Easy Outdoor Fire Pit

It's the time of year for pumpkin carving, hot apple cider, and cool evenings spent around bonfires in the backyard!  When Kevin and I bought this house, we were excited about the big backyard.  Unfortunately, the very center of the backyard was consumed by a huge, unruly flowerbed.  I like flowerbeds, but it was really important to us to have a large, grassy space in the middle of the yard- big enough to host cook-outs, play lawn games, or hang out around a fire in the evenings.  It took several days of hard work, but here is the transformation from jungle to (almost all) grass: 

As we waited for the rest of the grass to grow in, we began exploring options for building an easy fire pit.  We found the perfect solution at our local Home Depot, where we were able to purchase two different types of stone as well as a fire pit insert.  You can actually buy a "kit" which includes all of the stones that you'll need and an insert- perfect if you want to make sure that you'll end up with the correct number of pieces to complete your circle.  They have a lot of choices- check one of them out here.  

1. Dig up the grass and level a circle of dirt 
2. Place the stones for the first layer.  (We didn't cement these.)  Each layer is made up of alternating small rectangular stones, and larger trapazoid-shaped stones: 12 of each.

3. Position the stones for the second layer.   

4. Lift up each stone in the second layer one at a time, and apply a dime-sized amount of masonry sealant to the bottom and one side before replacing it. 

5. Repeat with the third layer.  We stopped after three layers, but we could have easily kept going if we had wanted a taller fire pit. 
6. Set the insert on top of the stones.  We decided not to cement the insert, in case we ever wanted to remove it for a particularly large fire.  It fits snugly, and it's heavy enough that you don't have to worry about it sliding around.     
That's it!  It didn't take more than an hour or two to build.  So easy, and I LOVE the finished product.   Now to find some beautiful, inexpensive adirondack-style chairs to put around the fire. . . Funny how one project always seems to lead to another! 

Happy building!
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