How to Build a Fire - Tutorial Tuesday

What screams Fall more than sitting out in the crisp air in front of a crackling campfire? Our fire pit was one of the things that was intended from the beginning when we built our home 6 years ago. We wanted an outside spot to entertain and to hang out as a family, centered around a campfire.

We leveled the ground and hired a landscaper to build a platform with large rocks and pea gravel and set a fire ring made from scrap metal in the center. To this day, it's one of our favorite spots to entertain.

If you don't have a set up like this, you can still allot a spot in your yard for your fires, but first, you need to know how to start a good blaze.

Always start with nice dry hardwood, and begin to construct Lincoln Log type layers like this:

You can stack it up to 4 layers high for a larger blaze, but 3 layers is good for a low key family fire.

Next, gather some small twigs and skinnier pieces of wood and place them into the center.

Twist sheets of newspaper to use as starters, like this:

Stick those twisties in the nooks and crannies and light 'em up! (it doesn't hurt to stick in some fatwood or a few wax firestarters from Home Depot into the bottom for an effortless start).

Look this! A boyscout worthy campfire, and some smokey fun for the night!

Add some hot cider, poking sticks, marshmallows, and some friends, and you've got yourself a party!

Speaking of parties, did you know Kimba is having a DIY Linky Party? She is...click on the button to head on over.



  1. Great Tutorial. Now if it would ever get cold here....

  2. Thanks for the tips. It's just about fire-pit weather in our neck o' the woods. Trouble is, we don't have a fire pit!

    SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

    Just Do It!

  3. We don't have a fire pit, but we do have a place where we gather around the fire. I agree. It is great!

  4. We have smoke our neighbors out too many times with our fires! We still love a campfire - even if our neighbors don't love us.

  5. Passing this one on to the Hubby! Once his fires are going they are great ~ its just the big smoke out before they catch that arn't so great :)

  6. My husband used to do the whole log cabin thing....except crazy big! I can remember in high school all of us sitting out by the fire, laying in the grass, watching the stars and dreaming big dreams.....man, I miss those days! I'm going to have to call up some old friends and make Jim light up a (smaller) fire!

  7. I just love the smell of Autumn! The smoky fires of leaves burning is just gorgeous! I love all the end of the year sort of things, and just getting ready for Spring to start it all over again!

  8. I have always gone with the tee pee method (which is not so great, btw). Your lincoln log method is awesome. Now unlike some of these other girls, I'm hoping for WARMER weather so that I dare to go sit outside for long periods of time. lol.


  9. Jen, you crack me up! In those pictures, my hair is seriously a hot mess! I guess that's the only blessing with having the curl: no one can tell when it's the "messy-on-purpose-to-try-to-look-cool-look" or "just-seriously-MESSY!"

    And I can't wait to build a bonfire this Halloween! Thanks for the tips!

  10. My husband is Canadian - building fires and all things woodsy/outdoors is second nature to him. It's like being married to Survivorman!! (gee go figure, he's a Canadian, too!)

    Love your fire pit with the animal cutouts! Did the landscaper make that or did you guys purchase it like that?

  11. Oh my goodness, how fun! In California, it's illegal to start a real fire almost every day of the year. No fun at all...it takes away the whole nostalgia of fall/winter.

  12. Judy, we bought it like that from a garden center near our home. They use scrap metal and lazor cut shapes and designs in the ring. Recycling at it's best!

  13. I can almost feel the heat! Great tutorial. :)

  14. It looks so neat and organized and un-tee-pee-ish. Love it!

  15. I think women don't always know how to do this. Awesome tips. I love building fires, lighting candles, if I wasn't pushed in the right direction I could have ended up a pyro (spelling?...you get the idea) Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

  16. I use diesel fuel! LOL! I light big fires! haha!

  17. Jen, I love October fires in our fire pit. What a great post.

    Normally I get frustrated doing exactly what you outlined and just end up pouring gasoline on it. Not safe, but pretty gosh darn effective. LOL.

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