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How to make a fake fire prop

Updated April 17, 2017

In a theatre production, the props are often the biggest expense. Sometimes, a prop such as a camp fire can seem impossible to recreate inexpensively. However, it is simple to make a fake camp fire prop for any stage production. With a few common craft supplies, anyone can make a fake camp fire prop in no time at all. Although not completely realistic, this inexpensive camp fire prop will set the mood of the scene for the cast and the audience.

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  1. Crumple up eight, empty paper towel rolls, then straighten them out again. This will give a ragged look to the rolls. These will form the logs of the fire.

  2. Glue the top ends of the logs together in a pyramid shape. Glue the bottom ends of the logs onto a piece of cardboard.

  3. Cut the piece of cardboard into a circular shape. Cut around the logs, leaving 5 inches additional diameter to form the base.

  4. Cut out 30 pieces of cellophane: 10 red, 10 orange and 10 yellow. Crumple the cellophane up to give it a multifaceted look. These will form the flames of the fire.

  5. Hot glue all of the cellophane pieces in between the logs, allowing them to reach past the top of the logs so that they look like fire rising up from the logs. Intersperse the red, orange and yellow pieces throughout the fire.

  6. Obtain enough styrofoam cubes to cover the edge of the circle of cardboard. Round off the top four edges of each styrofoam cube. Use the rocks to form a ring around the fire.

  7. Spray paint the styrofoam rocks grey, and glue them all around the edge of the fire ring.

  8. Tip

    For an added effect, shine orange, red and yellow stage lights onto the fire prop. To make the cellophane move for a more realistic fire, hide a small fan behind the fire prop and let it blow wind onto the cellophane.

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Things You'll Need

  • Empty paper towel rolls
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Orange cellophane
  • Red cellophane
  • Yellow cellophane
  • Styrofoam cubes
  • Grey spray paint

About the Author

Courtney Clark studied English, creative writing, film and history at Southern Virginia University from 2005 through 2008, earning a Bachelor of Arts. During her time at SVU, Clark participated in the English Honors Society and the university's film club.

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