DIY Table Top Fire Bowl
Table top mini fire bowls are a great way to get the warmth and ambiance of a fire without having to fetch firewood and spend the time to build a bonfire. This is ready to use in seconds with just a quick light of the wicks and burns for weeks without needing any maintenance. When you’re done, you just blow out the fire and go inside with no clean up or hosing down the bonfire. The only maintenance required is filling the fuel canisters once a month or so, and that’s with daily use. If you only use this once every couple of weeks, the fuel would last all summer.
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I made my table top fire bowl out of a ceramic planter/pot, 3 empty beer bottles filled with tiki torch bug repellent fuel, and tiki torch wicks. The fuel canisters and wicks out of old broken tiki torches would work fine, too. Any heavy glass, ceramic, stone, or terracotta pot or bowl would work for the container (pretty much anything but plastic, which would melt). I placed the 3 empty beer bottles in the pot, filled them almost to the top with tiki bug repellent fuel, placed the wicks in them, and arranged some rocks around the bases of the bottles so they would stay standing upright. Once I arranged the bottles in my pot, I cut a circle slightly larger than the top of the pot out of aluminum screen (the kind from a window). I placed this screen over the top of the pot and cut 3 small holes where the wicks were, so they could poke up through the screen. I pulled the wicks up a little so they were just slightly taller than the top of the pot. Then, I poured some polished pea gravel on top of the screen and threw a handful of larger polished stones on top of that. It would also look awesome with fire glass on top instead of the gravel. Or, you could skip the screen altogether and fill the whole pot with lava rocks around the bottles and wicks, too. That’s it! Then just light it up and enjoy.
If you don’t have a fire pit because you don’t have a ton of space on your patio, you could use a tall pot with a small footprint like this and wine bottles with longer wicks in them to make a mini fire pit that stands on the ground. Beer bottles were the perfect height for my pot. You want the top of the internal containers to be even with or just slightly shorter than the top of the pot. the wicks should be trimmed so that they are an inch or so taller than the rim of the pot or bowl. Smaller pots may call for shorter internal containers such as tiki torch fuel canisters, pop cans, or mason jars with circles drilled in the lids for the wicks. If your container is really small, you can skip the internal containers all together and just fill the entire pot or bowl with tiki fuel. After the screen is fitted over the top of the bowl, just poke a holes for each wick and stick it in.
One word of warning: Make sure to use a heavy pot or bowl so the wind doesn’t blow it over and waste all of your fuel! Also, you don’t want rain to fall in and mix with your fuel. I use my tabletop fire bowl under my covered porch, so it’s not a problem. If you use yours out in the open, make sure you have a lid or a plastic cover for it to keep the rain out.
If you liked this post, check out my DIY container pond!