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How to make a recycled, DIY Guy Fawkes for your bonfire

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Making a Guy Fawkes doll for your bonfire sounds like a lot of extra work, just for a result that will quite literally go up in flames within minutes.  However, it does add a little something extra to your bonfire, and it’s a tradition that doesn’t often get practiced in today’s world.  The Fawkes on the Fire was once the main focal point of home-based celebrations, as fireworks weren’t easy to get hold of for domestic parties until around 30 years ago – but before then, it was all about the fire and the defeated villain within it.


To make an inexpensive and recycled Guy Fawkes is actually a fairly easy task.  Firstly, hunt around the house for any old clothes that are destined for the charity shops (or even the bin).  Then, you’ll need some elastic bands (or any other material you can tie fabric together with), a marker pen, some safety pins to fasten all your parts into one, and some cardboard tubes or old scrap paper.  You’ll also need a rake and a pile of leaves – not difficult to come by this time of year!

The Head 

A skin-coloured, red or white garment of clothing would be ideal for this part of your model. Start by forming and adapting your old t-shirt or other garment so that once stuffed, it will bulk up to form a globe.  Then, simply grab a few good handfuls of leaves, and stuff them into the material.  After you’ve drawn a face on it, you should have the makings of a basic but effective head.

The Hair

This is easy too.  Go on a Twig Hunt (brilliant entertainment for the kids after school tonight) and find a good few handfuls of thin, straggly sticks.  Make holes in the top of your Guy Fawkes’ head with a needle, and insert the twigs in even gaps.  If you add enough of them, you’ll find your model suddenly has a full head of eerily messy and chaotic hair…which, conveniently, just ends up adding to the fire as extra kindling!  there shouldn’t be any need to secure the twigs, as the material should keep them in place as long as you’ve stuck them in far enough.


The Body

An old long sleeved t-shirt is ideal for this for obvious reasons, but a pillowcase can work just as well.  Again, simply seal/tie the neck and arms so the stuffing doesn’t fall out, then cram as many leaves into it as possible until you see a more substantial and solid figure forming.  Once you’ve finished and sealed the bottom opening of the shirt, you’ll find you have an almost perfect torso for your Guy Fawkes model.  Well – perfect when viewed from a distance and surrounded by flames, anyway!


The Legs and Arms

This is the easiest bit – simply gather up old toilet paper tubes, roll up some scrap paper, or find any other cylindrical and suitably flammable objects in your home that you’d be willing to sacrifice to the bonfire.  It’s just a case of sticking them together with tape, and there you’ll have simple but effective limbs for your ill-fated doll.  Avoid using glue, as it can often let of toxic fumes when burned, and it can also create a messy gunge at the bottom of your fire pit.


We’d love to see your photos and hear about your experiences this 5th November – which bonfire night will you be attending? Do you have any traditions that simply must be honoured? How does your dog feel about the whole thing?!

Do please leave your comments below, and happy Guy Fawkes Night everyone!

Apart from your Guy Fawkes doll, of course…poor little chap’s going to have an awful evening. Hooray!

Posted within: Blog, outdoor activities, Uncategorized

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