Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to make a simple fire/ember unit for a 1/12 scale dollhouse

Here's how to make a simple (and very inexpensive) electrified fire/embers/coals unit for your dollhouse.

Tic Tacs are a pretty worldwide candy. If you live somewhere where the orange Tic Tac box is orange (and the mints are white - like Canada) then you have an almost instant source of the right coloured material to make a fire! 

(This will also work if you only have clear boxes -- get some transparent or translucent glass paint and paint the plain plastic the colour or colours you want your glowing embers.)

You'll also need black paint and a 12 volt bulb -- I'm using a pre-wired frosted grain of rice bulb.

Cut off the bottom 1/2 inch or so (15 mm) of the candy box with a saw or even scissors. (You can also cut one of the sides down, if you need a shorter unit -- the one I actually made for my kitchen grate needed about 1/4 of an inch taken off one side. ) Cut a slot or drill a hole where the wires will exit at the back of the unit.

 I just dabbed it with thick globs of artist's black acrylic paint for coals, but you could also glue on logs or bits of real coal or even black beads for verisimilitude :)  Let it dry.

I drilled a hole in the back of the kitchen grate and placed the bulb inside.  I then put the fire unit on top of the bulb inside the grate and taped the wires securely at the outside back of the grate.  Then I fed the wires through a hole in the back of my fireplace nook and added an electrical plug and plugged it into my electrical board.


  1. What a clever idea and a lot cheaper than the for me in any case expensive imported resin coals and we do have the orange Tic Tac here in South Africa!!!

  2. Yay, orange Tic Tac boxes! Those resin coals really add up when you're buying them for every fireplace in a big house, eh?

  3. Great idea! Keeping an eye out for the orange ones!
    In Miniature Style II

  4. Fantastic idea! I am a great fan of (cheap) DIY, and this is a great tutorial! Unfortunately, tic tacs only come in clear boxes here, I wonder why?

    Will be trying this soonish, if my current idea of burnt logs doesn't work out.

  5. Wow this is great, I too will watch for the orange boxes. Great tut and I am enjoying investigating your blog. I am on the Canadian Mini group.
    Judy in Penticton


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