Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Campfire How-To

When making the camping room for my son, I new I had to have a campfire. I found a couple on Etsy that were cute, but all in felt. I looked at doing a felt version, but didn't really like the completed look of it. I wanted something more realistic. I finally got around to making this right before his 3rd birthday. I wanted to make a whole gift around it. 
I made the campfire set, and added a picnic basket full of camping necessities. 
I found a felt sandwich set, by Melissa & Doug. 

We also purchased some plastic camping toys, a canteen, a lantern that makes nature sounds, roasting sticks with marshmallows and hot dogs. All by Insect Lore, found on Amazon.

The campfire was very easy to make, and inexpensive. 
Here's How-To make it...

 I started by looking for fabrics that looked like the pieces I was making. A bark fabric for the logs, a orangey-yellow fabric for the flames, a tan or grey for the rocks, and a brown for the dirt at the base of the fire. 

For the base of the fire, I used a thick piece of plastic board, but cardboard could work as well. Cut it in an oval shape, wrapped the fabric over it, and hot glued it in the back. 

The rocks were next. I started with a randomly cut shape. You don't want them round, like balls, and each one should  be different. Use cotton stuffing for the insides. I just cinched the fabric around it, and stitched it closed, or you could hot glue it closed. Then I hot glued them to the base, sort-of overlapping some and making them look irregular, more like real rocks.

For the logs, I cut out rectangles in the length, that I wanted the logs. Again they all shouldn't be the same size, random is better. I made 4 of them. I used a muslin fabric for the ends, just cutting a circle shape. Before sewing anything together, I made the rings on the end pieces. I used the sewing machine, and brown thread. Staying away from the edges, I just rotated the pieces, and made two different circles. I folded the bark pieces right sides together, and sewed down the long side. Turn the bark piece right side out.  Place one of the circles along the seam of the log an sew them together. I left about 1/4" gap, and frayed the edged's. Stuff it with the cotton stuffing, doesn't need be super tight. I did the same for the other side. You can hand stitch it if its to tight on the machine.

The fire is a similar technique. Cut a shape out of the orangey fabric, you will need a front and a back. I made three sets of these. Keep the pieces backs to backs, and stitch around the edges (the dotted line), about 1/4" away. Leave part of the bottom open, and stuff the cotton batting into the flames. I used a pencil end, to get it in the tops. Then hand sewed the bottom to close it. You can fray the edges, gives it a firey look. 
I stitched the sides of two of these together, on each side, where it says "here". There will be an opening between the two. Fold the last piece of flames, and stuff it in the hole between the other two. You can add a dab of hot glue to keep it from moving. 

For the log seats. I used the same technique as the logs. I started with a thick piece of foam, from Hobby Lobby. I used a 2"x15"x17" piece for each seat. Cut it into sort of a circle shape. I used a serrated knife for this.

I set it on the bark fabric and marked how thick, and long, the sides needed to be. The top and bottom were done the same way as the end of the logs. I made rings using the sewing machine, and brown thread. Again, fraying the edges.

This has become a family spot for us. Every night we sit around the campfire to read a bedtime story. My son picks out food for us all, everything gets cooked over the fire, even the sandwiches :) 
See the whole room here, and check out how-to make the camping tent.

Hope this "sparks" an idea, for a place, for you and your family to spend time together. 

Check us out over at Uncommon Designs, Monday Funday Link Party too.

Monday Funday at Uncommon Designs


  1. About how much tree bark fabric did you use for this project?

  2. This is so darling!!! My 6 year old would love this! I am working on a cool kids play area downstairs this summer and might just have to try this. Where did you find that bark fabric? I love it!

  3. Where do you get your fabric?

  4. Can you please share with us where you found your bark fabric?

  5. Are you making these as sets to sell by chance? :)

  6. You are a genius. I can not WAIT to make this for my son's camping themed room! Thank you thank you thank you!

  7. Do you mind sharing you much you spent on your supplies?