This is what my apartment looked like when I moved in - very boring and zero character.
How to Build a Portable Free Standing Decorative Faux Fireplace
So excited to share my favorite project of all time: a DIY faux fireplace! I've always dreamed of having a fireplace but my rental apartment doesn't have one. I was determined to change that and I finally did it ! I'm absolutely in love with it and It's amazing how it completely transformed my living room - it's like I moved to a new apartment!
***Do keep in mind that this project is for decorative purposes only and is not to be used as a heater***
I used 2"x3" (but you could also use 2"x4") , 1"x12" pine boards (but you could also use plywood) and 1/4" thick plywood.
I started by building 4 supports using the 2"x3", using a speed square to make sure that every corner is at 90 degrees.
Then I made the firebox by attaching the 1"x12" pieces that make the sides of the firebox to 2 of the supports and then attaching the top and bottom. Then I attached the 1"x12" piece that make the base, attached the remaining 2 supports at each end and then I attached the 1"x12" to the top of the supports.
This is the structure of the fireplace surround before I attached plywood to it. You can easily customize the dimensions to suite your space.
I covered the structure with 1/4" thick plywood and painted the firebox with black chalk paint. This entire structure only cost $65 to build and then can be customized with any mantel, finish and fake fire log insert.
I wanted my fireplace to have a modern yet soft beachy look so I decided to cover the surround with easy to install peel and stick Smart Tiles that have a beautiful stone finish. They are easy to cut with a utility knife and ruler and there's no grouting so there's no mess! And it also made tiling around the corners much easier than having to cut real tile.
After tiling, I installed a mantel that I made with 1"x2"s, 1x"4"s and plywood that I had on hand. It was a bit of a frankenstein but once I installed it and painted it, it gave the desired effect of having a nice thick mantel. I added a mantle. Then the final piece of the puzzle to make this look like a fireplace is an electrical log insert that has surprisingly real looking flame!
*** I only use it as a decor item and NEVER use the heater function as it is not recommended in this type of application ***
And voila! My dream of having a fireplace has come true! It has truly changed the entire look of my living room and apartment and since this is essentially like a piece of furniture, I'll be able to take it with me when I move out!
This was a really fun project to build and I made this video of the building process showing all the steps in more detail. Hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did!
- 2"x3" (1"x12")
- 1/4" thick plywood (4'x8') (material cost doesn't include mantel or tile)
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!Go