A concrete fire bowl is a stylish, durable backyard feature that lets you enjoy the warmth and ambiance of an open flame. Handcrafting your own concrete bowl is a satisfying DIY project. The concrete material allows you to shape a unique, custom firepit that complements your landscape. 

Concrete bowls are safer and more permanent than portable metal pits. Read on to learn how to create your own concrete fire bowl using basic molds and standard concrete mixing techniques.

How to Make a Concrete Fire Bowl

You need the right materials before you start making your concrete fire bowl. 

Gather these supplies first: 

  • One bag of Quikrete Concrete (I used Fast Setting, but Sand/Topping Mix also works well)
  • Molds
  • Cooking Spray
  • One Bucket for Mixing
  • Weights
  • Sandpaper
  • Sand
  • Fire source (gel fuel or a mosquito-repelling canister would work)
  • Rocks

Concrete Fire Bowl DIY Instructions

Now that you’ve got the materials you need, it’s time to start constructing your own fire pit. See each step of the process in the dropdown sections below:

When choosing molds for this project, you’ll need two bowls — one larger and one smaller. Test the bowls before buying to ensure they have enough room for the fire bowl thickness. My bowl is about one inch thick.

Next, consider the bowl’s depth. A deeper bowl allows a larger fire, while a more shallow design can prevent accidental burns.

Before starting, gather all materials and tools, including safety gear like gloves and eyewear. Review concrete bag instructions to understand cure times.

Generously spray inside the larger bowl and the outside of the smaller bowl with cooking spray, which acts as a release agent. 

Add dry concrete to a large bucket or wheelbarrow. Check the bag for the correct water-to-concrete ratio. 

Slowly add water while mixing thoroughly until a thick, lump-free consistency is achieved — like thick pancake batter. Add small amounts of dry mix or water as needed.

Once the concrete is the ideal consistency, slowly pour it into the larger prepared mold. 

Spread and smooth into an even layer. Push the smaller lubricated bowl into the concrete center, forcing out air pockets. 

I recommend weighing the smaller bowl down so it stays centered while curing. Cinder blocks or paint cans work well.

Allow the concrete to fully cure per package directions, from 30 minutes for fast-setting mixes up to 24 hours for standard concrete. 

Do not disturb until completely set. Longer cure times will produce stronger concrete.

When cured, remove weights and a smaller bowl, using a slight force to break the suction. Place a board or flat edge on the larger mold and carefully flip it over. Tap the edges with a rubber mallet to release the bowl.

Use 100-grit then 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges and interior. For an organic look, sand it just enough to dull sharp edges. For polished, sand until very smooth.

Next, wash to remove residue and let dry fully. 

Fill the bottom with sand and add rocks or fire glass for decoration. Use gel fuel cans or mosquito-repellent inserts for a clean-burning fire source. 

DIY Concrete Fire Bowl Tips

Reinforced concrete designed for outdoor use is best for fire bowls. An acrylic fortifier can add strength. For visual interest, press stones, tiles, sea glass, or other objects into the concrete before it sets.

Consider using smooth forms made from melamine, plastic, or acrylic. Concrete sealers can extend the life of bowls exposed to weather. However, you should reapply them annually.

Lastly, gel fuel burns cold, but you should still take precautions and have a fire extinguisher nearby.

So, Is Making a Concrete Fire Bowl a Good Choice?

A concrete fire bowl can be very rewarding for DIYers who like making backyard accessories. With simple molds and tools, you can create a one-of-a-kind firepit reflecting your personal style. 

However, this is a labor-intensive, multi-step project. You must mix and cure concrete properly, or cracks may develop. If convenience is your main goal, a prefabricated metal fire pit may be better. But a homemade concrete bowl can be great if you enjoy DIY projects. 

Concrete fire bowls allow you to add a cozy, customizable fire feature to your outdoor space. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about materials, construction, and use.

FAQs About Concrete Fire Bowls

What can you burn in a concrete fire bowl?

Gel fuel is the cleanest, safest option. Never burn wood, which can damage concrete. Sterno cans or mosquito repellent inserts also work.

How long does concrete take to cure for a fire bowl?

Cure times vary — check package directions. Most standard mixes require 24 to 48 hours. Fast-setting mixes may cure in less than an hour. Verify the cure time, and don’t disturb the concrete until it is fully set.

Should you seal a concrete fire bowl?

Sealing is optional but can extend your fire bowl’s life when exposed to the elements. I recommend waterproof sealers, which prevent moisture absorption and freeze-thaw damage. Reapply this sealer annually for the best results.

What do you put under a concrete fire bowl?

Set on a level, non-flammable surface like stone, concrete, or patio pavers to prevent fires. Add sand or glass beads for greater stability, and never place it directly on grass, dirt, or wood.

How thick should a concrete fire bowl be?

Proper thickness is important for curing and strength. A concrete fire bowl should be 1 to 2 inches thick overall, with even thickness throughout.

Editorial Contributors
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Jonathon Jachura


Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.

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Amy DeYoung


Amy DeYoung has a passion for educating and motivating homeowners to improve their lives through home improvement projects and preventative measures. She is a content writer and editor specializing in pest control, moving, window, and lawn/gardening content for Today’s Homeowner. Amy utilizes her own experience within the pest control and real estate industry to educate readers. She studied business, communications, and writing at Arizona State University.

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