I have been really enjoying concrete casting lately. It’s crazy how many project you can make out of one bag of concrete. Remember these concrete cacti, this caged planter, these asymmetric planters, and even these orb bookends? All of them, along with today’s DIY splatter painted fire bowl, are from the same bag on concrete! And I still have half the bag left!
I have been wanting a gas fire pit outside in our courtyard for years, but I still can’t get over the price tag of actually buying one yet. And all the reviews for the less expensive ones seem like they will fall apart quickly. So alas, I have been without. But after trying a few beginner concrete casting projects, I decided to try my hand at making a fire bowl. While it does take a little time at the sanding stage, the whole process only took one day (including the curing time) and now I have a completely custom modern DIY splatter painted fire bowl for my family to use to make s’mores outside. Because, let’s be honest, that is the whole reason I wanted a fire pit in the first place!
Isn’t she a beaut?! Now who’s ready to make their own?
-White masonry cement
-Three mixing bowls (two large and one slightly smaller that fits inside the large. I used IKEA mixing bowls I had on hand)
-Heavy grit sanding brick
-Acrylic paint (I went with a bright pink and black, but you can adjust this as you like)
-Ethanol sterno cans (the pink gel ethanol cans are food safe for direct contact with food like roasting marshmallows)
-Lava rocks or high heat glass pieces for fire pits
Begin by rubbing the inside of one large bowl and the outside of the smaller bowl with a coat of vegetable oil. Then fill your second large bowl 3/4 of the way full with powdered cement. Add water according to the package directions (I just eye ball it and keep adding water until it resembles thick pancake batter) and mix thoroughly with the spoon. Once fully mixed and resembling a thick batter, transfer the concrete to the large oil coated bowl. Next, tap the sides of the bowl and wiggle the bowl to remove any air bubbles trapped inside. Then press your second smaller bowl into the concrete until the concerete comes up to the top edge of the bowl. Use large rocks or weights in the smaller bowl to keep it submerged in the concerete until the concrete cures. Now let set overnight until cured.
When the concrete has cured, use pliers or your fingers to pull out the small bowl from the concrete. Then tip the large bowl over and remove the concrete fire bowl. You may need to tap or wiggle the bowl a bit to loosen it, but the vegetable oil will help it slide out.
Once removed, give it a good sanding to make the top flat and the edges smooth. Then paint the top rim of the bowl with your color of choice. When the paint has dried, take the bowl outside for the next steps. To splatter paint your bowl, you will want to mix a few drops of water with your black paint and then saturate your paint brush with the paint and tap your paint brush handle on your hand over the bowl to flick off bits of paint on both the inside and outside of your fire bowl. Then let the paint dry.
Once dry, add your sterno can to the middle of the bowl with the lid off (you want it off so you can light the fire once the rocks are in, but you will need to cover the sterno if you don’t plan to use it right away). Then cut a piece of chicken wire to fit inside the bowl. Fold over and sharp edges and add your lava rocks over the chicken wire.
When you are ready to light your fire, simply pull back a few rocks to expose your sterno and use a long lighter or match to light the flammable gel. Then you are ready to roast your s’mores!
I spray painted the ends of a few fondue skewers to use as our mini roasting sticks. Because the bowl puts out minimal heat, the sticks can be store right on the edge as seen above.
I love my new DIY splatter painted fire bowl and how funky and colorful it is since I got to make it just my style. When making your own, feel free to customize the paint job however you like. Maybe beach ball stripes, or a solid color, or even a color block look would be cool.
PS. Did you see the new 80’s themed pillows that were just added to the Kailo Chic shop?! While these aren’t outdoor pillows, they really complete the whole look of my little fire pit lounge area.