Introduction: Halloween Skeleton Fireplace

Picture of Halloween Skeleton Fireplace

This seems to be the year of the skeleton for me. Here's a super quick and easy decoration for an often-ignored part of the house. The fireplace! (Also, it's a great way to use either your skeleton pieces, OR your less "attractive" skeletons, like bluckys, a.k.a. blow-mold skeletons.)

*As with all displays involving string lights, please do NOT leave this prop illuminated when you are away from home.

The cost on this project can be as little as $0 if you happen to have the items on hand, it will take you about 10 minutes to complete (unless your fireplace requires a lot of cleaning). If you have to purchase everything, I would estimate it between $35 and $75.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Fabric (I used some "Creepy Printed Fabric" that I found BEFORE Halloween last year on clearance for $0.96 a package at Walgreens.)
Skeleton parts
Orange string lights
Fireplace (or faux fireplace)
Cat - Not recommended (I dare you to try and stop him.)

*NOTE - The fabric needs to be translucent enough to show the lights, but opaque enough that it's not blatantly obvious what the light source is. If you simply cannot find fabric and/or you don't have a firelog holder, you can "mould" some Great Stuff over a plastic tarp (use empty water and large soda bottles for the armature under the tarp you're using for the Great Stuff). When the Great Stuff is dry, spray paint it black and peel it off of the tarp. It will have natural openings which will create your banked coals look.

Step 2: Clean Up Your Fireplace

Picture of Clean Up Your Fireplace

Since the idea is that you have recently roasted someone, it's best to have a clean-ish fireplace. If you're going for an abandoned feel, don't worry about the cleaning, just be sure to add some aging and cobwebs to the "leftover" bones.

Step 3: Just Add Fire

Picture of Just Add Fire

Arrange your "fire" (the string lights) under the firelog holder. Try to spread the lights out to the edges with the highest concentration of bulbs towards the center.

Step 4: Bank Your Fire

Picture of Bank Your Fire

The purpose of the cloth is to mask the light source, you want this to look more like a banked fire with hot coals than a roaring fire with flames. Arrange the cloth to mask the bulbs, while still allowing plenty of light to come through. 

As noted in the supplies list, I used what was called "Creepy Printed Cloth" from Walgreens. I found it on clearance for $0.96 a bag last year. I did what any good haunter (a.k.a. a "collector") would do, I bought all of them. Anyway... This one happened to have a skull pattern on it. Which isn't necessary for the project, but it does give a nice blackened/ash colour to the look.

*NOTE - "Creepy Printed Cloth" is NOT the same thing as the "Creepy Cloth" you can find at dollar stores and some Halloween stores. It will not work. (At least, it won't work well.)

Step 5: Add Parts

Picture of Add Parts

Now, simply arrange your parts in whatever way pleases you the most, and your fireplace is decorated!

There are tons of different things that you can do to add to this design. You can add a cauldron. You can put in some red and purple lights to create a more variegated colour scheme. You can add silk fabric and a fan to mimic flames. You can use this post to corpse your skeletons to make them look more cooked. You can make the project as complex as you like. However, since this is being posted at the beginning of October, I wanted to keep it simple. 


amandaggogo (author)2017-09-03

This looks awesome!

nthesadl (author)2015-11-03

What a fun and freaky idea! I didn't have time to go shopping for cloth so I used the extra spider webs that I had - fluffy white in daylight but looked like glowing embers at night. Thank you for helping to make my Halloween party décor fabulous! Too fun!

automatenut (author)2015-10-17

I did the same thing in my fireplace, but I added a black light on the fireplace side of the door frame using business card magnets on the back of the light fixture.

lamador (author)2014-10-14

awesome idea. Thank you.

That looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing your project!

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-22

I love this instructable thank you so much

You are welcome, I'm glad you enjoy it. :)

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-24

I love this instructable thank you so much

dmontgo (author)2014-10-01

I am so glad I found this! I didn't even think about our fireplace when we started decorating. I finished everything in about 20 minutes and it looks great! It's gotten several compliments already. I left the logs and spot in my fireplace (we just moved in) because I couldn't find that particular color fabric, and got some Dollar Tree orange string lights, skulls, and creepy cloth. I got a bag of bones from Party City for $10. for $13, I have a great display for the whole month. Thank you again!

