How to Build a Mandala-Style In-Ground Fire Pit

We made an in-ground fire pit, then decorate it with colored river rocks and sand to give it a mandala-inspired look.

We made this unique fire pit using easily accessible materials in one afternoon. We suggest using rocks of varying sizes and colors to create your own one-of-a-kind creation.

Tools and Materials

  • fire bowl
  • digging shovel
  • gloves
  • 60 lb. bag all-purpose sand
  • large hand scoop
  • beach pebbles

In-Ground Fire Pit 01:33

Safety is the number one priority with this stone-decorated fire pit.

Step 1: Dig the Hole

Remove the fire basin from the stand. Flip it upside down on the ground and outline the shape using a shovel. Remove the basin. Dig a hole so that the fire basin fits in snug and just below ground level.

Step 2: Add Sand

Line the entire hole with sand. This will help distribute the heat and keep the basin in place. When the basin is settled, add sand to the ground surrounding the basin as well. Give everything a mist with a water hose or spray bottle to set the sand.

Step 3: Layout Design

Determine the design surrounding the fire pit. If needed, utilize a straight edge to help with the design; we simply used a rake and shovel to help create straight lines. String or a tape measure can also help when creating your outline. Add sand to your lines to create a pattern. The sand base will hold rocks in place.

Step 4: Add First Rocks

Start your design around the fire bowl and work your way out. Starting around the bowl will also help hold it in place.

Step 5: Add Larger Rocks

Anchor the four points of your design with larger rocks in a contrasting color. Use a rubber mallet to pound them into the sand.

Photo by: SHAIN RIEVLEY

SHAIN RIEVLEY

Step 6: Connect the Patterns

Place smaller rocks in the same color to connect the larger ones together.

Step 7: Get Creative

Outline the remaining design and fill in with rocks of varying sizes. Remember to leave space to access the fire bowl.

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