I'm looking for something to visually represent non-combat fire magic. It needs to be small enough to carry discretely, short range (to reduce the risk of setting people on fire), cool- flames and reasonably cheap.

I don't want anything that could be remotely unsafe, even with regards to shocking people or distracting them into being unsafe, whilst still having realistic flames. I've seen flash paper but I don't know how safe that would be.

Is such a thing possible?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "Where did the lighter fluid come from?" Local magic shops could have relevant advice. \$\endgroup\$
    – StuperUser
    Jul 5, 2012 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is old, but since you are still around, I want to ask you: which kind of fire magic do you want to represent and what is your goal in representing it? Are you going to simulate a ritual, or do you want a way for your fire magician to show off? Are you doing it indoors or outdoors? In a forest? Is there anything flammable nearby? Depending on what you want, LARP culture of Russia might have an answer for you. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2018 at 22:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @StuperUser you read my mind! I'm very tempted to put a bit of Gob into my latest PC \$\endgroup\$
    – Lovell
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:22

3 Answers 3


Any sort of fire is very dangerous and should not be used. Read up on fire twirling for using fire if absolutely necessary.

You could use LED lightning to represent fire; LED lights are cheap and come in many colours. If you stick to reds, yellows, and orange, you could get good fire effects.

You could also use electroluminescent sheets (known as EL sheets) or wire. These are sheets like paper that glow when an electrical current is applied, and are quite safe. To get fire, you could cut fire shapes from a red EL sheet.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It can be dangerous, yes, but I'm looking for save devices. Pyrotechnics don't need to be flame throwers or flares. I'm thinking about flashpaper and stuff like that. Is that stuff still too dangerous? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2012 at 2:29
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pureferret: If the device contains/uses flame and/or fuel it has the potential to set anything flammable on fire. Plan accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daenyth
    Jan 9, 2012 at 17:21
  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. 'Safe' and 'Pyrotechnics' do not belong in the same sentence. "Does not blow your hand off." is not the same thing as 'safe'. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 10, 2012 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WesleyObenshain pyrotechnics is probably not the word I'm looking for then..... \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2012 at 16:47

In the past we've used small tubes packed with flour. Blowing through them gives a cloud of what looks like smoke. Lights with red and yellow gels over them make the whole scene look fire-ish.

It's not a great simulation, but you can blast people with them and they don't get burnt.

  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ Do not combine with a significant heat source (hot stage lights) or open flame. Fine powders, including flour, can be surprisingly flammable. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Feb 18, 2013 at 7:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Flour is treated as an explosive in storage facilities that handle it due to dust. Similarly, coaldust is high explosive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 29, 2023 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish -- this warning checks out youtube.com/watch?v=tPRHQYh8Pnk \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12, 2023 at 5:03

If you want a flame like look you can use moving LED flame candles, these are mobile candles powered by batteries that have quasi-realistic flames in them; like these.

Or you can cut pieces of red/orange silk into flame shapes and put a small fan under them to make them flap around; there's a guide to that here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I know movie sets make very realistic fire using a special, thin cloth, a lightbulb and a fan; I saw a prop like this at the big prop exhibit after the first LotR movie came out. I'm not sure how hard it would be to build something like this, but it gives you another option if you wanted to make a brazier type thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Canageek
    Feb 24, 2014 at 7:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .