How to Make a Fire Bowl

by Glen
5 Materials
3 Hours
This was one of my most exciting projects I have worked on. With the little experience I have, I love concrete work. I will give you all the steps I took to create this awesome fire bowl.

The bowls I use I'm not sure where you can get them. I snagged these from my office after a lunch part. They are plastic catering bowls. I believe any bowls could work.
Here is the list of products I used.
- Gel Fuel for the fire
- Black Marbles 
Instead of Marbles you can use this Fire Glass Onyx Black
-Sakrete high strength concrete mix
- 2 bowls of your choice ( the bowls I used were 12inchs for the large bowls and 10 inches)
- Constructions wire mesh
Tools & Miscellaneous Items Used
- Hand shovel 
- Rubber Mallet 
- Palm Sander aka Sheet Sander 
- Sandpaper 80 grit and 220 grit
- Any oil should work (I used motor oil)
- Weights or large rock (hold bowl in place)
- Tin Snips
1. I would recommend using a separate mixing bowl. I used the same large bowl, but the scratched from the shovel transferred to the form.

2. Add concrete mix into a bowl and add water. Be sure to mix the to concrete well. Do not over water it.

3. Next, you can oil your large bowl, to provide an easier release.

4. Add concrete to the large bowl. Then sit the smaller bowl in the form and press down. You'll want to do this so you can see how much concrete you will actually need. Once you find how much you need, you should clean the smaller bow. Dry it off and oil it up.

5. Place the smaller bowl in the concrete then place weights on top. Anything will work that is heavy enough to prevent the bowl from rising.

6. Vibrate the bow using a sander and a mallet. The goal is to get the bubbles to rise to the top and escape the form.
After three days of sitting, I figured it was time to remove the concrete from the bowl.
To be honest I was blown away at how well this came out. It was like glass.
The top edge was a bit rough. To clean get it up sanded it down using sandpaper.

80 grit to knock it down some and 220 grit to smooth it. The higher in grits you go with smoother it will be.
To support the rocks or in my case the marbles. I used some construction wire mesh.
I shaped the mesh to sit in the bowl. The mesh can be found at your local hardware store. I use tin snips to cut the mesh down to size, and my hands to shape it.
Once you cut this stuff it can be very sharp. So be sure to bend it over and to make it safe for handling.
I am using Gel Fuel for the fire

This one last about 6 hours of burning time. I usually just smother it to kill the fire for reuse.

The process
1. Remove the lid from the can, then sit the can in the bowl.
2. Add the mesh
3. Add the rocks/ marbles (leave the center open) the fire needs to breathe.
4. LIGHT IT UP!!!!
If you find this helpful be sure to stop by my youtube channel and subscribe for more home and shop projects.

Check out the video for more information.

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Suggested materials:
  • Gel Fuel   (
  • Black Marbles   (
  • Concrete mix   (Local Hardware)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 23 questions
  • Anna Anna on Jun 26, 2018

    Hi I already made a concrete floor, but rough surface, week a long before. Now I like to make surface smooth surface. What i need to do & what materials to use to make surface as smooth. Pl suggest mr

  • Julie Higgins Julie Higgins on Jul 06, 2018

    Just to be clear, the fire gel goes into the can right?

  • Diamond Moss Diamond Moss on Jul 15, 2018

    Is the fire bowl meant to be stationary or portable? And the rock pit for the bowl how large does it need to extend.

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2 of 63 comments
  • Gillian Gillian on Jul 01, 2021

    Thanks. Clear Instructions, must give this some serious thought.

  • Clarebaxter Clarebaxter on Feb 06, 2023

    I loved this idea and will my ask husband to make it for me. Your bowl is beautiful, and you made it look so easy! I want a larger one, though; I hope I can find it or maybe a different form. I just had my backyard relandscaped, a new brick patio, brick sidewalks, and fieldstone-lined flower beds; I can't wait to use my backyard this spring! This bowl would be perfect for evening entertainment! I found the blue glass on Amazon and will order that for my bowl but the black is pretty too! Thanks for the idea!