My name is Karen and I haven’t lit anything on fire in 5 months. I’m sure I deserve some sort of a chip or something for that.
You see … I’m a bit of a pyromaniac. Technically I’m not a *real* pyromaniac I guess. I mean, I only light things on fire that should be lit on fire. Like kindling and hardwood and pretty much anything with Hello Kitty on it. And of course all of Rush’s 1980′s albums where they dabbled in “New Wave”.
We light fires in the fireplace every night here in old Casa de Karen from October until March. 6 face cords every year go flying up that chimney. But as deep and strong as my love of the log runs, I can’t bring myself to get an outdoor firepit. Once the season for fire rolls around I want to be inside laying on the couch with a hot chocolate and a plate full of cinnamon toast on my chest. Not outside being bitten by the limp stingers of aged mosquitos.
So what’s a pretend pyromaniac girl like me to do in September? When it’s cool out, but not cool enough to trap myself in the house all night with my cats, convertor and fire tongs?
The Answer … The Personal Fire Pit. (as designed by my sister … I saw hers and then immediately came home and made my own exactly like the one she made.) It’s easy and inexpensive to make plus it’s wayyyyyyy nicer than any fire pit I’ve seen for sale in actual stores.
Here we gooooooo …
Materials You Need
Step #2 – Making a Glass Box
** DISCLAIMER! I have used my picture frame glass over and over in this firepit WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS AT ALL!
It is sudden temperature changes that causes glass to break, not necessarily heat. So if you were to take your hot, hot fire pit and throw it in the freezer, chances are it would break. Uneven heating and cooling of the glass is the secondary cause of breakage because it puts stress on the glass. Thin glass is LESS likely to be susceptible to uneven heating and therefore less likely than thick glass to break. This is not my opinion, it is scientific fact.
However, if you’re still frightened by this then go to a glass cutting facility and have tempered glass cut to size for your fire pit.
Also, I have purposely made this fire pit large to keep the glass away from any direct flame. Remember to do the same.**
Step #2 – Making the Pit
Step #3 – Light your fire
What makes this fire pit so amazing is the glass. The flames reflect against it creating dancing flames all over the place! Before I get to the final pictures with the fire pit in it’s rightful home in my back yard I wanted to let you in on a few tips.
1. Make sure you buy gel fuel that’s meant for gel fireplaces. Gel cooking fuel will not work because it usually only creates heat, not an actual flame.
2. Like I said, if you use a proper gel fuel (Real Flame for example) you can actually use this fire pit indoors. Be careful to place it on heat resistant fabric so it doesn’t scorch your furniture. The metal conducts the flame heat a lot!
3. Make sure your rocks are heavy for their size. Rocks that are light are full of air and may explode!
4. You can use any metal planter for this. This was on sale, so this is the one I got for this little fire pit experiment. Black metal square planters that are probably on sale at garden centres right now would look fantastic with white rocks.
5. The gel cans last for about 3 hours, if you’d like to stop the flame earlier, just place something non flammable over the glass box to snuff out the flame. Cans can be relit at a later date or time.
That’s it! That’s all it takes to make your own personal fire pit. $25, about an hour, and a piece of spaghetti. Oh … and a beautiful, golden, flaming match. Heh heh.
NOTE: Many people are having trouble finding a metal planter similar to mine. Remember you can also use terra cotta or ceramic.
If your heart is set on metal, here’s a very similar planter from Crate & Barrel.