Using a ceramic bowl for a fire pit is a cost effective and versatile do-it-yourself project. Almost any ceramic bowl is usable as a fire pit as long as the bowl is entirely glazed and thus cannot absorb any moisture. Ceramic fire pit bowls have many advantages: they come in many sizes, shapes and colors, they are clean burning, have no odor smoke or fumes, no vent is needed and they can go indoors or outdoors.
Select a ceramic bowl that is completely glazed so that it is impervious to moisture.
Cut a piece of steel sheeting with metal clippers large enough to fit in the bottom of the bowl.
Cover the piece of steel sheeting with a 3-inch layer of builder's sand.
Set one, two or three canisters—depending on the size of the bowl—of ethanol gel fuel on top of the sand.
Fill in the bowl around the canisters of ethanol gel fuel with lava rock, either crushed or whole. If using fire glass, use the fire glass to fill in the last 2 inches up to the level of the top of the ethanol gel fuel canisters, without covering the tops of the canisters. If not using fire glass, fill in the entire area inside the bowl around the gel fuel canisters with the lava rock until it is level with the top of the fuel canisters, without covering the top of the canisters.
Open the ethanol gel fuel canisters by removing the tops and light them by barely touching the flame of a long handled lighter to the top of the gel inside each canister.