Here's a video comparing the efficacy of manual bellows to the blower we'll make:
Step 1: Materials and Tools
1 - battery-powered blower like the kind used to blow up air mattresses. The one I had laying around the house was the Coleman 4D Universal Quick Pump that you can get for less than $15 on Amazon.
4 - D cells for the blower, $7 at Home Depot
Fabric Tape: Duct tape or Gorilla Tape
2 - hose clamps 1" or so, about $0.70 each
18" of 1" ID plastic tubing a couple of bucks at Home Depot
9" of 3/8" copper tubing
Copper Tubing Cutter
Step 2: Cut Tubing to Length
Step 3: Wrap Tubing with Tape
Step 4: Connect the Tubes
Step 5: Clamp Hose to Blower
Step 6: Done!
As to price: the total materials for this blower is about $25. The cheapest bellows on Amazon are in the $20 to $25 price range. As to getting the job done, there's absolutely no comparison, go back and see the video in the intro. Since this is an air mattress pump, you could easily take the tubing extension along on your camping trip and use it to pep up the campfire after inflating your air mattress. I'm also sure other types of blowers, including AC powered ones would work as well around the home fireplace. So look around the house and see if you have a pump kicking around in the bottom of a closet and make your own blower!