How to Make a Fake Campfire Display Using Red Christmas Lights

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Fake campfires can look very real.
Image Credit: Deagreez/iStock/GettyImages

Nothing feels cozier than a campfire in the winter, but sometimes, the circumstances don't allow for a fire. With a campfire display made from fake flame lights, red Christmas lights or any kind of string lights available, you can include a cozy campfire in your holiday celebrations, decorations or theater production.

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Make a Christmas Campfire With a Fire Pit

If you have a fire pit available, you can easily make a cozy-looking faux fire with fake flame lights and natural sticks and logs. Alternatives to a fire pit could include a metal washtub or any other sturdy and flameproof vessel that could house a fire.

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The first step to creating a faux Christmas campfire with a fire pit is to locate a power source. If you need to use an extension cord, make sure that you tuck it away to keep guests from tripping or opt for solar-powered lights or a portable AC power source instead.

Place the fire Christmas lights at the bottom of the fire pit and spread them out to cover the bottom without being uniform. Then, create the look of hot embers by strategically placing the sticks or logs over the lights, intentionally leaving gaps so the lights can shine through.

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Making a Fake Teepee Fire: The Base

Making a fake teepee fire is a lightweight alternative to the fire pit. With some Styrofoam, a thin wooden board, black and white paint, glue and fake fire lights, you have control over the size of the fake campfire.

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First, cut a circle from the thin wood board with a saw. This circle will serve as the base of the teepee fire. Then, break the Styrofoam into rock-size pieces. Next, use a knife to carefully carve the Styrofoam blocks into round stones, almost like peeling a potato, smoothing them out with sandpaper.

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Once you form all the rocks, glue them in place in a single layer around the perimeter of the wooden circle. Then, stack on another layer of rocks until you create a wall height to your liking. Paint the rocks and the wooden base black and then set it aside for a few hours to dry.

Making a Fake Teepee Fire: The Teepee

To construct the teepee, collect sticks and tree branches from outside and spray paint the bottom ends white to create a charred effect. To contain the mess, place the sticks on cardboard. The size and amount of sticks needed will depend on the fire pit's size.

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While the sticks dry, use the remaining Styrofoam to create coals. Carve into the blocks and sand them down in the same manner as the rocks. Sprinkle some Styrofoam flakes on the wet paint as the paint dries to create a more realistic charred effect.

Next, lightly paint the Styrofoam rocks' exterior with gray paint, making sure the black paint is still visible in some parts. After that, apply a small amount of white paint to the paintbrush, brush the excess off on the palette and gently add highlights to the rocks. Place the string lights inside the fire pit and then add the coals. When satisfied, place the sticks in a teepee formation and your faux fire pit is complete.

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