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Build a Backyard DIY Fire Pit

by Chris Lambton

A fire pit can be a great addition to any outdoor area. Not only does it help extend the outdoor season by giving you a place to entertain even as the weather gets cooler, it also adds ambiance to any gathering. This is a simple DIY once you have your materials selected and muscles ready to work!

Build a Backyard DIY Fire Pit

Step 1: Measure the size of your fire pit. To create an even circle, use the Fiskars® IsoCore™ 3lb Sledge Hammer to tamp down a stick or piece of rebar where you want the exact center of your fire pit to be and tie a string to the end. Extend the string to the length that you want the perimeter of the fire pit to reach and cut using the Fiskars® Cuts+More™ Scissors.

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Step 2: Mark your fire pit outline. Next, pull the string taught and, using the hand holding the string to act as a guide, spray paint down onto the ground while tracing a circle to define the radius.

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Step 3: Dig out the designated space. Following your spray-painted guide, edge the circle using the Fiskars® Long-handled Steel Edger. Once your outline is marked, dig out the interior of the circle between 3 to 5 inches deep using the Fiskars® Long-handled Steel Digging Shovel.

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Step 4: Pour in pea stone. Once the area is dug out and you have a flat circle in the ground, pour pea stone into the hole, which will be the base for your fire pit, and rake smooth using the Fiskars® Aluminum Garden Rake. The addition of pea gravel allows for better drainage and helps to prevent fire from spreading outside of the fire pit once it is lit.

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Step 5: Bust up some concrete. This is a true DIY upcycling project because I built this fire pit out of old concrete slabs that would otherwise be discarded. Instead of tossing, I wanted to give them new life by creating something new out of old materials. You can do the same with miscellaneous rocks lying around your property – anything that is fire proof can be added into this design.

To begin assembling the outside of the fire pit, get your materials down to a manageable size by using the Fiskars® IsoCore™ 10lb Sledge Hammer to break up large pieces. Be sure to wear safety glasses as you break up your materials.

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Step 6: Mix the mortar. Next, you'll need to adhere your materials together into the circle shape for the fire pit. Mix mortar in a wheel barrow by adding water as needed until the mortar is the consistency of peanut butter. Stir the mortar and water using a shovel to incorporate.

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Step 7: Arrange your fire pit materials. Stack the concrete blocks on the ground and on top of each other using the mortar mixture to hold the pieces together. Tamp down with the Fiskars® 3lb Sledge Hammer to remove any air pockets and ensure each slab is secured to the next. Wait for the mortar to fully dry before using, then start a fire and enjoy the warmth!

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