Monday, September 22, 2014

Hot Coals Tutorial

You may remember that cauldron I rusted with some oatmeal and sand back in July. Normally, I put it in the middle of my driveway on top of some sticks and shove a red strobe light underneath to mimic fire.

But this year I wanted something new and fancy for my cauldron to seethe on top of. Enter the hot coals.

It's actually really easy to make this.

All you need is:
  • a board. I used a poster board, but other people use wood, plexiglass, whatever is handy
  • tin foil
  • empty pop bottles
  • a string of orange lights
  • spray insulation foam
  • spray paint
First step is to cut the board to fit your choice of cauldron.

Take the tin foil and wrap it over the board. This'll hopefully increase the light output.

Chop up the bottoms of the pop bottles to varying heights. Hot glue those onto the board. Mine are all clear so they're a wee bit hard to see.
 I didn't take any pictures of the next step because I got excited and thought I did. Take your string of lights and drape them over the board, taping it down where you get it right. I waited for Target to put out a string of flickering orange lights this year, which is why I'm finally making my coals in late September. I plugged the lights in as I worked and put them on top of the bottle bottoms in clusters, all over.

Make sure to leave out the plug or your coals will never light up.

Now for the spray insulation foam. This stuff is the devil, but a devil we know. It sticks to everything, expands into a mess, and is evil. Did I mention the evil? Pretty sure I did.
Evil evil popcorn.

This is what it looks like before I painted it.
But since they moved Daylight Saving, most of the haunted house set up is seen by light and not in the dark. So I had to take away the bright white look with the power of spray paint.
It looks a bit more like the surface of some cheesy sci-fi series set, The Crags of Mars, but it gets the job done.

And, most importantly, it looks like this when lit up in near darkness.
That's how to make your own hot coals to smoulder in grass. No Hogwarts degree required.

Sleepy puppy.

1 comment:

Jolene Dretzka said...

I love it! I gotta try it. How did you discover how to do this? Someone teach you or did you play around & stumble on it by accident?