How to Make Faux Fire for Fake Logs

Updated February 21, 2017

Fake logs look more realistic when accompanied by faux fire. Whether your pretend fire is contained within a theatrical fireplace or inside a ring of stones for a simulated campfire, adding motion to the fake flames and illumination to the overall fire is necessary to produce a convincing blaze. Build a fake fire using items commonly found around the home and a battery-operated personal fan. Battery-operated personal fans are available at discount, electrical appliance and outdoor supplies stores.

Arrange the fake logs so there is a hole or space in the centre of the group large enough to accommodate the can you have selected.

Use a can opener to remove the bottom of the can leaving a metal cylinder.

Cut two cardboard squares to hold the fan away from the ground to use as a stand. Make sure the bottom edge of each square is even and flat. Position a square on each side of the fan's handle portion so there is at least ½ inch of cardboard protruding from beneath the fan handle. Tape the cardboard to and around the fan with electrical tape. The fan must be elevated to allow for airflow.

Tape strips of yellow, red and white silk or nylon fabric or tissue paper to the inside and outside top rim of the can. You choose the can's top. Strips should be of varying lengths and widths, long enough to be seen above the fake logs when stretched above the highest log.

Tape battery-operated LED lights around the outside of the can's rim with electrical tape. Turn on the lights.

Place the can in the centre space prepared in the log grouping. Turn on the fan and place it in the centre of the can on the cardboard "legs" taped to the handle. The fan will blow the attached strips simulating flames as the lights illuminate the fire from within the fake logs.


Place red or orange battery-operated LED lights beneath the fake logs to simulate embers.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty tin can
  • Can opener
  • Battery-operated personal fan
  • Electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Styrofoam or cardboard
  • Silk or nylon fabric strips or tissue paper strips: red, yellow and white
  • Battery-operated LED lights: red, orange and yellow
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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.