It looks fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing the picture. :)

Spyridoula Nemesis (author)2014-09-11

Thank you! Sorry, just seeing this now. He loves skeletons, but he loves just about anything I want him to stay away from. :)

DucttapeNinja (author)2014-07-11

This is awesome. I know what I'm doing to my fireplace year-round!
Also, I'm really excited that you included the link to corpse-ifying skeletons, two clever projects that would work fantastic together.

Thank you!

jsbingso (author)2013-10-27

This is truly amazing. I made mine in a fire pit in my front yard(as I wanted to have it visible) but it doesn't look as good but I still love this idea

If you have a moment, I'd love to see a picture of yours. I have a couple of suggestions swimming around in my head that may help with the realism you're seeking.

BLASTFEMI (author)2013-10-25

This is simply brilliant! I want to make a 'fireplace' on the porch!

Thanks! This would work for a firepit or a BBQ too! :)

javajunkie1976 (author)2013-10-20

Very cool. This effect could also be used if you have a daughter and she's dating someone you don't approve of!!

Ha! A new take on the old "cleaning the shotgun in the living room" bit.

switz99 (author)2013-10-11

Very cool, very creepy. What do you think about using leftover screen door mesh in place of the material?

Anything that is semi-opaque will work wonderfully. I just used what I found in one of my boxes of Halloween stuff. It needs to be translucent enough to see the light through it and opaque enough that you can mask the light source.

Grunambulax (author)2013-10-09

I entered this contest too but I STILL voted for you. Just too cool. What a great effect. It's a winner. The only thing cooler would be real skeletons in a Hell-like inferno.

Wow, thank you so much! I'm honoured. I love your Halloween Shadow Ornaments.

explosivemaker (author)2013-10-04

I wonder what you could use to replicate skeleton parts that could be used in an actual fireplace. Now that would be creepy.

bryan3141 (author)explosivemaker2013-10-06

Last I heard, gas fireplace "logs" are ceramic. Sounds like you need to take a ceramics course and get some kiln time. :)

explosivemaker (author)bryan31412013-10-09

I thought about that, but I don't think there are any widely available, firesafe mixes that could be poured into a mold.

bryan3141 (author)explosivemaker2013-10-06

Last I heard, gas fireplace "logs" are ceramic. Sounds like you need to take a ceramics course and get some kiln time. :)

Do you mean the firelog holder would look like a skeleton? Or are you thinking more along the lines of something that looks like a skeleton but will safely burn? Either way, I love the idea!
I think a custom firelog holder wouldn't be too hard to make, if you know someone who can do the welding... (Hmmm, I may just have a project for a friend of mine.)

l8nite (author)2013-10-07

really like the looks of your coals....

Thanks! The string lights work perfectly for that "glowing coals" look.

Blacksedan47 (author)2013-10-07

great idea, i like the price too

Thank you! Yes, with all the parts Halloween enthusiasts (haunters) tend to have on hand from prior displays, the price gets better and better. :)

Rodro226 (author)2013-10-07

Nice! However it would be better if made of concrete and shining on a real pile of fire

Thanks and that does sound fantastic.

studleylee (author)2013-10-06

Dude,just admit it, those are people who made you angry...... Awesome work!!!

Haha, no I don't get angry like that anymore... ;) But seriously, thank you so much!

hammer9876 (author)2013-10-06


Congrats on being Featured.

Thank you!

mckeephoto (author)2013-10-06

Sweet set up! And easy, too.
As I get older, I start looking for the simpler, more elegant ways to haunt, over the more complicated, intricate ones where I need to learn a whole new industrial skill. This fits the bill!

Yay! I'm all about the fast and fun projects. Maximum impact, minimum work. I'd love to see your interpretation, if you'd like to share.

Thanks! I'm on the lookout for the cloth. Will post if/when I find it.

The cloth can be anything. As long as it's sheer enough to let light through and opaque enough to mask the look of the string lights.

tate219 (author)2013-10-06



longwinters (author)2013-10-06

Your project is very cool but that cat is gorgeous

Thanks, and I'll let him know you said so, his name is Thelonious. (And, he already knows how gorgeous he is.)

Hiyadudez (author)2013-10-05

This looks excellent! Nicely executed. (no pun intended)

Intended or not, love the pun! Thank you. :)

Onyx Ibex (author)2013-10-04


Fantastic compliment. Thank you!

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