you will notice in the plan pictures, we have put down one layer in-ground with three above. This can certainly be changed based on your preference. You can even have only two layers above the ground, to save money on bricks.
DIY Plan 3:
- Overall Diameter: 37″
- How many bricks are needed: 48
- Estimated cost: $.88 x 48 = $42.24 in bricks, plus the cost of a bag of gravel.
This plan is so simple, it doesn’t even need a layer of bricks on the floor of the fire pit. Each layer is built from 12 bricks.
Building Steps for Plan 3:
- Dig a hole – one- or two-brick layer thick (2″ or 4″) and 37″ in diameter.
- Lay down your layer of bricks to outline your circular hole as shown in step 2.
- Then lay down 2 or 3 more layers on top, with each next layer overlapping the gaps in the previous layer, as shown in step 3.
- Fill the bottom floor with some gravel. That was easy, wasn’t it?
4. Large Round Brick Firepit Plan
Idea Picture 4:
This is a somewhat larger fire pit and as a result, will take a little more time to construct. But it will be worth it. It looks like a sun – with its rays of brick and its ball of fire. The river rocks, or tumbled rocks, are a large size and really add to the ambiance. You can purchase these small boulders at landscape centers or if you’re very lucky, collect them from your property. Just look for rocks the size of the ones in the image above. It’s a more design-led fire pit if you use rocks, but you could fill it up with gravel if that’s your preference.
DIY Plan 4:
This is the largest outdoor in-ground fire pit DIY plan yet, with a 66″ overall diameter (reduced to 55″ once you account for a 5.5″ lip all around). This DIY Fire Pit doesn’t need the bottom layer of brick on the floor level either.
- Overall Diameter: 66″
- How many bricks are needed: 84
- Estimated cost: $.88 x 82 = $73.92 in bricks, plus the cost of small boulders.
Building Steps for Plan 4:
- Dig a hole that is 9 inches deep and 55 inches in diameter. Those are the full dimensions. You want to build a lip, 2″ deep and 5.5″ wide. Your main walls are now only 7″ deep.
- Stand your wall of brick, end up, around the circumference, as shown in step 2 (above).
- Then you add your sunray circle of bricks – see step 3 on the plan image.
- Fill your pit with rocks – large size river rocks, sauna rocks, any kind of tumbled, smooth stone. They’ll retain the heat of the fire long after the flame is gone.
5. Small Pyramid Shaped Fire Pit Plan
Idea Picture 5:
Look carefully at these plans – there are lots of photos and you need to understand the plan before you begin. This one needs to be built gradually, layer by layer, brick by brick. So you need to block out your time and you can’t rush through this. It takes the time it takes, but again, it will be worth it.
DIY Plan 5:
- Overall Diameter: 30″
- How many bricks are needed: 207 (with no brick bottom) or 235 (with the bottom)
- Number of layers: 12
- Estimated cost: $.88 x 207 (or x 235) = $182.16 (or $206.80) in bricks.
Please note: our plan is slightly larger in diameter – 2.5 feet – and so the topmost layer has 11 bricks. The original design shows only 5 on top. But we kept the same height – 12 layers above ground in total. If you wish, you can continue adding more layers, to make a taller pyramidal pit.
A pyramid design like this one requires a good stable foundation to be properly constructed. So you should create a nicely leveled floor either using gravel or, as we recommend, using bricks. In any case, as always, you’ll start with digging the hole and laying the floor. If you decide to go with a brick floor, make sure to make them fit tightly.
The bottom (floor) layer takes 28 bricks, with some chiseled to fit snugly. The next 3 layers are full circles, the rest are partial. If you choose to build this pit on a gravel floor then you won’t have to chisel anything and save almost $25 on bricks.
Here’s how we came up with the counts:
- floor layer – 28 bricks
- next 3 layers – 24 bricks each
- layer 4 – 19
- layer 5 – 18
- layer 6 – 17
- layer 7 – 16
- layer 8 – 15
- layer 9 – 14
- layer 10 – 13
- layer 11 – 12
- layer 12 – 11
Total: 207 (with no bottom) or 235 (with the bottom).
TIP: Follow this simple principle when assembling the pit: starting with the 5th, with every next layer, you use one less brick!
Building Steps for Plan 5:
- Dig a hole that is only 3 inches deep and 30 inches in diameter. The size, within reason, is flexible.
- The first layer will fit in-ground. Line the floor with tight-fitting bricks. Use a chisel where necessary to adjust the individual brick size. Or fill it with 1-2 inches of gravel and level it.
- You’re now going to start building out your 12 layers of brick, in the sun-ray design, with the inner edges of the brick fitting tightly. These will become the inner wall of your pyramid brick fire pit.
- The next three layers, each of 24 bricks, are complete sunray circles (72 bricks for 3 complete layers). They are positioned on top of each other to facilitate the outer design (please see photos). Notice that each next level overlaps the gaps in the previous!
- Decide which side will be the front of your pyramid pit, and start laying fewer bricks progressively as you add laters. Remove up to 5 bricks for the first open layer, and move gradually to your final layer. In our plan, we chose to build up to 12 layers above the ground, and the last layer had only 11 bricks out of the original 24 per layer. How many bricks you require for the entire project depends on how high and how stable you want your firepit to be.
The Case of Tall Pyramid Shaped Fire Pit
At first, we thought about including this or a similar design (see image below). But as we took a closer look at this design we realized that it requires some masonry work – you got to actually lay bricks using cement or another type of glue. As such it doesn’t fit the idea of a quick and easy DIY firepit building. Plus, due to its large size, the number of bricks required makes it quite expensive for a DIY project. It’s not safe, in our view, to build this design simply by stacking the bricks. At this height, a strong blow of the wind can force the entire pyramid to crumble. Not to mention accidental shifting of a few bricks – it can cause this pit to fail. We believe this idea is only reasonable to try out if bricks are secured using some type of masonry glue.
We do realize that this design attracts a lot of attention. Still, not everything found on the internet should be deemed a good DIY idea. So we don’t recommend it.
Just in case you still decide to try and build it, this plan requires about 250 bricks and could cost up to $220 to complete all of its 21 layers (as shown).
So there you have it – 5 different backyard fire pit styles for you to choose from for your next DIY project. Some are super simple, some more complicated. It all depends on your design preferences and the amount of time and money you want to spend. But whichever you choose, your backyard fire will provide a great gathering spot for friends and family alike.
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