Weekend DIY Project: How To Make A Fire Pit from A Washing Machine Tub

Call me crazy, but I’ll bet MacGuyver and Martha, who must have teamed up as a superhero DIY-duo, dreamed up today’s do-it-yourself project: a wash tub fire pit. Come on, the imagination to use an old a washing machine wash tub insert as a make-shift chiminea, could only come from the genius minds of these two! All kidding aside, I loved this project from the get-go. The simplicity and recycling of an ordinary household item into a functional fiery “conversation piece”, is just fun.  Here’s how to make MacGyver and Martha proud:

What you’ll need:

  • Wash tub: this item may be a little hard to find if you don’t already have an old washer you’re about to replace. Check your local appliance repair stores, garage sales, curb-side “take-me’s”, or thrift stores. Here’s a quick “how-to” remove a wash tub from a machine from eHow.com.
  • Fire Bricks or Cinder Blocks: to place wash tub on top off to keep off patio surface.
  • Optional: fire-proof paint. If you want to be-dazzle your fire-pit, have fun and take an extra step with color.
  • Wood: to burn!

Check out this fantastic fire pit, its perfect size, heat conduction, and the pretty lights emitting from the built-in holes. It’s a good thing!

eHow.com offers some good warning points when using a wash tub fire pit:

  • Keep children supervised at all times around a any bonfire pit, especially this type because the metal tub gets really hot.
  • Use a dolly or cart when moving the washing machine tub while its still lit. Better yet wait until it gets cool.
  • Make sure you’re not to close to the house or any trees when finding a spot for your pit, because the flames could get big due to the wind, and can start a fire.
Note: All wash tub fire pit photos courtesy of Bridget Johnson, edit3.
All photography by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly
Skaie Knox

Written by Skaie Knox

Decor/Design/Repurposing nerd and DIYer, freelance writer, and the Editor-in-Chief/Curator for the HomeJelly blog and soon-to-open, HomeJelly shop. Skaie is also a published singer/songwriter and kid's book author. She was voted "Class Clown", and is a rescue dogs crusader.


  1. Grace on April 15, 2013 at 5:45 am

    THANK YOU!! I have this old dryer drum that’s been in the back yard for forever and this is EXACTLY what I was looking for!!

    • Skaie Knox on April 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      @Grace…you’re SO welcome!!! So glad you found this idea helpful…one of my best friends took this picture at her brother’s house. They had a total blast and the dryer drum fire pit was a hit! Please send me a photo of yours if you get the chance to: skaie@homejelly.com. Thanks for stopping by for a chat!

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