How To Make A Portable Fireplace [6 Simple Steps]

How to make a portable fireplace? Read the article. We will tell you how to make your portable fireplace just in 6 simple steps. Also we will show you what are the advantages and disadvantages of a portable fireplace.

So, let’ start…

What Is A Portable Fireplace?

A portable fireplace works just like any other fireplaces which are portable heaters and can be used in any room or tabletops. These are specially created to look like a fireplace and also contain some basic fire effects to display. They usually come in three types:

  1. Small, 

2) Tabletop model, 

3) Medium floor model. 

Generally made out of stainless steel but it tends to create a real fireplace-like look with a wood-style design and cast iron-type bodies. Now that we know what a portable fireplace is, let’s know about some of its advantages and disadvantages. 

How To Make A Portable Fireplace

There are few steps that you need to follow to make a portable fireplace. But before you can start the process, let’s know what materials you would require to get the job done. 

  •     Steel Barrels such as a dryer or washing machine drum
  •     Steel Pipe
  •     Drill
  •     Drill Bit
  •     Jigsaw
  •     Jigsaw metal cutting blade
  •     Hinges
  •     Metal File
  •     Screws

Now that we know what tools you would require to make your portable fireplace let’s start making one. 

Step 1:

The first thing you need to do is get all the required materials in order. One of the most important parts of this whole process is the barrel or steel drum. This main component can be retrieved from multiple sources. 

It could be bought from either a junkyard, hardware store or you can also use an old dryer or washing machine which has been lying around your house for a long time.

Step 2:

You need to drill holes in the barrel and also on the top and the sides so that the fire can have a proper ventilation system. Each hole must be 4 inches away from each other and ¾ in size. By doing this you will ensure enough oxygen inside the fireplace to keep it burning. 

Step 3:

After you are done with the ventilation system now it’s time to create a door. And to do that all you need to do is cut a square of about 11 inches wide and 8 inches tall. You can easily do this by pre-drilling a hole inside the metal. 

Then insert a jigsaw and start cutting. Do remember to smooth out all four edges. Also, take two hinges and screw them on the rectangular door. After that screw the hinges on the barrel, too. And just like that your fuel door is now complete. 

Step 4:

The debris door is what you’ll need to make next. It uses the same making process as the fuel door but is smaller in size. The door’s width should be 7 inches and its height 6 inches. The debris door helps to take out the ashes and debris after usage of the fireplace. 

Step 5:

Cut a hole on top of the lead. It should be 1 inch smaller than its original diameter. For example, if it’s 5 inches then your hole should be 4 inches. Clip both of the edges and place them inside the barrel. It should go about an inch inside. Then use a screw to put the steel pipe in place. 

Step 6:

If you want to add legs to your portable fireplace, just chose your desired steel object to use as legs. Then carefully weld them together. Your portable fireplace is ready to use.

Advantages Of A Portable Fireplace

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages of a portable fireplace. Having a good idea about these will help you to decide whether you wanna purchase a portable fireplace or not. There are mainly two types of advantages that you get from a portable fireplace. These are:

  1. Size and 

2. Portability. 

If you belong to a small house then this could be an ideal option for you. Because of their small size, they can be used in houses that don’t have much space. Or, maybe in little studio apartments or a dorm room. 

Usually, they are suitable to move around if needed. The electrical fireplace is made in a way so that they can stay there for a long time. And because of their small size, you can also move it from one room to another with ease. Not much hard work there. 

Disadvantages Of A Portable Fireplace

Although these are really good advantages to have in a portable fireplace, it also comes with lots of disadvantages, too. If you are looking for electrical portable fireplaces, then you should check out these points before coming to any conclusion. 

The core reason behind having these disadvantages are: They are trying to put both a heating device and fire effect technology into a very small and sufficient unit. But while they are doing it they need to get rid of some important things. So, what kind of disadvantages are we looking at?  Let’s find out. 

Poor Heaters:

The heaters used in this kind of portable fireplace are usually not up to the mark and lack quality and power. They are incapable of warming a medium to large room or house. 

It’s only good when the area is small that’s it working in, like a small room. It’ll keep on working alright but would fail to do what it was made to do in the first place, that is warming up the house. 

And because of this working much more to heat a bigger area than a smaller one, it’ll also bring a big bill along with it. But the electric bill isn’t the only thing the owner needs to worry about, because of working more it’ll also last less than it should’ve been. 

Poor Fire Effects:

The fire effects used in portable fireplaces are usually very bad and nowhere near the quality of standard fireplaces. Due to its small size, fire simulations are not realistic. If you do decide to buy one of these, make sure you check out the fire effects first. Because lots of people don’t and regret later. 

If you are spending your money and buying something then you should check out its good and bad side both. If unrealistic and bad looking don’t bother you that much then you don’t have to worry much about it though. 

Bad Aesthetics:

The whole fireplace overall can be made a little bit poorly containing bad aesthetics. What you will get is very poorly constructed and low-quality wood finishing that’s nowhere near the real wood. 

These woods tend to chip out very easily and very soon after you buy the portable fireplace. After a year or so of using you can expect its laminates to peel off and curl at the corners because the glue would break down by then. 

Unfortunately, most of these portable fireplaces are not made out of expensive or long-lasting materials. Therefore, it’s pretty normal that they would wear off sooner than expected. 

Not Reliable:

As discussed above, these fireplaces are incapable of keeping your room warm, increase your bills and also wear off easily. Due to these reasons, it can be easily said that a portable fireplace does come with some reliability issues. 

It is very common for people to replace these only after using them for a year or two and also spending tons of money to do that. Even after they are functional they still need to be replaced due to their lack of quality. 

Apart from these few disadvantages, an electrical fireplace can still be worth your buck if you are looking for a portable and easy-to-use fireplace. 


1) Can you make a fake fireplace?

Yes, you can. You can make a DIY faux fireplace or faux mantel in many different models and options. 

2) How much does it cost to make a fake fireplace?

The estimated cost to build a faux fireplace would be around $25 more or less. 

3) Do electric fireplaces heat a room?

Yes, they do. But it depends on the size of your house. If you are trying to heat a big room or house you may face a little bit of trouble. 

4) Is a fireplace worth the money?

Depends completely on the user what he wants to do. There might be other options available but a fireplace is surely on that list. 

5) Does add a fireplace increase home value?

Yes, it does. A house owner can recover up to 100 percent of the money he invested when he sells the house. 


Now you know how to make a portable fireplace. A portable fireplace is easy to use and can be built by anyone. It comes with lots of advantages and would be a great option for you without any doubt. 

If you do decide to make one, just follow the instructions provided above. You won’t face much trouble setting up your portable fireplace. 

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