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Bonfire Tutorial for American Girl/18 inch dolls

Build a Bonfire For Your Doll

Hello! It’s summer time and you know what that means? Swimming, s’mores, cookouts, bonfires! Yippee!  . . . . . also bugs, sunburns, swimmers ear . . . . Rewind! S’mores and campfires, yeah! And 18 inch vinyl people don’t get sunburns or bug bites. Yay again!

I have s’mores listed in my shop right now, at least I did before I began typing. They’re selling pretty fast. (Shop here)056When you have s’mores, you need a bonfire, right? The photos aren’t nearly as cute without a fire. Well, there’s a challenge. I had s’mores but no way to roast the marshmallows. So I made this! If you’d like to make one, keep reading! 050Gather your supplies. You’ll need:

  • glue
  • black paint
  • tissue paper in red, yellow and orange
  • chipboard or light weight cardboard
  • a cardboard tape ring if you have one
  • a battery operated votive candle
  • kraft paper
  • a plant stand or candle holder
  • scissors, pencil and a paintbrush

Most of these items I already had. The kraft paper, tape roll/fire ring, tissue paper are all recycled items. The only things I purchased were the clearance priced battery operated candle and the plant stand so my cost was about $2.30.


I found this cute plant stand, it was less than $2 at a local dollar variety store. For the sake of honesty here, I need to admit my 12 year old talked me into buying it. I wasn’t sure. Ella may be smarter than I am. Don’t tell her I said that. So, look around for plant stands, potted plant holders or candle stands and I’m sure you can find one. If you can’t find a stand you like, just make your fire and set it on the ground. Let’s get started!

I placed a bowl that was a bit larger than the top of the stand on a piece of chipboard and traced around it. My bowls were all a little too big or a little too small, Too big is better, you can trim it later. I’ll show you how. 031Now, turn your stand over and trace around it. If you can, trace inside the top like I did. 024It should look like this. Grab your scissors and025begin cutting from the outside straight to the line, continue cutting every two inches or so all the way around. 027Lay it on a flat surface and start folding in each flap, always working from left to right, you want the right hand flap to be on top of the left one. 032When you get to the last flap, tuck the right side under the first flap you folded. 033It will look like this. Try it in your stand. 034Here is where you trim if your bowl was too large like mine was. Just draw a rough line around the top. 035Remove it and trim the flaps just under the line you drew.

037Time to paint. Protect your work surface. I’m re-using a plastic bag for this. 038I like this brand of paint but any black craft paint will work. Use whatever you already have. If you have black cardboard/chipboard, you could skip the painting step.041While the paint is drying, measure your cardboard ring. I’m using a tape ring and I’m cutting it in half so it will be the same height as the sides of my fire pit. I started the cut with an Exacto knife042And finished cutting with scissors. After cutting, I painted it black and left everything to dry. If you don’t have a leftover tape ring, just make one out of leftover chipboard, cardboard or cardstock. 044While the paint dried, I cut the tissue paper.  I folded red, orange and yellow into fourths and cut two long strips off the end. Each strip is about 1 & 1/2 inch wide.045Cut the strips into sections about 3 to 5 inches long. 046049Gather all the strips together and cut the end into a rough point.051Ok, stack all the pieces, hold them straight and squish them. 052Looking good.001Separate all your tissue paper flames. 005Put a small rubber band around your battery operated candle and tuck in just enough flames to go around. I used a rubber band instead of gluing so I could easily replace the candle or batteries later.004From the top your candle will look like this. Now my paint is dry, dab glue around your cardboard ring and glue tissue flames around it. This looks best if the colors are applied randomly. 002010Set aside to dry. 008Take your craft paper, tear some strips. (I forgot to photograph the paper tearing. Pretend you know how to tear paper. 🙂 009Roll and squish into log shapes. 011Place your black liner in the stand, then the fire ring, logs and candle. It will look something like this. 012Quick, grab some marshmallows! We need to try this out. Faux Fun, Faux Real!


3 Responses to Bonfire Tutorial for American Girl/18 inch dolls

  1. Elle November 11, 2015 at 12:53 AM #

    This is fantastic! My girls need a fire pit for their patio. I’m going shopping tomorrow and I’ll be on the lookout for a plant stand so we can make our own. Thank you!

    • November 16, 2015 at 4:01 PM #

      I’m glad you like it Elle. We’d love to see a photo after you make yours.


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    […] put some of them on skewers before baking so your dolls can roast them. Follow the tutorial here (Bonfire Tutorial) if you need a campfire. Then break out the dolly graham crackers and make […]

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