DIY Fire Pit Tutorial

DIY your own backyard fire pit in three easy steps!

#1: Have a dead or dying tree that must be taken down.

This is/was our beloved giant ash tree, or as we lovingly referred to it: the Big Ass Tree (clever, bordering on the profane is a gift…).  Ash trees typically have a lifespan of about 30 years and that’s pushing it.  This one was 35-years plus and it was throwing off branches the size of mid-sized cars; it was time for it to come down.  Our arborist said it was a testament to our care that it had lived so long and looked so good, but that once the giant limbs start breaking off, it’s time to bring down the entire tree, or risk it coming down during a storm.

The tree shaded most of our house, but the nail in its coffin was that it was located in close proximity to our bedroom.  I’d get out of bed during every violent storm to see if it was gonna come crashing down and crush us. Can’t be having that kind of nonsense.

We said our sad goodbyes and took down that mammoth badboy.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


#2: Have the crew cut the stump low and semi-inverted (or DIY, if you’re that much of a badass by cutting down your own giant trees) .

The poor crew.  The tree was bigger than anyone imagined.  They kept cutting; it seemingly kept growing new branches.  So. Much. Tree.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


Soon, they got it down to working size.  Come on, fire pit!  Truth is, this pic still makes me sad, because it was a great tree and I hated to see it go.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial

I explained what I was shooting for in the pit and the guys got to work:

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial



DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


Success (took a few hours of work and discussion)!

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


The desolate scene of the crime.  Things were looking bleak.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


Not for Dexter: MINE!

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


The inversion: the inside was cut in a slight V angle, so the soon-to-be burning wood would have a place to rest.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


This was what the sad yard and pit looked like last summer after everything was cleaned and we were ready to burn stuff.  The tree was so dense that even shade-tolerant St. Augustine grass refused to grow underneath it.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


#3: Start burning ALL THE THINGS in your stump, aka, new fire-pit.

With a little TLC and some new sod, this is what she looks like this year:

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


You can see that the grass has fully grown in and that the remaining tree roots add an interesting design to the hillbilly fire pit.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


Underneath the kindling, is a burnt out spot that grows deeper with each fire.  Once the pit burns down far enough, we’ll add stone around the perimeter to retain the shape:

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


Usually there are chairs and a small table out here.  After all, one needs sustenance and adult beverages if one is going to engage in a proper fire pit conversation.

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


In conclusion:Making a fire pit out of your tree stump is > using your tree stump as a table for your potted plants.  (So far, so good, but as for you and your stump pit, err on the side of caution. If you think there is a danger to igniting anything other than the stump, don’t do it!)

This: YES

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial


And most definitely, more of this:

DIY Fire Pit Tutorial

When I first ventured this idea to Husband, he was skeptical.  So Texas hillbilly! Now?  Now, he loves that pit as much as I do. Nothing better after a long day than to head out back, sit by a roaring fire (although, not in the summer. that’s just torture) and let everything go.

Any one else with a DIY fire pit from a tree?  Anyone?!

~I am not a professional fire-pit maker, so know that this tutorial is purely my experience of what we did. Proceed with caution and safety for your situation.~


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  1. That is really cool! I would have never thought to do something like that!!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      We know it’s kinda redneck, but we love it so! I thought after a year of burning stuff we’d be ready to rock it this year, but that stump is hanging in.

  2. Wow! This is brilliant! Talk about turning lemons (the loss of your beloved tree) into lemonade (the coolest firepit on the block)! Well done!

  3. Home Coming says

    For cool! I’d love for you to link up to The DIYers.

  4. What a great idea for bringing new joy from an old tree!

    Fire pits are every where on the news here. There are some beautiful fire pits on the beaches here in southern California but more and more of them are being removed because the smoke bothers the neighbors…. AQMD said they were safe so now the goal is to no longer allow the AQMD to decide! I do hope they get to stay.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      We try to make sure that our neighbors are bothered by the smoke. I love our pit so much, I’d be sad if we were forced to make it a planter (lol).

  5. this is SO something my husband and i would do. AND it helps to get the roots’ dying process sped up — double win!!

    our fire pit is a repurposed old oil can. it was in our yard and broken in half, so we put the cut half buried and put stone around the rest….looks all fancy…cost $0. just like yours.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I like fancy for nothing. But, I like paying nothing for something even better! Now I totally wanna see yours.

  6. What a great idea! We have a tree that was taken out this summer, but it’s close to our neighbors, so not firepit!

  7. I would have never thought to do this. And it doesn’t catch the stump on fire? Fantastic!!

    Love for you to link this up on Tell Us Tuesday!

    xoxo Lauren

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      It doesn’t catch on fire because it’s still green.

      • OK I definitely want to do this! I have a large tree stump from a tree that I had to have cut down months ago, but unfortunately I’m not sure what kind of tree it is and I know I will have to cut tree stump down shorter than it already is…what I’m concerned about is, doors it have to be the type of tree like yours or can it be any kind of tree? My stump is quite large in diameter & about 4ft high at the moment, until I cut it down a bit to do this…..would love your opinion on this! Please!

        • Sorry about the auto-correct, I didn’t catch it! Part of the sentence was suppose to say Does it need to be the same type of tree as yours or can it be any kind of tree? Thanks, I’d appreciate your opinion!

        • I honestly have no idea, Elizabeth. We pretty much winged it. Maybe check some gardening forums for more specific info. Sorry I’m not more help. I can tell you that when we started using it as a firepit the stump was still green as opposed to dried already. I don’t know that I would have done it had the stump been there for a while. Being green meant the stump itself would do very little burning.

  8. Awesome! And kinda weird…as in, our semi-dwarf peach tree chose to die this year, though we were able to get one final harvest out of it! And at the same time, our wrought iron chimanea is on its last leg, my Jeff says we won’t get another season out of it. So, the weird part, he keeps talking about cutting down the peach tree, and using it and the upper part of the chimanea to make a bird bath! All I keep focusing on is when is he going to buy a new chimanea or fire pit or make one….

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      LOL! MAKE ONE! Although, if I’m remembering correctly, peach trees don’t have a wide trunks. It might make a mini-pit!

  9. This is great. I’ve got one of these big stumps in the back yard… Thanks for the idea. Linda

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      If the area around the stump is vulnerable, you can also circle the outside perimeter with sand or small stones. We love this pit!

  10. Great idea. But, not only would I need a bigger tree, I’d need a bigger yard. 😉

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      When it came down I was horrified, then decided to make lemonade from the situation. We haven’t regretted it (but we do have the yard for it).

  11. We’re talking about building a firepit in the pool area, but that’s not quite what I had in mind. Ingenious though! We have no trees in the pool area anyhow. That was pretty interesting way to get your firepit going!


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