Hey everybody – it’s almost Friday! Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend yet?
I’ve put away my altered art dictionary project (unfinished, yet again), but I added four new pages so at least I’m over the half way point. https://oldravencreates.com/2019/10/16/paper-crafters-dictionary/
I had just started into a new project (Accordion House) when I had a run on one of my shop favorites: Faux Fires.
So the last few days I’ve been building/replacing my sold out Faux Fires and though I think I may have touched on these before here, I thought I would give you a quick “How To” in case you want to make one for yourself. (None for resale though, please – these are covered by copyright.)
The first thing you’ll need are some sticks. The ruler gives you an idea on size/circumference.
I’m a nature girl so I’m out with my dog walking the trails and woods everyday. I would never consider cutting off live branches from a healthy tree. Instead, I look for blow down or naturally shed limbs that will already be on the ground. I love ‘upcycling’ nature in my art!
Speaking of nature – it’s always possible that these sticks might have a little bug or two nestled inside so step 2 is cook the sticks in a low oven (I use my warming drawer) for at least 20 minutes. There, bugs all gone.
Well, maybe the bugs are gone, but not the pests. Smokey, the inspector, has arrived.
Don’t you think that looks like a smirk? Cats (I shake my head in resignation).
You’re going to need a few tools. A branch cutter and a trimmer to start with. You’ll realize quickly when you need which tool. You may also want a pair of gardening gloves if you notice any discomfort from using the cutters.
You’ll also want a tealight. Keep the tealight centered in your log fire as you build it up so you make sure that the log structure will fit over the light in the end when you’re done.
My bottom two sticks are around 3½” long.
Cut two, one for each side and you’re off and crafting.
These are the other tools you’re going to need. A hot glue gun and glue. I want to point out something neat here if you haven’t already discovered these at your local craft store – glue coils. Instead of sticks, that always seem to run out right at the worst possible moment, the coil just seems to go on and on. I love using these coils. If it’s just too much coil hanging about and it gets in your way, try cutting the coil in half, you still get a good long run before you have to add more.
So, onto the two bottom sticks, add two more, a bit smaller and shorter, layered on top. Once you’ve checked the placement put a dot of hot glue on the top of the bottom logs and add the top ones. We’re looking to build a pyramid shape here.
Depending on how thick your bottom, and successive, logs are, you may have 3 – 4 layers. But keep in mind, you want at least the top 1/4″ of the ‘flame’ of the tealight sticking up above the top logs.
Working with hot glue always means threads of glue everywhere, but don’t bother trying to pull them off.
If you have a heat gun, just hit it with the heat and all those little spiderwebs of glue will shrink right up.
I don’t like the little shiny bits of glue that can be seen on the fires at this stage, plus, I want to add a look of heat or flame even when the ‘fire’ of the tealight isn’t burning.
Use any brand of glitter you like but look for a good red and as close to orange as you can get.
I start with the orange, adding a good amount at the corners, covering the hot glue points. I know, looks a little gloopy now, but it’ll come ’round.
While the orange is still wet, I add the red. Now we’re starting to see a bit of the ‘glowing ember’ effect that this will become.
It takes quite a while for the glitter glues to dry so set your faux fire aside and let it go untouched overnight.
The glitter’s all dry now and it’s kind of shrunk down into the joints as it dried. Now, even when it’s not glowing it looks like a burning fire.
I made both these fires at the same time from the same batch of wood but see how they both came out quite a bit different, but still both the same size in the end. No two fires are ever the same – I like that part – each unique.
A bit more close up here so you can see the glitter better.
Before I forget, a safety disclaimer: NEVER try using a real candle or flame in these. Real flame + real wood = a real disaster!
But this is the best shot – just a cheap-o little plastic tealight but with a little imagination we now have a glowing fire. And the tealights these days actually flicker which makes this all the more realistic.
These ‘faux fires’ are great to add to a Christmas scene or when Ken and Barbie going camping!
Love the fires but would just as soon buy one already made? Here’s the link to my online shop Old Raven on Etsy:
Did you enjoy the “how to”? Hope so, see you soon. – Kriss