How to Build a Fake Fire for Kids

    by Kelly Sundstrom

    About the Author

    Kelly Sundstrom is a national special needs spokesperson and writer. She writes content for major brands, magazines and newspapers, including Gather News, STACK Magazine, Colgate, Kudzu, LIVESTRONG and Lowe's Home Improvement. She currently has over 6500 digital and print articles in publication. Her awards include the 2012 Skyword High Flyer Award and the 2009 Demand Media Top Content Creator Award.


    If you are putting together a theatrical production with children that involves fire, such as a camp scene or a scene using torches, it may seem difficult to replicate a real fire. However, by using a few ordinary materials, such as tissue paper, glitter and foil, you can make a fake fire appear realistic to the audience. To successfully make a fake fire, it is helpful to combine the materials in a specific way.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cardboard
    • Scissors
    • Red, yellow and orange tissue paper
    • Aluminum foil
    • Orange marker
    • Craft glue
    • Glitter glue
    • Glitter

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    Cut out flame forms from a sheet of cardboard. Make the flames as large or as small as you need.

    Apply a thin layer of craft glue onto one side of the cardboard cut-out flame forms.

    Crumple sheets of red, orange and yellow tissue paper, and press the crumpled paper onto the glued side of each cardboard cut-out flame form. Allow the glue to dry.

    Apply a thin layer of glue to the other side of the cardboard cut-out flame forms, and apply tissue paper as before.

    Color the surface of a sheet of aluminum foil with an orange marker. Allow the marker to dry completely.

    Apply glue to the tops of the cardboard flames.

    Wrap the colored foil around the glued area on the tips of the flames. Allow the glue to dry completely.

    Squeeze dollops of glitter glue over the flames in a random pattern.

    Sprinkle glitter on top of the glitter glue, and allow the glue to dry. When light hits the fake fire, it will sparkle and shimmer with red, orange and yellow light like a real fire.

    • To create fake torches, you can cut flame forms of varying sizes out of red, yellow and orange tissue paper without using cardboard. The tissue paper flame forms can be bunched into a "bouquet" and glued or taped into a paper cone to create a flaming torch effect.
    • Warn children that the "flames" could be easily crushed if they play with them.

    Photo Credits

    • fire place with shelf and fire image by Kirubeshwaran from