As the weather cools down, it’s nice to spend more time outside, and there’s nothing like putting on a sweater and enjoying an early sunset from the back porch with a cup of hot cocoa. Although the crisp fall breeze is better than the sweltering summer heat, chilly night time temperatures can make you want to rush back inside. Instead, think about making a fire pit to enhance your favorite autumn season spot.

Here are 4 easy DIY projects to make your own fire pit to help you celebrate the season.

Portable Fire Pit

DIY guru Karen Bertelsen designed and made her own portable fire pit, which is perfect for your porch, backyard or even a camping trip.

What you’ll need:

  • A metal planter of your size and style (It is easier if you use a square or rectangle planter rather than one with curved edges.)
  • Cheap glass frames (Measure them and make sure they are the right size to fit the edges of your planter.)
  • Rocks (Any rocks will do! They add decorative flair.)
  • Metal mesh
  • Gel fuel (Make sure you are using gel fuel for fireplaces; gel fuel for cooking will not work!)
  • Marine silicone

What to do:

  • Start by using the silicone to glue the glass pieces together to create a box.
  • Then, place the gel fuel container at the bottom of your planter, and lay the metal mesh on top of it.
  • Cover the mesh with the rocks so you cannot see the metal peeking through.
  • Place the glass frame on top of the planter.

For more detailed instructions, visit Design Sponge. You also can use their website for inspiration in home decorating and DIY projects.

Existing Fireplace

If you have an ugly or out-of-date fireplace in your yard, you can easily update it.

What you’ll need:

  • Trowel
  • Mortar
  • Decorative items (i.e. stones, tiles, bricks, etc.)

What to do:

  • Lay an even layer of mortar across the surface of the fireplace with your trowel.
  • Then, place your new pieces (stones, tiles, bricks, etc.) flat in the mortar.
  • Make sure you have a level surface by pushing larger stones, tiles or bricks deeper if need be.
  • Enjoy your mosaic fireplace.

​For further instructions and pictures, visit HGTV.

Recycled Washing Machine Drum

This project is really cool, quick and inexpensive for anybody looking for a small fire pit.

What you’ll need:

  • Recycled steel washing machine drum (Try checking used appliance stores to cut down on your costs.)
  • Wire brush
  • Cut-off wheel
  • Safety glasses and gloves

What to do:

  • Get rid of any plastic and any build up in the drum. (This includes the plastic rim and base.)
  • Remove the center spindle.
  • Cut off the metal lip, and grind it down using the flapper-wheel.
  • Smooth the top lip.
  • Attach steel legs so it does not sit on the ground.
  • Paint the outside using high-heat paint.

Find detailed instructions and pictures at House & Fig.

Concrete Fire Pit

You also can make concrete fire pits that are great for wooded areas.

What you’ll need:

  • Retaining wall blocks
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Steel pit ring with tabs
  • Metal grate

What to do:

  • Dig a 12-inch deep, round hole 2 feet wider than the pit.
  • Put in 4 inches of gravel and sand, and make it level.
  • Place the base blocks down.
  • Fill in the remaining space with gravel. (This will almost bury the base, making it stronger.)
  • Lay more courses of stone, and add more layers with concrete in between. (Leave some gaps so the fire can receive some air for fuel.)
  • Set the steel ring in the middle before placing the final layer.

See detailed instructions and photographs at Instructables.

All of these DIY projects are easy and inexpensive. If you don’t already own some of the larger equipment and don’t want to buy it, you can rent tools at your local hardware store or online. For example, Neff Rental has all kinds of equipment for concrete use (this can be used for the concrete fire pit).

DIY projects don’t have to be scary or overwhelming. You can make fire pits out of standard or unconventional items. Try these out with a partner, friend or family member and get a fire going in your yard. Fall is the season you want to be outdoors, so start enjoying your yard and crisp autumn nights before they’re gone.