Do you have any unfinished projects around your house? Can I tell you that I hate unfinished projects. When we bought our builder grade home it came with a random fire pit that looked like an unfinished project. How do you dress up a fire pit? It took me six months to figure it out but I finally decided to create a fire pit with pea gravel and pavers. The pea gravel around the fire pit creates a nice gravel fire pit seating area.
Before we dive into this outdoor DIY project, I want to show you our simple outdoor fire pit before we added anything around it. We have a large back yard and this poor paver fire pit sits in the middle of it. So random!
Doesn’t it look sad and lonely? Ok, I know it’s not a person, but it needed some help!
Side note; this post isn’t about how to create a fire pit but rather how to build a pea gravel patio around a fire pit. If you are looking for how to build a concrete paver fire pit check out my recent post about that.
At the same time I was contemplating the fate of this fire pit, we were also debating on what to do with our mess of a front yard.
Below is what the front landscaping looked like when we bought the house.
We decided it looked overgrown and not that great to begin with, so it was time to re landscape. That left us with a bunch of nice and expensive pavers that we didn’t know what to do with. I had thoughts about tearing the fire pit down because I just didn’t like the way it looked. Until one day I had a thought.
I could REPURPOSE those Pavers and use them for a new backyard project involving our lonely fire pit.
So during my “AHA” moment I decided to place the pavers from the front yard around the fire pit, fill it in with pea gravel, and then add some chairs for seating! Wouldn’t that make a lovely gravel fire pit seating area?
I really wanted an inviting area where we could to sit and roast s’mores, tell stories, (sing kumbaya! LOL) or whatever you do around a fire pit.
This is where my outdoor fire pit makeover really begins.
I thought about waiting on my hubby to help move the pavers, but being the impatient person that I am, I couldn’t wait. As soon as I put my 1 year old down for a nap, I raced outside to begin. And yes, I laid all those pavers in a circle around the fire pit all by myself. WOW, let’s just say my back felt it for the next few days.
How to make a pea gravel patio around a fire pit
Once I moved the pavers from the front yard to the back yard I decided where to place them.
As far as creating a perfect circle with those pavers, I didn’t do any fancy calculating like my husband the engineer would have done.
I did measure the distance from the fire pit to the pavers to make sure it was even on all sides. This is how I did it;
- Set the first paver down where you want it. Measure the distance from the base of the fire pit to the base of the first paver.
- Continue to place 2-3 more pavers next to the first one and then measure.
- Continue this process until you have completed the circle
Note; This was a very rough and simple way to make a circle. In my post where I shared how to create a simple paver fire pit I shared a more accurate (but still simple) way to measure a circle. Below is a picture from that post.
Rather than measuring and “guesstimating” where the pavers should go I used string and a pencil to make a perfect circle.
Back to creating a lovely pea gravel patio area around our lonely fire pit.
After I created a circle with the pavers, I needed to decide what I wanted to fill the space with. As always, I needed a budget friendly solution.
Ideally, we would have liked to lay concrete, but we decided for the mean time that pea gravel was quick, cheap and easy.
Here is where we went wrong. Learn from our mistake friends.
We decided NOT to dig up all the grass, but to spray it with a very strong grass killer (my husband swore it would kill everything). This was a very bad idea, because months later, we STILL had to continually spray the gravel with grass killer.
Word to the wise; if I was to do it over again, remove the grass, then put a layer of the flower bed liner down for extra protection, THEN add the pea gravel. Learn from my mistakes. I tend to make a lot of them…
I did, however, learn from this mistake. When we created a DIY gravel patio in our current home, we made sure to remove all the grass and lay a heavy weed barrier before we put down the gravel.
I have to admit, the kids were more excited about our new pea gravel filled fire pit than we were. I didn’t realize at the time how much it would resemble a sand box to them.
Speaking of a sand box, my only word of warning; the neighborhood stray cats have used it as a litter box. EWWWWW. If you have any ideas on how to discourage this puulease let me know below.
We’re pleased with the way it turned out and have already enjoyed a few fires. With a little thought and effort, you can dress anything up, even a random outdoor fire pit!
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Thanks for stopping by friends.