Burning Embers Halloween Prop




In this instructable I will show you how to build a smoldering pile of embers prop. Use it under a cauldron, burnt corpse etc.

Step 1: Materials Used

Materials used:

1 or more cans of spray foam insulation

1 or more orange string lights

plastic bottles

plastic floor liner

1 roll clear packing tape

1 can of Grey primer spray paint

1 can black spray paint

1 can red spray paint

1 can rubberized undercoating


Step 2: Preparing the Lights

Cut a few plastic bottles open, removing the bottoms and tops.

You can also use larger bottles by slicing down the side as well and rolling them up to the desired size.

Run your string lights through these bottles. Perfection isn't required and some lights outside the bottles is ok, just try to to have most of them inside.

Alternatively you can use clear plastic sheeting such as plastic drop cloth available in your local hardware stores painting section.

I used both methods in the above example.

If using plastic, roll it up around the lights and tape in place with the packaging tape.

Form a circle with the lights as best you can and curl the end into the center of the circle.

Use the packing tape to hold everything in place.

Step 3: Spray Foam Insulation Onto Lights

Cover the lights with the spray insulation. You don't need to cover it with a thick layer, just enough to hide the plastic sheeting and or bottles. Remember we want to see the light.

While it's dying you can tap at it with the foam cans tip to roughen up the texture. Be careful this crap gets everywhere if your not carefull.

You can also add bits of wood or charcoal to the foam at this time before it dries.

Step 4: What It Looks Like So Far

At this point it lights up very bright in the dark and looks like a pile of white hot coals. Its possible to stop here and use as is, If your not planning to have your props out before Halloween day that is... it will need more work if it's to be seen in daylight and not just in the dark of night.

Step 5: Paint the Foam

Once the primer is dry it's time to paint the foam.

First apply a layer of fire red, once that's dry apply the black spray paint leaving about half still showing red.

Step 6: Apply Rubber and Ash

Grab the rubberized undercoating, holding the can about a foot away spray the surface with a light spattering of the rubber. Immediately pour ash all over the surface you just sprayed.

Once that's done spray another light coating of rubber on top of the ash.

Wait a minute to for it all to dry. Once dry turn over and shake off the access ash.

This step can be repeated if it didn't hold onto enough ash.

Step 7: Finished Embers, Possible Uses

Here is what they look like when finished. I included a few pictures of a burn corpse i made laid over the coals as an idea of how this prop could be implemented in your haunted house or halloween decorations.

Step 8:

3 People Made This Project!


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43 Discussions


2 years ago

Such a stupid question but what kind of rubber did you use? I'm pretty confused about that?.

1 reply
jzuwala mottsRobbieG16

Reply 2 years ago

Any kind of rubberized spray should work fine, for example flex seal or liquid electrical tape


3 years ago on Step 8

This is really incredible. I don't think I've seen anything that looks quite so realistic, including many "faux fireplaces" that I've seen. It takes me back to days... kids... science projects... specifically, volcano reproductions... doesn't it look like lava, as well? Thank you for your imagination and creativity!

1 reply
jzuwala mottsPatW7

Reply 3 years ago

thanks! I'm glad you liked it. It does look a bit lavaish, there's alot of directions you could go with this project. All the alternative uses for its project posted in the comments are great ideas.


4 years ago on Introduction

were theses steady state lights or twinkle lights?

have you tried with twinkle lights?

and what if you mixed red, white, yellow, orange, and possibly even blue lights all together?

1 reply

they were steady but twinkle should work just fine. I like the idea of mixing different colored lights, that should produce some interesting results.


4 years ago

I'm thinking used that dried moss stuff & give it a light coating of spray paint for even more texture & interest. This is very very cool!


4 years ago on Step 7

You could do this in another way and for other reasons. Like for a fake fire in your fireplace in summer time. That way you wont have to deal with your energy bill going up if you need a special addition to a party or romantic night.


4 years ago

Cool,got a new one for the cemetery this year! Thank for sharing