How to Do a Display with Fake Fire

Things You'll Need

  • Small logs or sticks
  • Wood glue
  • Rotary cutter with a saw wheel or a panel saw (optional)
  • Pruning shears
  • Battery-operated fake flickering candle light
  • Battery-operated hand-held fan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Yellow and orange permanent markers
  • Yellow and orange tissue paper

While nothing looks quite as warm and inviting as a real fire, a good imitation fire can evoke many of the same feelings while being an infinitely safer choice for a stationary display. The best fake fire model is one that imitates the appearance of a fire's flickering light while suggesting the shapes and colors of a man-made campfire. Use this design to create either a rustic or neat and tidy artificial fire.

Make a log pile by stacking several short logs together and fastening them in place with wood glue. Arrange the logs so that the center of the wood pile is an open space large enough to hold both the flickering light and the small fan. If necessary, glue the wood pieces together first, then create extra room by turning the log pile upside down and cutting away some of the wood on the underside, creating a hollow. Use pruning shears for small and medium-sized sticks. If using thicker logs, use a rotary cutter with a saw wheel or a panel saw.

Position the candle and fan inside the logs. Make sure you can turn on the fan and direct its air stream up and that you can have the candle close to the center of the cavity at the same time. If you can't, cut out some more space inside the cavity to make room for them. Set the fan and light aside when finished.

Create some aluminum reflective areas. Line the inside of the fireplace cavity with aluminum foil, shiny side facing out. Glue the foil in place, then color it using yellow and orange permanent marker (don't worry about providing total coverage, just scribble a good amount on).

Cut tissue paper flames. Cut some tall, thin strips of orange and yellow tissue paper with frayed, softly jagged edges, shaped like flames. Attach the bottoms of these strips to the wood on the inside, top edges of the cavity.

Set up the fire in the display.

Turn on the light and fan and adjust their positions so that the fan is blowing as much of the tissue paper as possible and so that the light is reflecting off the surface of the aluminum foil with maximum effect.