• Hometalker
  • Saint Louis, MO

Light Your Table on Fire... (Seriously!)

14 Materials
1 Day

When the weather's warm, parties tend to migrate to the outdoors. And what hotter way to enjoy your time outside than around an oh-so modern Fire Table. I absolutely love the look...but not the hefty price tag. It's easy to make your own - one that will be the envy of your friends, but at a fraction of the retail cost.
Here’s your supply list:
·          One metal table with removable middle tile.  I found this square metal table with slate tiles and a removable umbrella support at my local close out store for only $90
·         Metal planter – you can find these anywhere – discount store, home improvement, etc, just make sure it’s lightweight and metal
·         Metal wire – while you can purchase bendable wire, I used a metal hanger.  They come free with my dry cleaning!
·         Wire mesh – I found this at a home improvement store.  It’s typically used for landscaping.
·         Lava rock – I chose lava rock because it went along with the ‘fire’ theme…and I happened to already have it in my backyard.  Another freebee!
·         Cans of gel fuel.  While there are a few different brands on the market, I’ll be doing a future video on making your own! 
·         Glass – either purchase cut to size or reuse existing glass.  I found mine in the perfect size in vintage windows!  You’ll need four to complete your surround.
·         Clear silicone
·         Wood corner pieces – cut to size and painted to match your table
·         A box or some other ‘mold’ to help you form your 90 degree corners for your glass surround.  You’ll see why in a minute!

Have everything you need?  Let’s get started!  

First, remove the middle tile/piece from the table - mine is held in by screws.  I'll be using these screw holes to suspend the metal planter shortly.

Drill holes in the metal planter.  Make sure the holes are big enough for your wire/hanger to pass through and that they are positioned for easy hanging from the screw holes.
light your table on fire seriously
Run the wire through the planter's new holes and suspend via the table's screw holes.  Make sure the planter hangs just under the level of the table.

Cut the mesh to size, just enough to catch the lip all the way around.  You'll want it to sit snug and not fall in.
light your table on fire seriously
Create the glass surround.  Use the box as a mold to hold two panes of glass and make a 90 degree corner.  I found this to be so much easier than trying to make a 90 degree angle on my own.  Run a thick bead of silicone down the inside corner to hold the glass.  Let dry.  Do the same thing with the other two panes of glass.  Once everything is dry, stand up both sets together to make a square.

Use the silicone to affix the corner trim to each corner on the outside.  I used masking tape to keep the trim in place until the silicone dried.  Silicone on the inside and outside will hold the surround together and since it dries clear, it's not noticeable.
light your table on fire seriously
light your table on fire seriously
Once the silicone is dried, you are ready to assemble the table!
Place a can of gel fuel inside the planter (watch my YouTube 'On The Fly...DIY Gel Fuel' video on making a DIY version that saves you money!). If you purchased gel fuel, make sure the label is off prior to this step.

With the can inside the planter, place your mesh on top and then your glass surround on top of that.  Place lava rock on top of the mesh, covering the mesh almost completely.  You'll want to leave a circle of mesh in the middle so the air can reach your fuel and for the flame to come up.

Lighting it is the fun part!  Light the end of an uncooked spaghetti noodle and stick the end down through the mesh and into the gel fuel.  It should light immediately!
light your table on fire seriously
That's it!  One amazing Fire Table that will be heart of the party and the center of attention...all without breaking the bank!
light your table on fire seriously
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Jim Cox
    on May 24, 2018

    Looks great. How does it do in wind?

    • OnTheFly...DIY
      on May 25, 2018

      I'd originally experimented with a shorter piece of glass (before building the final version and then doing this video). The wind caught the flame, got too close to the glass, and then the glass cracked. But with a taller-than-the-flame piece of glass, I've had no problems in mild to slightly moderate wind - the flame stays beautifully straight and away from the glass. Strong winds, though - I wouldn't recommend.

  • DeniseW
    on May 24, 2018

    How do you put the flame out? Do you have to let all the fuel be used up?

    • OnTheFly...DIY
      on May 25, 2018

      Ooh, good question! Yes, I usually let the fuel burn out, which is about 2-3 hours (if I'm outside eating and socializing, that timeframe isn't an issue). However, for those few times I do need to put it out early, here's what I do...and caveating this with 'please be careful if you go this route!': Lift the glass surround straight up so you clear the flame and set aside (it should be cool to the touch). Carefully grab the outside edges of the mesh (again should be cool to the touch on the outer rims) and lift away. Using bbq tongs, I place the lid on the can to snuff out the flame.

      If you know you won't be using the table for 2-3 hours, you can pour or spoon some of the gel fuel into a cleaned-out tuna can or soup can. That way, you can enjoy the flame, won't need to be out the 2-3 hour window, and you won't have to deal with putting the flame out. I do a video tutorial on making a homemade gel fuel (it's posted on my Hometalk profile as well as my YouTube channel) so you can make up a bunch, store it in an airtight container, and use a tuna/soup can to use smaller amounts at a time.

      Home this helps!! :)

  • Ted Capacillo
    on May 27, 2018

    Won’t there be a risk of the glass breaking because of its proximity to the heat from the flames?

    • OnTheFly...DIY
      on May 29, 2018

      And as long as the fire doesn't touch the glass, it won't break - it's the sudden change in temp that makes the glass break and not the heat (I used to do glass fusing when I had access to a kiln). The important part is ensuring the glass is tall enough to create a wind barrier so the wind doesn't make the flame dance. I used 12" tall pieces so between that and the planters sitting under the table, my flame stays lower than the top of the glass and perfectly straight. I've have been using these tables for 6 years and no glass breakage :)

Join the conversation

3 of 13 comments
  • Mikie
    on May 28, 2018

    What a kewl thing to do. Wow! It never fails to impress me of the Ideal's Hometalker's come up with and Share. Just fantastic, really neat job......I give you 10-atta-girls.

  • Erika Lou Busey Kaufman
    on Jul 8, 2018

    This is truly AWESOME! What a creative mind that you have! I would adore trying this!

    • OnTheFly...DIY
      on Jul 10, 2018

      Thank you so much!! :) I hope you do and I would love to see a pic of your finished table!

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