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How to Make Colored Flames in a Fireplace or Camp Fire

By Edited May 14, 2015 3 7

Many homeowners enjoy the ambiance created by the soft glowing light from a warming fire in their fireplace. Some enjoy a nice fire and a good book as a way to escape their hectic days. Others enjoy a snuggle, a good glass of wine with their significant other or special interest in front of diving and darting flames. And still others enjoy family and friend time in front of the fireplace playing a game or relaxing as a family.

Camp fires can bring back special memories for many campers such as making s’mores, roasting hot dogs, telling ghost stories or singing songs. Camp fires keep outdoorsmen warm and help ward off curious, wild animals. Sitting around a camp fire with friends and family can be mesmerizing as everyone’s eyes fixate on the dancing and leaping flames that soon bring about yawns and sleepy eyes.

Fires in a fireplace, fire pit or at a camp site can quickly turn from a rowdy rendition of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” to downright boredom and an early bedtime for all. Creating an out of the ordinary fire will keep your family and friends entertained and delighted. Colored fireplace, fire pit or camp fire flames is much like watching a fireworks display.  Changing the color of the flames is easy and safe. Ready to wow your guests and listen to their oohs and ahhs?

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Preparing to Make a Change in Flame Color

Regardless of the color of flames you are trying to achieve, there is some basic preparation.

Gather pinecones or save saw dust and small pieces of wood from your woodworking projects. You can also gather small twigs and break them into 2 to 3 inch sections.

Save remnants of old candles. If you don’t have old candles – buy candle wax from a candle making supply store. Scented wax is not necessary, any type of candle wax will do.

The Beginning for All Flame Colors

Lay wax paper over cookie sheets or over a piece of flat wood. Place the cookie sheets or wood on a flat and level surface.

Put candle remnants or wax chips into a double boiler. Add water to the bottom of the double boiler and set the top half of the double boiler in place. Put the double boiler on the stove and turn the stove on. Allow it to melt until no solid chunks of wax remain. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can place it into a microwave safe bowl and heat it for a minute or two depending on the strength of your microwave. Continue to set the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until it melts and becomes a runny liquid.

After the wax melts, pour it into a large measuring cup to determine how much melted wax you have.

Pour the melted wax into a work bowl. If the wax begins to harden too soon, melt it again in the microve or place the bowl on top of the double boiler.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and safety glasses.

Make Orange Fireplace Flames

Add an equal amount of table salt to the liquid wax. If you measured 2 cups of wax, add 2 cups of table salt to the bowl.

Stir the ingredients with a sturdy twig or paint stir stick until thoroughly blended.

Submerge one pinecone at a time into the wax. Roll the pinecone through the wax or use an old spoon to bathe the pinecone in wax.

Set the wax covered pinecone onto the sheet of wax paper to dry.

Continue to dip the pinecones and salt mixture until no wax remains.

Create Blue Flames

Place calcium chloride into a large zippered bag and roll over it with a rolling pin to crush the calcium chloride into a powder. You can also crush it with a mortar and pestle.

Measure an amount of calcium chloride that is equal to the amount of wax you have.

Pour the calcium chloride into and stir to blend it.

Dip the pinecones into the mixture and place them on the wax paper to cool and harden.

Make Purple Flames

Crush water softener salt with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle until it becomes a powder.

Add an equal amount of the water softener salt to the melted wax and stir until well blended.

Spoon the ingredients over the pinecones or dip them in and place them on the wax paper to cool.

Making Green Flames

If you have 1 cup of melted wax, measure 1 cup of Alum or Copper Sulfate.

Stir the Alum or Copper Sulfate into the runny wax.

Dip the pinecones and place them on the wax paper covered cookie sheet.

 Creating a White Flame

Crush Epsom Salts with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin into a powder.

Add an equal amount of crushed Epsom Salts to the hot wax and stir.

Dip the pinecones in or spoon the mixture over the top.

Set them on the wax paper covered surface to dry.

 Neon Green Flames

Measure an amount of Borax that equal the amount of wax.

Stir the ingredients to blend.

Dip the pinecones and place them on the wax paper to cool.

Making Flame Color Changers Without Pinecones

Combine equal amounts of the melted wax and one of the flame color changers in a bowl.

Slowly add in pieces of twigs, scraps of wood or saw dust while stirring continuously, making sure there is more than enough wax to coat the wood.

Scoop up the wood, wax and flame color changer with a gloved hand and form a ball or log shape.

Allow the wax to cool and harden.

Flame Color Changing Tips

Do not mix more than one ingredient into the wax.

 The treated pinecones or balls of twigs or saw dust are safe to use indoors or out.

Store the pinecones, balls or logs in a cool, dry area.

To Use

Start your fire as you normally would and once it begins to burn, add a color changer to delight your family and friends.

Several colors can be added to the fire at once to create your own dancing light show.

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Comments

Jul 10, 2012 9:14am
Introspective
This was so interesting; I never knew you could change the color of flames.
Jul 10, 2012 9:26am
Jack_Luca
It's really cool to see strange color flames dancing around your fire. A little science can be fun!
Aug 8, 2012 2:04am
eileen
wow thats incredible, we can always learn something new from the writers at IB. thanks for sharing that., We love camp fire cooking so will have to try this out in the bush
Aug 8, 2012 5:47am
Jack_Luca
It's really cool. Both the kids and adults get a kick out of it.
Aug 8, 2012 10:46am
Introspective
Congratulations on the feature, Jack!!!
Aug 8, 2012 3:39pm
Jack_Luca
Thanks!
Aug 10, 2012 12:51am
edit1
I just wonder! many thanks!
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