DIY Tabletop Fire Bowl Made in Minutes

Tabletop fire bowls made of concrete, ceramic or terra cotta can provide a sense of warmth and ambiance to your outdoor dining space and can also serve as relaxing outdoor lighting when just chilling on your patio, deck or porch. Learn how to make DIY tabletop fire bowls in literally… minutes! No tools needed.

There are many DIY fire pits and ideas found online. They can be called tabletop fire bowls, fire pits or even firepieces. Most are labor intensive or need handy skills and tools to make them. Some styles require propane, gel fuel or natural gas to create the flame.

People Standing around an outdoor fire roasting marshmallows
Backyard Fire Pit – DIY Marshmallow Roasting Forks

As we move into the outdoor season, we often entertain around the firepit in our yard. It can be magical, but when it is just Ed and I and we don’t feel like getting a big fire lit, it is nice to have a small firepit on the dining table on the deck.

For my outdoor tables, I wanted to create the look and feel of a modern table top fire bowl, but I wanted to make it easy to create.

I also wanted it to be portable so that I could move it from the high deck table to the round one or to the picnic table in my yard as well as the dining table on the lakeside gazebo.

What Can You Use To Make a Tabletop Fire Bowl?

Spreading layer of stucco patch on bowl with a paint brush.

After thinking on how I could create the style of fire bowl I was envisioning, I got the idea for this “made in minutes” fire bowl.

Faux paint cement paint technique used to create the look of a cast stone planter.

Do you remember when I made this faux concrete bowl to display holiday ornaments in my foyer?

In the spring, I used it to hold flowers on my coffeetable in my living room.

Now my DIY faux concrete bowl has a new function.

Easy To Make Tabletop Fire Bowl

DIY tabletop fire bowl on table made in minutes by putting together a few basic items.
My Made in an Instant DIY Fire Bowl

I turned it into an outdoor tabletop fire bowl to enjoy when we eat dinner outside during the summer months. No fuss or big fire to light and care for all evening.

This DIY project idea is one of the easiest DIYs since all you need to do is gather a few items and put them together. I call easy projects like this Insta-Style decor.

How to Make a DIY Tabletop Fire Bowl in Minutes

You may be thinking… “I like this, but I don’t have a bowl like this or want to make one.” That is the beauty of creating a tabletop bowl like this.

All you need to make a tabletop fire bowl yourself in your decorating style is 3 items:

  1. A large bowl, planter or even a tray that has sides
  2. Landscaping rocks, lava rocks, sand, gravel or glass pebbles. (Optional – for large bowls – lightweight filler for bottom – packing peanuts, bubble wrap or sand)
  3. TIKI style table torch, canned heat or a large candle.

I used a TIKI style table torch to use in my bowl and lava rocks. The rocks are just decorative as the flame is contained in the table torch that is filled with citronella oil, and has a thick cotton wick.

You can purchase similar table torches like this at Walmart, Amazon and Target. (See resources below.)

a large bowl, rocks or stones an a tabletop torch are what you need to assemble a DIY tabletop fire bowl.

What You Need

  • Planter or flower pot – concrete, stone, terra cotta or ceramic
  • Filler – river rocks, stones, glass pebbles or pea gravel
  • TIKI style table torch or a can of Sterno. If using Sterno – you will need a piece of wire mesh large enough to cover the top of the can.

Time needed: 10 minutes

This outdoor table concrete fire bowl was done in my style, but yours may look completely different from mine depending on the planter you use and the size and color of the rocks and torch flame.

  1. Gather Items

    Place items on work table. Pour stones, or layer a few inches of gravel, pebbles into planter filling 3/4 of the way full.

    Place TIKI style tabletop torch in the center on top of the rocks or gravel so the top is just about the rim of the planter.

    Fill the planter the rest of the way with rocks or gravel.

    Close up of covered tabletop torch in planter filled with stones.

  2. Light Torch

    Once the tabletop fire bowl is assembled, light it and enjoy the glow.

    Since the flame is enclosed in the glass torch, your planter won’t get burned and can be reused again as a planter when needed.

    close up of lava rocks in DIY fire bowl

  3. Cover Wick When Not in Use

    Use the metal wick cap that comes with the TIKI style table torch when the your fire bowl is not in use.

    DIY tabletop fire bowl on table not in use. Cover is over wick.

  4. More Ideas for Tabletop Fire Pits or Bowls You Can Make in an Instant

    If you don’t have a planter or outdoor table torches, look around your house for any vessel that would hold stones and a few candles.

    I used a wood dough bowl, white landscaping stones found at a garden center or home improvement stores along with 3 battery-operated pillar candles to assemble and make this long tabletop fire bowl. It took 5 minutes.

    dough bowl filled with rocks and battery operated candles makes an instant tabletop fire bowl.

How to Make a Sterno Firepit?

I like the idea of using a can of Sterno as a flame source for a DIY fire bowl. It will have a wider diameter flame than the table torch I used.

Place it in the same way as I did the torch, but then cut a piece of wire mesh slightly larger than the can opening. Place this over the top. This will keep any gravel or stones from getting into the can.

Discard when empty and simply replace with a new can.

DIY Tabletop Fire Bowl Resources:

Tabletop fire bowl how to make one in a few minutes.

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  1. I love this idea! And I especially like the instant fire bowl – even I can make that! I became a big fan of the battery operated candles at Christmas a couple of years ago when you mentioned them. They are a great alternative to traditional burning candles and so easy to use on an automated schedule. I will definitely be nestling some with rocks on my outdoor patio table and set them to turn on and off every evening.

  2. This is really cool!! Great idea You can get the Tiki Table Torches at Lowes also 👍

  3. hi diane
    sharing this on the Weekend Edit on Saturday! Pinning shortly,
    laura in colorado

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – Thank you for pinning and sharing the fire bowl idea. I really appreciate it.

  4. Love it! Very clever as always. I have stereo cans that can now be put to good use. Did you really use the Amazon lava rocks? I’d rather find something less expensive to fill the bowl.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi K – Yes I did use the lava rocks. I liked the way they looked. I told Ed he can use them in the grill someday. There are many other much less expensive options to use that I listed. If I didn’t live in such a rural area where shopping for items I want is slim – Amazon comes in very handy. I want to get some Sterno cans, once I run out of torch oil. I hope you have a great weekend.

    2. You never fault to amaze me how you multi-use your DIYs. I have love every way you have used this bowl. You come up with some of the coolest ideas. Hope you have a great weekend.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Hi Nancy – Thank you. I very much enjoy DIYing and coming up with new ideas.

  5. As I used to say to the kids : GOOD JOB!!

    LOVE this post!

  6. Love this idea for the tabletop fire pit. Especially nice if your terrace or patio space is small.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Siouxz – It is perfect for a smaller space like a patio or terrance. Since it is made in the same way no matter what size planter or bowl you use you can make it custom to fit the size of your table or space.