What type of wood and its' thickness would be get the best results for making Christmas colored flame yule logs?

I would like to try and make colored flamed yule logs this year. What type of wood would get the maximum amount of absorption of the mixture of colored solution into the wood? What would be the thickest circumference that would enable the colored flames last the longest?

Most internet sources suggest newspaper, wood chips or pine cones. I would like to do the same using wood in the form of small logs, in order to make it resemble a real Christmas yule log for a fireplace. They may take up to a month to dry, prior to using.

How to Make Colored Fire

Helpful Sources:

How to Make Colored Fire

The History of the Yule Log

Add Color to Fireplace Flames for Christmas

Yule log (Wikipedia)

  • Do you consider it acceptable to bore large diameter holes into the log to increase the absorption area and to improve the longevity of the burning chemicals? Drilling from both ends would not have much cosmetic impact as drilling into the sides.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 15:07
  • @fred_dot_u Yes, I feel that would be acceptable.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 20:28
  • You could also make many small (even nail) holes to increase the absorbing area. The lack of absorption of liquids into wood is a common topic at woodworking.se, where it normal relates to oils and other finishes. Holes will also increase the longevity of the colour. You could bore out (almost) the entire log, and pack it with soaked and dried wood chips/sawdust, plugging the end with a bit more wood.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


You want a wood with high porosity to take up as much of the mineral laden water as possible. Perhaps balsa if you can find a block of it, poplar or willow would be good too. Cedar might work.

Hardwoods will definitely not work well .. nor will any pine variety as their natural pitch will resist water uptake.

  • 1
    Would a light wood like balsa burn too quickly compared to harder woods? (Presumably the best choice is something in between, to find a balance between porosity and longevity -- in any case, good answer!)
    – Erica
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 12:08

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