So this little project took me a full day to create! But I am so stoked with how it turned out!! Here is a step by step guide to create your own.
Before you get started, make sure you have a whole day set aside for this project (or two). Although I was able to whip mine up in a day and a half, I would have liked to take that little bit of extra time to make sure everything was perfect. The overall cost of this whole project was around $45.00 and I had to buy myself a Stanley Knife as I didn’t already have one. I bought the cardboard boxes from Officeworks (10 pack for $15.00), and pretty much everything else from Bunnings (aside from the items I already had at home).
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
cardboard boxes | drop sheet | MDF sheets (cut to size) | wood glue | sandpaper |
masking tape | tape measure | ruler | stanley knife | scissors | paint | paint brushes | pencil
1. First step is to make up 7 cardboard boxes. I re-inforced mine with a fair amount of masking tape, inside and outside the boxes to give them as much strength as possible and to make them sturdy.
2. Next step, is to cut your MDF pieces to be the exactly the size of the three boxes (you will need two pieces this size). Stack two boxes together to form your “pillars/legs” of your fireplace. On top of your 2 x lots of stacked boxes, lay a piece of MDF, then continue to stack your remaining three boxes on top of the MDF. Add your other piece of MDF to the top to create a smooth top for your fireplace. Tape EVERYTHING together! See image below…
3. You will also need one piece of MDF, the size of the background of the fireplace itself to just sit behind the fireplace to create an enclosed space (I had left over MDF so I also used a piece to slide in the bottom to make the base of the fireplace. See image above…
4. Now that your fireplace is standing and sturdy. The next step is to cut out your sandpaper sheets into even rectangles (I was able to get exactly four “bricks” to a sheet). I bought my sandpaper from Bunnings and was able to get a 15 pack of all different thicknesses for only $1.50! So I bought 3 packs! Use your Ruler and Stanley Knife to do this, so the edges are nice and neat (I put a spare piece of MDF under mine, so I didn’t scratch the tiles or blunten the knife).
5. Lie your fireplace down on its side and lay out your sandpaper “bricks” on top of it. I didn’t plan it this way, but buying the variety pack of sandpaper allowed for various “brick” types, which gave it a really good “real” look when completed. Space your sandpaper out to ensure your “grout” is nice and even. See below…
NOTE: If your “bricks” don’t fit, fold your pieces of sandpaper so that they continue over the other side, that will keep your tessellation perfect!
6. Once you are happy with your layout, be sure to get your Wood Glue out and start sticking them down. Don’t worry too much if your sandpaper starts to bubble (mine did) but it ended up drying nice and flat.
7. Wait for your glue to dry (by the time I was finished sticking all my pieces down, it was dry where I had started), then pop your Drop Sheet down and place your fireplace in the centre. It is now time to start painting.
NOTE: I stuck my top piece of MDF down at this point using the Wood Glue. However, you can probably just tape it down at the beginning beforehand, and continue as usual.
8. Next up, shake your paint (I got mine in sample pots from Bunnings and picked a creamy white colour for my bricks, and a grey colour for my fireplace). Using your Paint Brush, evenly paint your bricks and also the mantle piece top too. I gave the top piece two coats, but the bricks only needed one coat. I kinda liked the look it gave the fireplace, like there were actually bricks beneath the paint!
9. Once you have finished painting the bricks, next you need to paint the inner parts of the fireplace in your darker colour, as well as your background piece of MDF and also your base piece (you don’t have to use grey, you can use black or brown, or even chalkboard paint so you can draw a fire inside with chalk if you want!). Remember to be nice and neat, use masking tape if you need to make sure your joining lines are straight.
10. Before you go ahead and put anything on your beautiful creation, make sure you leave it overnight to dry properly (especially before sitting it up against your wall). To add a finishing touch to your new home addition, try putting some real firewood in the fireplace (I’m even planning to get some battery operated fairy lights to twist in amongst the wood to create a soft glow, to look like fire)! Pop something pretty on top of your mantle piece to give your new (cardboard… shhh) fireplace a homely feel!
NOTE: Be sure to remember that this is a FAUX (fake) fireplace, and you cannot actually make a fire in it or you may ignite your whole house…
I was extremely proud of how my pretty little fireplace turned out (it was better than expected), I might even keep mine up all year round rather than just at Christmas time! It definitely gives the illusion of a warm cozy space for the holidays, I can’t wait to rug up (with the air-conditioning on) and make myself a nice cup of cocoa – and just pretend I’m blogging from where I’d rather be!