You know that saying? One man’s washing machine drum is another man’s retro-modern firepit? Yeah, that one. Turns out it’s not just some socio-economic statement to make you feel guilty about tossing that washer in a gully. With $10 and an angle grinder, Sarah and Joe at House and Fig used their home improving pursuits to turn an otherwise ugly washer drum into a burning bin of beauty that puts a $500 marble-top firepit from the home store to absolute shame. And guess what, you can make one too.

DIY Firepit

I’m quite attracted to this project at the moment because our own washer has been through six years of four children and is probably thinking of its upscaled afterlife as a fire containment unit. It’s a simple project with stunning results that you can create in between weekend naps and a trip to pick up a new angle grinder disc. Props to Sarah and Joe for thinking of it. Definitely check out the how-to with images (and the rest of their site). Here’s a rundown of how they did it.

1 Recycled Washing Machine Drum (bought at a used appliance store for $10)
Safety Glasses
Angle grinder (optional)
Cup wire brush, Cut-off wheel, and Flap-wheel sanding disc (for grinder, also optional)
Angle-stock and Flat-stock steel (optional)
High heat black paint (optional)

(So, pretty much, you can take the washing machine drum, throw some logs and lighter fluid in it and you’re good to go!)



Step 1: Strip the drum. Remove all plastic bits including plastic rim and plastic base. Clean off any gunk.
Step 2: Remove center spindle. This is optional.
Step 3: Cut off metal lip. Again, this is optional but makes the top look a little more clean.
Step 4: smooth out the top lip, any metal burrs, or jagged edges.
Step 5: The wire brush made quick work of removing years of soap scum.
Step 6: Joe fabricated some steel legs and welded them to the base so it was off the ground just a bit. This is also optional. Those little square tabs were added so it doesn’t sink in the ground.
Step 7: Paint your firepit. Be sure to use high-heat paint. We chose black matte but something bright would be fun. It looks so pretty at night.

Now, mod this even further to add some lava rock and a propane tank and you’ve just elevated the fancy factor to resort-style proportions.



Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.