Clayton Blog

How to Host a Bonfire Party

As you may know, today is National Bonfire Day, also known as Guy Fawkes Night. What better time to do a bit of fire pit entertaining? Fire pits are great for relaxing, enhancing your outdoor space and bringing your friends and family together for s’mores!


Here are the essentials for hosting a bonfire party:


If you build it, they will come

Stone fire pit surrounded by gravel and a retaining wall.


First and foremost, you’ll need a fire pit for your guests to gather around. If you already have a fire pit you can skip ahead, otherwise let’s dig into what it takes to build a fire pit in your backyard. Keep in mind that the materials you need will depend on where you’re planning on building the fire pit, whether it’s in your backyard, on a patio, etc.



  • Measuring Tape
  • Marking Paint
  • Shovel
  • Gravel and/or Sand
  • Retaining Wall Blocks
  • Level
  • Caulk Gun



  1. Start by drawing a circle around the area you want your fire pit. recommends between 36 and 44 inches. Adjust accordingly if you’re building on a patio.


  2. Dig about 8-12 inches deep around the circle you’ve drawn, then dig 6 inches down in the remaining area.


  3. Fill in the outer circle dugout with gravel or sand until it’s level with the center area.


  4. Lay blocks around the edge, making sure they are level all the way around.


  5. Continue by laying another layer of blocks to ensure the pit is at a safe height. If you want to make sure the layers stick together, use a caulk gun between the layers to secure them.


  6. Add gravel to the center base of the fire pit, as needed.


In the hot seat

A couple relaxing near a fire pit by a pond.


In most cases, having a comfortable seat around a bonfire can make or break how enjoyable your night is. No one wants to sit on the cold, hard ground and even though some may enjoy standing around the fire, having seating options for your guests to relax can be nice. Consider these adding these options around your fire pit:


  • Lawn Chairs
  • Hay Bales
  • Sturdy Logs
  • Log Benches
  • Cozy Blankets


You could always choose to have your guests BYOB (bring your own blankets), but using seating like hay bales or logs could win you some brownie points because they’ll help create a great bonfire party atmosphere!


S’more money, s’more problems

Two large marshmallows roasting over a flame.


With good seating comes great opportunities for cooking over the fire! Whether you’re wanting to cook your dinner in the bonfire or you simply want to stick to the classic roasting of marshmallows, there’s no better time to do it. If you’re like me, you love fire pit entertaining because you have your friends and family sitting around a bonfire, telling ghost stories while making s’mores. Here’s what you’ll need to make an awesome s’more:


  • Skewers
  • Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers (you can test out other cookies too!)
  • Chocolate Bars


Know your fire safety, don’t get burnt

With a great fire pit comes great responsibility because when you’re dealing with fire, it’s important to do it in a way that is safe the entire time you’re enjoying it. Bonfire safety begins with the placement of your fire pit and continues with being responsible during the bonfire party. To help you properly prepare and make sure that your fun doesn’t stop too early, use these safety tips for your fire pit:



  • Place your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure (preferably 25 feet away) on a non-flammable surface such as concrete, brick or stone.


  • Make sure the area around your fire pit is free of any flammable materials and has rocks or dirt around it to prevent flames from spreading on the ground.


  • Use a commercial fire starter with kindling on top rather than using lighter fluid.


  • Invest in a wire mesh cover for your fire pit to help keep embers inside the fire pit and to help guard from anything falling into the fire.


  • Have a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher readily available in case you need to quickly control the fire.


  • Extinguish with water by drowning the fire, then stir with a shovel to ensure that it’s completely out.


  • Dispose ashes safely by putting them in a metal can that is strictly used for ash storage.



  • Place your fire pit directly on the grass, on a wooden deck, under low hanging tree branches or under a covered porch.


  • Use your fire pit if it’s extremely windy outside.


  • Use flammable liquids such as liquid fluid OR gasoline to rekindle fires.


  • Wear flammable clothing (silk, synthetic material, etc.) while you’re by the fire pit.


  • Leave your fire pit unattended – especially when children or animals are around.


  • Discard ashes in paper bags, cardboard boxes, compost piles or anything that is flammable or combustible.


Now you should be prepared to relax by a cozy fire, roast a delicious marshmallow, spend quality time with your loved ones and celebrate National Bonfire Day! Once you’ve safely put out your bonfire, you can move your party back to your patio. Check out how you can personalize a patio to fit your lifestyle!




Create the Perfect Patio




Topics Do It Yourself Projects