5 Simple DIY Portable Fire Pit Options for Camping and Outdoors

You can’t think of an outdoor space or patio with your friends or family without some fire blazing out of a DIY portable fire pit. More people continue to embrace the idea of a portable outdoor fire pit, due to the flexibility and affordability they offer. So, here are the 5 simple DIY portable fire pit options for camping and outdoors.

Unlike a permanent fire pit that’s installed in your backyard, a portable version can still get a great fire going on your patio.

Apart from adding some touch to your backyard, outdoor fire pits are crowd-cheering bastions that will also keep you warm and allow you to roast and enjoy some hot dogs and marshmallows at the same time.

Below we discuss some of the best DIY portable fire pit ideas you may try out during the winter.

Top 5 DIY Portable Fire Pit Options                        

1.  Tabletop Fire Bowl


  • Fireproof container (you may use a galvanized bucket or terra cotta flower planter)
  • Rocks or fire glass (if color is not an issue, save the money and use just any rock type or pea gravel)
  • Clean burning gel (check on safety if you intend to use in roasting foodstuffs)

Step by Step Directions

  1. Gather all the supplies and fill the container with ¾ whole small rocks or gravel
  2. Wedge your burning gel can at the center of the bucket with rocks or gravel
  3. To light, take the lid off and take it back to extinguish

Safety Note: For outdoor use only. Follow guidelines on fire safety.

Image and Tutorial Credit: Today’s Creative Life

2. Torch Bottles for Lighting


  • Two custom torch wicks
  • Torch fuel
  • Same-size bottle opening such as for wine bottle or beer
  • Matches


  1. Wash your bottle clean using water
  2. Fill the bottle bottom with some water. Your wick should not touch the water as the fuel will remain on the top, reducing fuel needs. In addition, the fuel doesn’t have to travel far up your wick.
  3. You can now fill your bottle with the torch fuel. Next, drench your wick in the torch fuel and return it to the bottle.
  4. Now light it standing aside while observing fire safety guidelines.
  5. Once done, blow out the flame and put back the copper cap on your wick.

Image and Tutorial Credit: Sugarandcharm

Tips For Keeping Your Torch Wick Lit

  • Use quality torch fuel
  • Use primarily for lighting rather than cooking or heat provision
  • Before lightening saturate the wick with enough torch fuel
  • The bottle should remain full with the torch fuel
  • Do not expose the wick to moisture

3. Stone Top Bowl


  • Quickset concrete
  • River rock (one bag)
  • 5-inch diameter can
  • Plastic bowl for use as a mold
  • Stir concrete
  • Pam cooking spray
  • A tub to mix your concrete
  • Firepot Gel fuel canister


  1. Pour and mix the dry concrete with water in your plastic tub.
  2. Spray the plastic bowl interior with Pam
  3. Pour in the mixed concrete to form the base of the burning bowl
  4. Spray your 3.5-inch can with pam and center it on the concrete mix (push down to reach your gel fuel canister height)
  5. Remove the can after six minutes
  6. Wait for another 12 to 15 minutes before carefully flipping the plastic bowl to slip out the burning bowl base.
  7. Place the river rocks along your concrete rim edges and allow them to dry overnight.
  8. Finally, place your gel fuel canister in the middle and light it.

Diy Outdoor Fire Pit

Image and Tutorial Credit: Evansville Living

4. Washing Tub Fire Pit


  • 15-gallon wash pail
  • Bricks
  • Log pieces and a lighter


  1. Put your bricks inside the wash pail and spread evenly
  2. Set the log pieces on top of the bricks
  3. you may then set the wood on fire and let the fire burn gently

Image and Tutorial Credit: Renewredo

Consider using wood that doesn’t produce much smoke, such as Duraflame logs.

5. DIY Tabletop Terra Cotta Fire Pit


  • Terra Cotta Pot (You may shop them from Western Gardens for a more comprehensive selection of designs and sizes)
  • Charcoal
  • Aluminum foil
  • Lighter
  • Charcoal Lighter Fluid


  1. Line your terra cotta pot with the aluminum foil
  2. Fill the pot with charcoal
  3. Sprinkle some lighter fluid over the charcoal
  4. Light the charcoal while standing on the side
  5. You can use a chimney-style starter for starting the briquettes if you have one. When they begin to turn white, transfer to the terra cotta fire pit.

You may now enjoy roasting your hot dogs and marshmallows over the tabletop fire pit.

Diy Outdoor Fire Pit

Image and Tutorial Credit: Westerngardens

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Following fire safety guidelines when using your backyard fire pit is key to keeping your pets, family, and friends safe.

Below are the top tips to keep in mind when making a DIY fire pit idea.

  • Fire Pit Fuel: Keep your fire log no more than three-quarters of the pit diameter. Use dry wood free from too much smoke. Only use fuel designed for your fire pit.
  • Fire Pit Clearance: Avoid placing your portable fire pit on grass, an enclosed porch, or a wood deck. Place it ten feet away from any flammable item.
  • Starting and Putting Out Pit Fire Safely: Never use kerosene, gas, or fire fuel to start your fire. Use a fire extinguisher or sand on appropriate cases to put out the fire. Call a local fire department in unmanageable instances where the fire goes beyond the confines of the outdoor fireplace.


The DIY portable fire pit is becoming the craze for every camping trip as many people look for lighting and heat provision solutions when they hold outdoor parties.

The pits are quickly becoming popular due to their portability, versatility, and lower construction cost compared to mounted fire pits. They are also a sight to behold because of the pleasant charm of flames and the colorful fire frameworks they produce.

You may want to try out our top picks as discussed here, including:

  • Tabletop Fire Bowl
  • Torch Bottles
  • Stone Top Bowl
  • Tabletop Terra Cotta Fire Pit
  • Washing Tub Fire Pit

However, keep fire safety guidelines in mind to avoid injuries on your pets and other family members.

People Also Ask

As more people embrace portable fire pits, questions on building suitable fire pits continue to arise. Here are some common questions about DIY portable fire pits.

What Can You Use to Make a Portable Fire Pit?

Making a DIY portable fire pit can be as easy as using a wash pail gallon, bricks, dry wood, and a lighter. You may choose from the many available DIY portable fire pit projects depending on your unique needs.

What Distance Should I Keep Between The Fire Pit And The House?

As a rule of thumb, keep your fire pit at least 10 feet from your house or other flammable items. Consult your manual if unsure of some fuel usages.

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