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6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

6 Ways to Up-cycle Household Items into Fire Pits

If you think the green recycling movement is a recent invention, then you’ve never met a redneck!

  • REDNECK RECYCLING: Consists of recycling, reforming and reusing of everything they get their hands on.
  • Redneck Recycling is not: Separating glass, plastic, paper and aluminum.
  • Reuse, Reduce and Recycle in Redneck terms = Recoup, Rig, Repurpose

Since most rednecks love nothing more than sitting outside after a long day relaxing with a beer next to the fire, it’s no wonder that making DIY recycled fire pits from repurposed scrap materials has practically become an art form in redneck culture. As Jeff Foxworthy might say, you know you’re a redneck when your backyard barbecue is made from an abandoned shopping cart . . . or an old tractor tire rim, barrel, or washing machine tub!

Looking for an inexpensive way to create the perfect DIY backyard fire pit? Learn the redneck secrets for turning junk into one of these backyard gems.

The Barrel Pit

This fire pit is made from an old barrel and old horseshoes. If you have these two redneck staple pieces lying around your yard (or know of a scrapyard where you can pick them up for next to nothing), you’re well on your way to making a portable outdoor fire pit to light up your nights. Find an old grill top in your rummaging? Then get ready for some redneck barbecue!

Materials

Steel barrel

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4 old horse shoes

Salvaged grill top (optional)

Metal saw and welding tools

Basic cleaning solution

How to Make

Once you’ve found the perfect barrel, clean it out before proceeding. Since steel barrels are generally used to carry oil or other gunky stuff, you want to make sure all residue is removed first before lighting a fire in it. Use the cleaner for this and rinse thoroughly.

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  1. Measure 18 – 24 inches from the bottom of the barrel and mark this height at several points around the outside of the barrel.
  2. Cut the barrel using a metal saw and then weld around the rim of the barrel so edges are not sharp. Don’t know a thing about cutting and welding metal, or don’t have the tools? You may want to use the services of a metal welder, hopefully in the form of a redneck friend willing to work for free or for just the cost of materials. A professional welder’s services for this type of project can range anywhere from $20 to $80.
  3. If you’re the one doing the work, next, cut vent openings around the bottom section of the barrel (see image) about 7-8 inches apart. Vent openings release excess heat and help prevent wood pieces from overheating and shooting out too much spark.
  4. Weld around the cuts to soften the edges.
  5. Position horseshoes in parallel pairs around the rim of the barrel and weld each into place to create an imaginary cross.
  6. Fill with wood and kindling and enjoy! If you have an old grill top laying around, once the flames have died down to hot coals, place it on top of the horseshoes for an instant barbecue.

Ah, the simple life!

Source Credit – http://www.fireplacemall.com

The Repurposed Grill Fire Pit

If lounging in a lawn chair under the stars with your feet stretched out before a roaring fire sounds like a little slice of heaven, here’s how to turn this redneck fantasy into redneck reality! Got an old grill tucked away in the back of the shed? Then you’re all set.

Materials

  • Grill bottom
  • Metal Saw

How to Make

  1. Remove grill lid and other attached parts, including handles and legs.
  2. Reattach handles and legs, using each as a leg for the refashioned fire pit. Reattach only end of the handles and turn the other end down to act as a leg.
  3. The fire pit should sit at least 6 inches off the ground. If needed, cut old grill legs to size.
  4. Add kindling and fire starter.

Now, the fun part: Stretch out those tired dogs and relax!

The Wheelbarrow Fire Pit

Got an old wheelbarrow? Then you’ve got yourself a fire pit! Simply add wood and light. If the wheels still work, you can move the fire pit around the yard to keep you warm wherever you go. You can also keep it stationary by blocking the wheels.

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Materials

Old Wheelbarrow

Working wheels (If you want it to be portable)

Cement Bricks

How to Make

  1. Clean your wheelbarrow of any old debris
  2. Check the wheels. If you don’t want your wheelbarrow to be moved around, wheel to desired location and block in place using the cement bricks. A big old rock will do in a pinch, too!
  3. Fill with kindling and scrap wood.

Get ready for a barrow full of redneck fun!

The Shopping Cart Pit

Well lookie here, an abandoned shopping cart with no identifying store name on it whatsoever. Bring it to the dump? Not if you’re a redneck! If you can get your hands on some wire mesh, a little scrap metal, and you have some basic know-how of metal welding, the ultimate conversation fire pit could be yours!

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Materials

  • Discarded shopping cart with chrome finish
  • 27″ x 8′ steel lath (wire mesh) to line all of the four sides of the cart and basket
  • Steel drip edge flashing
  • Steel corner bead
  • 3 cookie sheets or flat scrap sheet metal
  • Hinges (To connect the spark screen to the shopping cart)
  • Handle
  • 1 pr Steel hurricane ties
  • Nuts and bolts

How to Make

  1. Remove all rubber and plastics parts from the cart, including the rubber bumpers on the corners of the basket. This is redneck must!
  2. Using the Steel drip edge flashing, build a snug frame for the bottom of the basket. This will help to keep embers from rolling out of the basket.
  3. Cut the edges off two cookie sheets (or use scrap sheet metal). Measure and cut so they fit inside the frame as a pan on the bottom of the cart.
  4. Line the cart with steel lath (wire mesh). Use large washers and bolts to attach the lath to the sides. For less than $10, a 27” x 8’ sheet will be enough for all 4 sides plus one piece left over to spark screen cover.
  5. To make the spark screen cover, cut to match the top of the cart (as a lid). Frame with steel corner bead, using nuts and bolts on all four sides to keep everything in place.
  6. Attach a handle to the far end of the lid; attaches hinges on the end closest to the basket.
  7. Use hurricane ties to secure the hinges in place.
  8. Pretty cool, huh? Now lift the lid and load your cart with kindling.

If the wheels are still working, this is a completely mobile redneck work of fire pit art. You can even use the undercarriage to store extra wood!

The Old Pot Pit

Grandma’s old cast iron or copper pot not getting much use anymore? Put your inner redneck to work and turn that unused cauldron into a fire pit with lots of charm.

Materials

  • Grandma’s old, large cast iron or copper cauldron or pot
  • Bricks or stones

How to Make

  1. Place the pot on a non-flammable surface. Concrete, gravel or dirt works fine.
  2. Surround the pot with large stones or bricks to prevent the pot from moving around or tipping over.
  3. Load with kindling and light.

If Grandma’s got an old grill grate she’s willing to part with, you’re in business! No more stew, though–get ready to barbecue!

The Steel Roofing Fire Ring

Have some strips of roofing metal left over from your last repair job? Well, don’tcha ya know it, you are in luck. It’s finally time to build that backyard fire ring!

Materials

  • Left over corrugated steel or pole barn roofing
  • Bricks, stone, etc.
  • Metal roofing screws (bolt style with washer)

How to Make

  1. Choose the location in your yard where the fire ring will be permanently installed.
  2. Clear grass from the area to leave level dirt.
  3. Create a loop with the roofing metal in the desired size of the ring.
  4. Fasten with roofing screws and washers.
  5. Stack bricks or rocks around ring high enough to cover the width of the ring.

That’s pretty darn elegant, if we do say so ourselves. If you like the redneck ethos for recycling wherever you can, but don’t necessarily like the redneck “look,” this project may be you!

Use these simple steps to bring out your inner redneck and throw an outdoor party that will wow your friends. Cold beer, warm fire… Ah, the simple joys of the redneck life!

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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