PHOTO: Jessica Walliser
July 21, 2017

Nothing says summer like a campfire. But not everyone has the space for a full-size fire pit or even a chimnea. If you’re an urbanite or you just want to watch a flickering flame without the hassle of burning logs, ashes and soot, then this tabletop fire pit bowl project is for you.

Once you have all the materials gathered, this cool tabletop fire pit bowl takes just a few minutes to make. But, it’s important that you use the correct materials to construct your fire bowl; if you don’t, it could create a safety issue. As you gather the materials listed below, be sure to purchase fire glass and not decorative glass. Fire glass is made to withstand very high temperatures. It also will not emit harmful gases, discolor or crack when it’s heated. Also be sure to use only fire gel fuel and not the Sterno fuel cups used to keep food warm in a chafing dish.

Materials Needed For The Tabletop Fire Pit Bowl

1 bowl-shaped, decorative, glazed ceramic garden pot
1 canister of fire gel fuel
1 bag of fire glass (available at patio and fireplace stores, or online)
roll of hardware cloth
tin snips
Sharpie marker
gloves

Step 1: Trace The Bowl On The Hardware Cloth

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Roll out a section of the hardware cloth and invert the pot over it. Use the marker to carefully trace the outer edge of the pot rim onto the hardware cloth.

Step 2: Cut The Hardware Cloth & Place The Bowl In A Safe Spot

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Cut out the circle with the tin snips. Once the circle has been cut, downsize its diameter by cutting away the outermost inch of the circle. Place the pot on a table or another flat surface. Keep it away from flammable items, such as table linens, decorations and clothes.

Step 3: Insert Fire Gel Canister & Fire Glass

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Place the canister of fire gel fuel in the center of the pot and surround it with a one- to two-inch-deep layer of fire glass. Do not use rocks from the yard, as they can crack and explode when exposed to heat. Also, wear gloves whenever handling fire glass, as some edges may be sharp.

Step 4: Insert Hardware Cloth Circle

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Place the circle of hardware cloth into the pot, resting it against the inner surface of the pot. It should sit two or three inches below the pot’s rim. If it’s too big, cut the hardware cloth circle a bit smaller until it fits.

Step 5: Add More Fire Glass

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Cover the hardware cloth circle with another inch or two of the fire glass, keeping the fire glass away from the center of the pot, where the gel canister is. This will make it easier to light.

Step 6: Light It Up!

fire pit bowl
Jessica Walliser

Insert a lighted long-stick match down through the hardware cloth at the center of the pot to light the gel. Enjoy your tabletop fire pit bowl!

Tips To Maintain Your Tabletop Fire Pit Bowl

  • To extinguish the flame, place a ceramic plate over the top of the bowl to smother the flame. Do not extinguish the flame with water.
  • Store your tabletop fire pit bowl indoors, and do not allow rainwater to collect in it.
  • Keep the fire glass dry.
  • When your fire fuel gel canister runs out, simply lift off the fire glass and hardware cloth circle and replace it.

Filtered Under Urban Farming

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