Welcome back to those returning to see the next installation of the Backyard Fun Series! If you’re just joining in, you can catch up on the first post about making a Mud Bar. Now the first project was for the kids. (secretly it’s for you so you can catch up on that book you’ve been trying to finish while they’re up to their elbows in fun – ha!) How about something for the family? For a while, I had wanted a fire pit so my family and I could make memories, just like I did as a kid. What better than a budget fire pit? You might be saying…okay, how is that reclaimed?
If you look closely, there isn’t a single item I had to purchase to make this whole set. All was found junking. (You can read about my other junking adventures here
Father’s Day was coming and I was feverishly trying to save up some money to buy brick. It just wasn’t happening. While on my city cleanup junking run, I came upon a neighbor of mine as he was putting red brick out for city cleanup. He even asked me if I wanted his landscaping rocks….of course I do! God is good! Do you know I had just enough brick to make this entire set?
To make the tall table in the picture above, simply stack the brick in a pattern to make it sturdy (3 east-west, 1 north-south, then reverse in next layer). The other piece holding our roasting sticks is a scrap piece of drainage pipe set on a couple of bricks for stability.
I made three different benches using cinder blocks, fence posts, and some scrap 2×4’s…all from city cleanup. You could use any wood you have on hand.
To make the pit, lay out the bricks in a size circle you want (mine is about 3ft diameter). Then take sidewalk chalk and trace the outside of the ring. Remove the bricks temporarily and grab a basic garden shovel (or a sod shovel if you have one…a square nose shovel) and take up the sod. Then, build your ring to about 3 bricks high, overlapping the seams.
safety note: red brick is fine to use in a fire pit as long as you don’t plan on building large or very hot fires. It can pop if it gets too hot, so if you plan on building large fires, then you better go to a home improvement store and purchase fire brick. We’ve used ours for years with no problems, but we only roast small items over small fires. It’s also safe to place the pit 12-20ft. away from any building.
We also built another low profile table for little ones, and even scored a plastic table – perfect for containing the food items we use.
You can easily make one of these if you know where to look. Craigslist free items (or put a wanted post), Freecycle (put a wanted post again), city cleanup, and even word of mouth works. Is there a neighbor who has a pile of unwanted brick from a building project or fallen chimney? Or lumber they would love for someone to take off their hands?
Don’t waste any more time or money trying to figure out how to build your very own budget fire pit. There are materials just waiting to be found!
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