Make Multicolored Flames In A Fire

Create colored flames in a fire using everyday household items.

A campfire or fireplace provides not only warmth, but also a mesmerizing effect on those watching the flames dance and flicker. The process of burning the items in the fire combines oxygen and fuel to create different colors within the flames. Several household items and common metals will change the color of the flames when added. Salt, for example, will create a momentary color change when thrown into a fire. Help the color last longer by making a wax patty containing the color ingredient. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Lay several sheets of newspaper on the counter. Separate the paper cups and set them on the newspaper.

2. Place a 1/4-inch layer of one ingredient in the bottom of each cup. Ingredients include: Borax for light green flames, tree root killer (copper sulfate) or alum for darker green, water softener salt (potassium chloride) for purple, table salt (sodium chloride) for orange, Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) for white flames, sugar for white sparks, powdered coffee creamer for small sparkly flashes and flour to make flash flames. Use iron filings for gold sparks and copper filings for blue flames.

3. Place a block of paraffin wax in an old pan. Melt the wax using medium heat until it liquefies. Do not leave the pan unattended.

4. Pour just enough of the melted wax to cover the ingredients in the paper cup. Immediately mix the wax and ingredients together. Repeat the process with the remaining paper cups.

5. Let the wax cool until it hardens. This will take approximately 20 minutes.

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6. Remove the wax patty from the paper cup if desired. Throw either the wax patty or the paper cup with the wax patty in the fire to create the desired color.