Bonfire night, also known as Guy Fawkes night, is a peculiarly British celebration which commemorates a failed plot to destroy the Houses of Parliament. The plot was led by a man called Guy Fawkes and you’ll often find a make shift “Guy” at the top of the bonfire, ready to be burnt. Celebrated annually on November 5th, bonfire night is a golden opportunity for some enjoyable arts and crafts and the chance to create delicious food with a seasonal theme.
A Bonfire Night Diorama
A diorama is a very effective 3D scene, created within the framework of an open-sided cardboard box. For a great bonfire night diorama, start by painting the inside of the cardboard box black. Now you have created your base it’s time to start adding the exciting effects. Try these ideas:
- Build a bonfire on the base of the diorama with a small pyramid of twigs and some crumpled yellow and orange tissue paper to create a fiery effect.
- Twist small spirals of multicoloured pipe cleaners to give the impression of bursts of fireworks. Suspend the twists from the diorama ‘sky’ with fine thread.
- Spatter the back wall of the diorama with bright splashes of paint. If this is done lightly with a fine brush, a very pleasing fireworks impression is made.
Bonfire Night Pictures
Bonfire night pictures are most effective when black paper is used as the background. Children will have lots of fun, exploring different techniques to create fires and firework explosions across the paper.
- Splatter painting is a great way to create a bonfire night display on paper
- Another good technique uses swirls and lots of bright chalk which is gently smudged with the fingers. Chalk pictures are set with a light spritz of hairspray. Try sweeping brushes full of glitter glue across the drawings for extra sparkle
- Fabulous texture collages are created using bits of twig for bonfires, topped off with tongues of yellow or orange tissue paper for flames
Start with a tray of simple cupcakes which are really easy to make or you can even buy some inexpensive readymade cakes. An easy child-friendly recipe to try is:
- 100g/ 4oz Self-raising flour
- 100g/4oz Sugar (caster or granulated will do)
- 100g/4oz margarine or butter
- 2 eggs
Cream the fat together with the sugar until the mixture is smooth and pale. Add the eggs one by one. Carefully fold the flour into the mixture. If the mixture is very stiff, try adding a very small amount of milk to create a consistency that drops gently from the mixing spoon .Divide the mixture amongst paper cases and bake for about 15 minutes at 180C until risen and light gold.
Finish the Bonfire cupcakes by mixing 1 tablespoon of water with every 10g (3 ½ oz) of icing sugar. When the icing is smooth, add a few drops of orange food colouring to create a rich, flame colour. The cakes can be decorated with the ‘flame’ icing when cool.
The kids can finish their cupcakes by building a pyramid of lightly flaked chocolate sticks to look like a bonfire on top of the icing. Try threading scraps of strawberry laces around the bonfire to add to the realistic look of the fire. You can also use chocolate twigs to create ‘sticks’.
Bonfire Night is a celebration of colour, drama and spectacle. It’s an excellent springboard for some really inventive crafts for children to try their hand at.