Thursday, February 10, 2011

18" Doll: Campfire

Every doll needs to go camping!!!

SHOPPING LIST: (You may have some of these pieces on-hand as SCRAP)

10.5"x5" piece MDF or thin scrap wood
1 - LED flickering tea light (Michaels Crafts)
hole saw drill bit (large enough to make a hole the size of the LED tea light - about 1.5")
several small assorted rocks/pebbles
sticks and/or branches cut into pieces (make sure they are DRY)
Pruning Shears or Utility scissors (for cutting the sticks/branches)
Elmer's school glue (to glue on the sand/dirt)
sand or dirt (to cover the board)
Hot Glue Gun / glue sticks
Brown Acrylic paint / paint brush
small scrap of sand paper (to sand the edges of the board after cutting)


1.  Figure out where you want your tea light to sit on your board.  (The tea light will be accessible from underneath the campfire so that it can be turned on/off.)  You will need to draw a circle around your tea light with a pencil to mark where you have chosen for it to sit.  (I chose for mine to be off-center so that I could make a "cooking area" off to the other side.)

2.  Use your hole saw drill bit to cut out the round circle that you drew on the board:

3.  Sand the outside edges of the board and the inside of the new circle you cut.  Use your brown acrylic paint to paint around the hole you cut out (I didn't do this until MUCH LATER, and it was do it NOW!) so that the board doesn't show through the sticks later.

4.  Start laying out your "rocks" in a pattern desirable to you:

5.  When you are satisfied with the layout of your rocks, begin HOT GLUEING them down to the board:

6.  When you get all of your rocks glued down to the board, begin cutting your sticks and branches into short 3" to 4" lengths (if you cut varying lengths of wood it will look more "real"):

7.  Choose 2 sticks, and hot glue them together at the top, forming a "V":

8.  Position your tea light into the cut out hole.

9.  Grab another stick.  Lean your "V" sticks against the new stick, creating a "tee-pee" shape, and HOT GLUE all three together at their meeting point:

10.  It will be a bit "wobbly", but we will fix that!  Add another stick to the mix, and hot glue at that meeting point:

11.  And then add another stick on a different side, making sure to hot glue that meeting point:

12.  Find a LARGER diameter stick.  "Anchor" it in the rocks with hot glue, and then glue it to the "tee-pee" of sticks:

13.  Add a bead of hot glue to the base of each stick that you have added to your "tee-pee".  This will help with stability:

14.  I cut a few shorter sticks to fill in on the sides (from now on use hot glue on the top AND bottom of the stick as you attach it):

15.  Add a few longer and shorter sticks around the entire piece, attempting to fill in the "empty" spots:

16.  Cut a few smaller diameter sticks and use them to fill in the "holes":

17.  I then added a few pieces "laying down" on their side for realism:

18.  Gather your Elmer's glue, sand/dirt, and a paint brush:

19.  Squirt the glue onto the board surface, and use the paint brush to spread it into all of the small crevices between rocks and sticks (didn't get that picture!):

20.  Dump sand onto the glue.  Mash the sand into all of the crevices that you covered with glue:

21.  Tap off the MAJOR chunks of excess sand, and then place outside to dry overnight:

22.  Cover the edges and inside of the tea light "circle" cut out with brown acrylic paint:

23.  Your Campfire is finished!!

2 - roughly 4" pieces of wood dowel (adjust the size of the dowels to fit your rock formation at the  "cooking end" of your campfire)

12 to 16 wooden toothpicks (cut off the pointy ends)
hot glue gun / glue sticks
silver acrylic paint / paintbrush


1.  Cut your 2 pieces of dowel to fit the size of your campfire:

 2.  Glue your toothpicks to one of the dowels, making sure they are evenly spaced.  Then trim the free ends of the toothpicks so that they are all the same length:

3.  Glue the dowel to the free ends of the toothpicks, creating a "ladder":

4.  Paint the entire grill silver.

5.  Add to your campfire!

Tent, Dutch Oven, Pancake Griddle: 
Dogs: Ty Beanie Babies ($5 each)
Soccer Ball: $1 bin at Joann
Food in Basket and on Crate:  
Wooden Crate and Picnic Basket: Michael's - wood crafts section ($1 each?)

Please feel free to use these plans to build furniture, for sale or for pleasure, but please do not sell the PLANS as your "own".  Please also give credit to me and link back here!  I hope you enjoy them!!

***I am NOT LIABLE for any plans featured here. Please take every precaution and use your own discretion to make sure these toys are safe for children to play with them.


  1. Thank you, thank you for sharing these instructions. I've been wanting to make a set like this for my girls since late summer. My plans were pretty similar, but I wasn't sure how to cover up the wood. Does the sand stay on pretty well?

  2. Shari: Thanks for the comment! :) Glad you liked the design....I've been brainstorming for a while now trying to make the design as EASY as possible. The sand is staying on okay for us here, but it could probably use a good STIFF brush-off with a bristle brush or something similar. I was also thinking that I may go over it again with decoupage medium...but I'm just not sure if it needs it yet. "Dirt" might stay on better than the sand, since it is more "one-dimensional" than sand. Play with a scrap piece of board and some different adhesives if you have them....I was using what I had on-hand today. I really wonder if decoupage might work better??? Please let me know which direction you go....I'd love to see and hear how it turns out!! :) Thanks again! Kristi

  3. This is so great. I made a campfire also but never thought to cut a hole for the tea light! Love that idea. I would also add a little black paint on the bottom of the logs to look a bit burnt and some red glitter so the logs look like they're burning.. :)


Please leave a comment or a question - I don't bite and would love to write back, especially if you'd like help or have questions!!