I wanted something simple and small. I wanted to be able to move my fireplace around without trouble, and I wanted to be able to put it away when I didn't want to use it. That precluded building a permanent fire pit in the yard. (But I know how to build one out of brick now.)
I happened to see a cactus planter at Home Depot, and it struck me as the perfect fireplace. It was a shallow terra cotta dish 15" in diameter, and about 5" deep. The only downside was the presence of a drainage hole in the middle of the dish. Well, I could fix that. I bought the planter for $7, and built a nice fireplace with materials I had around my garage.
I built a stand for the pot using 2x4's. The ceramic of the pot should insulate the wood of the stand from charing or burning. I kept the stand simple; I built a 1 foot cube out of eight 10.5" lengths of 2x4 using drywall screws. I painted the stand black with a can of spray paint I had leftover from another project. To seal the hole in the bottom of the planter, I used mortar to affix a broken piece of tile over the hole. We have used the fireplace twice this weekend, roasting marshmallows both times. I hope the family enjoys it as much as I do. (Although Liz does dislike the fact that our clothes smell like smoke when we're done. C'est la vie.)
Spending only $7 on the whole project is a source of frugal pride for me. But I still would like a chimenea. Maybe I could build one...
Here's the stand I built before painting.