Monday, January 26, 2015


Last December my church put on a Christmas Village in our Fellowship Hall.  We had a Tavern (our mainstage), game tent, craft tent, and photo booth.  It was a big hit in our community and I thought I'd share some of the stuff we put together for it.



Fire Pit

I made these two "fire pits" using the following materials***:

  • Batthery-operated fans (I got them for $2 each at Wal-Mart in November)
  • Battery-operated LED lights 
  • Window air conditioner insulation (one strip per pit)
  • Red, orange, and yellow tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners (2 tied together)
  • Cardboard (2 large-ish pieces) to use as a base
  • Small sticks
  • Twine or fishing wire (optional)
Here's what I did:

1.  Tie two pipe cleaners together.  Make three of these for each fan.

2.  Cut various sizes of tissue paper to look like flames (I eyeballed it).  3 pieces total for each pit, I used orange for the large and medium sized flames, yellow for the small flame.  Here's a closeup to give you an idea:

3.  glue one flame to each twisted set of pipe cleaners (I used hot glue).

4.  place pipe cleaners around the fan and twist on under side.

5.  Trace a circle on a piece of paper.  I used a regular ol' large dinner plate.  You may need to make the circle larger.  In which case, take out your ruler and mark 2 inches or so out from that circle and cut the larger circle out.  Whatever the size, make sure there is room for the fan and a bit extra so lights can fit around the outside of the fan.  

6.  Hot glue the foam on the edge of the circle.  Cut off any extra.  I also left the ends unglued so I could run the light cord through.  That's optional, depending on the size of your pit and whether or not the battery pack fits in there nicely.  Mine didn't so I had to run it through to make it look better.

7.  Use a spare piece of foam to prop up the fan on one side if you use the type of fan I linked to above.  Glue in place on cardboard.

8.  Place strand of lights around and under the fan.  Run cord through space between insulation if desired.

9.  Crumple up some red or orange tissue paper (whatever looks better, I used red but might try with orange next time, especially if I use red lights again).  

10.  Uncrumple it and tape it around the fan so it covers the lights.  Play around with what looks right.  It's supposed to look like embers.

11.  Stack sticks like a tent above your pit.  Make sure not to block the "flames."

12.  Tie small piece of twine or fishing wire to hold up the sticks.

What I wish I had done differently:

1.  The fan doesn't have all that much power so the tissue paper barely moved.  Maybe find a stronger fan OR just attach the flames to something else w/o trying to use wind power.

2.  Use white lights instead of red.  With one of my pits I used red lights, one I used multi-colored lights.  The multi-colored actually looked better, but I think with the red tissue the white would be best.  Red lights made it look like lava....

3.  If I had time I would have cut up the foam to look more like rocks and pile them up.  It would take more materials but would probably have ended up looking more like a fire pit.  

*** I have not been paid to endorse any products.  

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