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Making a Faux Fire

Category Decorations
Homemade fake logs and flames can be used as props for a play or as part of your home's decor in your fireplace during the summer. This page is about making a faux fire.
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May 19, 2009

I need to make a fake campfire for my VBS this year. Any suggestions? It will be inside.

By Michelle Perry

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think that I would get a large piece of cardboard possibly unbent that you could form into a circle. Maybe a piece from a refrigerator box would do. Use staples or tape to hold it together. Draw "flames" on the cardboard and paint them in various red/orange colors to appear as fire. Cut the flame portions out of the top but leave the base in a circle so that it will stand. I would then get some real logs to place around the fake flames to make it look more like a campfire.

I hope that you get the idea I am trying to give you. I have this pictured in my head and it is difficult to type it. I'd love to know if you take my advice.

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful
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I think the previous idea is a good one and i would add to that use some glitter in like red orange and yellow on the flames to make them look realistic. You could also get one of those witches cauldrons the black plastic pot and then put a piece of oasis (floral foam) in the bottom and then make the flames and paint them glitter them and add a pick to the bottom and stick into the pot(campfire pot add a few logs to make it look like a fire pit and voi`la there you have it good luck!

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May 19, 20090 found this helpful
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You can also make a base for your campfire out of real wood (or use cardboard tubes. Fabric stores usually have tubes from the decorator fabrics that are larger than other tubes. You could paint them and make them more realistic) and use tissue paper to make "flames." Just use a mixture of mostly reds, yellows, and oranges, with maybe a little blue or other colors mixed in. If you add in a flashlight lighting it from underneath, it will make it more realistic.

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A small battery type fan will also make the tissue move slightly, if you can get it hidden in there! I like tissue because it keeps its shape, but it's also not expensive, but since it's not as durable as the cardboard idea, you might have to replenish your "flames" as the week progresses! Good luck with whatever you do...what a fun week you'll be having! ;-)

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May 20, 20090 found this helpful
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Have you ever seen those "torches"? They hang from the ceiling, a black bowl with a small fan/light that blows flickering fabric flames up. I remember seeing them on clearance everywhere and at yard sales cheap. Just remove the hanging chain(pliers) and set in "wood" like the other suggestions. Best wishes.

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May 20, 20090 found this helpful
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You can use real logs, but use a colored saran wrap or florist wrap and wrinkle it real good. then you use Christmas lights underneath the saran wrap. it glows just like a fire.

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful
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When I made a fake campfire, I lightly crinkled aluminum foil and placed it on the bottom, then covered it with yellow and orange celophane. The light from the room reflected against the foil and it looked like real glowing embers! It looked amazing! I used gray styrofoam to make stones to surround the campfire, and glued it all on a large round piece of cardboard.

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It was lightweight and easy to move. You can then lay your charred wood pieces on top of the "coals". If you spray paint the bottom of your wood lightly with silver paint, it will also reflect the glowing ember effect. All without using cords or electricity!

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful
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Pile your log on top of a string of christmas lights. they make it look like they are on fire.

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful
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I'd try to find a small, quiet fan, and tape flames made of red, orange, and even some blue tissue paper in various heights to the screen on the front. When the fan is on, the flames will rise and dance. Use Christmas lights or battery operated votive candles to add light and complete the effect. If you could conceal the mechanism of the fan and lights through a stack of logs (real or made from rolled-up construction paper or cardboard painted to look like wood), it would add to the effect.

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If you want "rocks" around your campfire, crumple up newspaper into various sized "boulders" and use masking tape to cover the exterior with one smooth sheet of newspaper, then spray paint gray. Once dry, use a wad of paper towel dipped LIGHTLY in black paint to sponge on some texture. This is the method I used to create a faux fireplace in the childrens' room at my old job, and if you keep your "rocks," they're useful for creating faux waterfalls and streams, too.

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May 21, 20090 found this helpful
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You can use rolled up newspapers with a brown grocery bag on the outside for the logs.
Also, the Girl Scouts make an "edible fire" with younger children. It has everything a real fire would need, only edible. You use a small cup of water instead of a bucket of water; a spoon instead of a shovel to clear the area; M&M's for the fire ring instead of rocks; shredded wheat ceral or coconut for the tinder; small pretzels for the kindling; and large pretzles or tootsie rolls for the fuel; and light it with a candy corn stuck on a toothpick instead of a match.

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It is a fun way to teach the girls to make a real fire.
I have decorated cakes using the small tootsie rolls as logs and red and orange tie-dye fruit roll ups cut into flames.
Have fun!

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September 8, 2006

I need your help again. I want to make faux logs to place beside my gel fireplace that uses gel fuel. I am trying rolled up newspapers and am going to paint them a wood color. What color should I paint them (spray paint) and any other ideas other than newspapers? Not sure how this idea will work out. I want them to look as real as possible

Thank you,
Sherry from Dixie, West Virginia

Answers

By veronica (Guest Post)
September 11, 20060 found this helpful

Why spend money on paint etc for fake logs? Go for a walk in the woods and find some real ones - for free!

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
September 11, 20060 found this helpful

The best ones I've seen appeared to be made of "paper mache" with morter mix as "glue", and heavy on the morter! I'd begin with lengths of real wood. I'd shape the paper mache' for the outside "bark" streaks, recycled flat house-paint streaks of various shades of med. grey brown, browns, beiges, and occasional dark brown specks.

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They should be several sizes in diameter from about 5" diameter to 8" and made round but flattened slightly before dry so they won't roll around. There are several websites for good paper mache recipes, but I'd follow the morter mix directions, adding Elmers' glue to the outside to hold GLOSSY newsprint insert paper streak shapes(sites claim glossy works best), to finish the design. Paint them after drying for about 24 hours. Finish in polyurethane FLAT clear paint afte an additional 6 hrs of drying first painting. (Use good ventilation, or do all of this outside, if possible, on cardboard or newspaper) :

Concentrate on the ends which are full of morter only, smoother, and painted in light various colored "rings" to simulate a log. Make them about 20" long if you have room. Spray with any can of polyurethane or Scotchgard in well vented area.

Make about five and place them on an old real fireplace black metal grate, if possible, which are tossed curbside occasionally, usually in the Winter or Spring.

I found brass duckhead andirons (log trimmings to hold logs in a fireplace) once which were damaged on the back fireside, but were heavy and shiny enough that I sold them for a good price in a garage sale.

I'm assuming you have a type of fireplace to place all this inside? Store your logs in a plastic bag/then inside a box when not wanted to decorate, or improve the colors if need be. Good luck and God bless your efforts as His light shines on you.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 21, 2014

I'm making a fan fireplace for VBS. But the tissue paper doesn't stick up in the air, it kind of lays over on the sides of the fan. Ideas?

By cmphoto45

Answers

June 23, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Floral wire (thin and flexible) is your friend:) Tape the wire to the tissue paper flames (glue won't work on tissue paper) and shape your flames to have a very lovely faux fire going in your faux fireplace - your VBS children will love it!

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