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How to make a S’mores Roasting Station

No need to build a big fire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. Create this indoor or outdoor s’more centerpiece from chafing-dish heaters and a planter box.


  • a lighter


  • 6’ long pine planter box
  • foam packing peanuts
  • 3 to 5 small potted junipers
  • leafy greens or succulents
  • 1 bag of pea gravel
  • 3 to 5 ethanol gel cans
  • skewers or sticks
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate bars
  • marshmallows
  • self-staining wood sealer
  • a staining pad or rag
  • pinecones
Step 1. Indoor Campfire

Bring summer camp style to your table with a potted-tree centerpiece which serves double duty as a station for roasting s’mores.

Step 2. Prep the Box

Most ready-made pine planter boxes are sold unfinished. Customize your planter box with self-staining sealer applied with a staining pad or rag.

Step 3. Add Bulk

Fill the planter box up with packing peanuts until a 3-inch layer of unused space is left at the top.

4. Position Greenery

Pick up potted junipers, leafy greens or succulents from the local nursery (odd numbers, particularly three, five and seven, work best). Search for species less than 12” in height to ensure guests can clearly see one another across the table once greenery is placed. With the greenery well-hydrated, position each potted plant inside of the planter box, surrounded by packing peanuts. To ensure proper safety precautions in regard to the flames created once ethanol gel cans are lit, keep each tree spaced approximately 12” to 16” apart.

Step 5. Add Pea Gravel

Add a top layer of pea gravel directly on top of the packing peanuts. The layer of pea gravel should be approximately 3” thick. This allows a safe layer of stone for the ethanol gel cans to rest on top of.

Step 6. Place Ethanol Gel Cans

Center each ethanol gel can between each potted plant. Once in place, there should be approximately 4” of clearance on each side of the can, enough distance to keep open flames from coming into contact with greenery.

Step 7. Add Pinecones

Hide ethanol gel cans from view with small groupings of pinecones. Once a meal has been served, guests will be surprised to see that the centerpiece serves double duty as a s’mores roasting station. Use lighter to ignite ethanol gel cans, then begin roasting chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows on skewers or sticks.

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