How to Make a Cardboard Christmas Fireplace

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How to Make a Cardboard Christmas Fireplace
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

If your image of Christmas includes stockings hanging on a fireplace but your home doesn't have one, you can make a surprisingly realistic DIY cardboard fireplace. Start with four cardboard display boards -- the kind students use for science projects. You can find them at hobby or office supply stores and home centers.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 white tri-fold cardboard display boards

  • 2 black tri-fold cardboard display boards

  • 1 4-foot pine board, 1 inch x 12 inch

  • Utility knife

  • Wide masking tape

  • 4 pieces scrapbook paper, 12 inch x 12 inch

  • Mod Podge

  • Assorted wood trim pieces

  • Hot melt glue gun

  • Paint

Step 1: Gather the Materials for Your Cardboard Box Fireplace

Project display board
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Start with display cardboards that measure 36-inches tall, with a 22-inch center panel and two 12-inch side sections.

Step 2: Trim the Black Cardboards

trim black cardboard
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Using the 1 x 12-inch wood board as a guide, trim the folded sections of one of the black display cardboards to the width of the wood board.

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Step 3: Score the White Cardboards

Score the white cardboards to the width of the wood board

Again using the wood board as a guide, score each white display cardboard into four sections the width of the wood board, with the extra 1 inch left as a tab on the front edge.

Step 4: Make the Columns

fold the white cardboards into columns
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Fold the two white cardboard displays into two columns.

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Step 5: Attach the Columns to the Black Cardboard

hot glue the columns to the black cardboard
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Stand the black cardboard display up and set the columns on each side. Using hot glue, attach the columns to the black cardboard at the tab on the front edge.

Step 6: Glue the Boards

glue the back of the columns to the black cardboard
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Glue the boards at the back also.

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Step 7: Tape the Edges

tape over raw edges
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Tape the raw edges with masking tape.

Step 8: Cut and Score

T-shaped piece for the fireplace face

From the second back display cardboard, cut a piece the width of the 1 x 12-inch wood board from the width of the cardboard and set aside. Move the wood board over and score a line, again using the board as the width guide. Cut along the score lines to leave a T-shape piece.

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Step 9: Fold the Sides

fold flaps of the T-shape into the columns
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Lay the top part of the T across the top of the fireplace, between the columns. Fold the sides of the T down into the columns on each side. Fold the middle of the T down between the columns as the face of the fireplace.

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Step 10: Secure the Fireplace In Place

fireplace taped together
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Tape the cardboard fireplace face in place.

Step 11: Form and Tape

placing the firebox
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Using the piece of black cardboard set aside from Step 8, form into a box shape, 4 inches deep, set in the base of the fireplace and tape into place.

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Step 12: Make the Mantel

Make the mantle: Measure and cut trim boards to fit the 1 inch x 12-inch board. Glue and nail in place. Paint the mantle with a coat of water-based primer. Fill any gouges, knots or dents with dry wall spackle and let dry completely. Sand until smooth. Paint with the desired color.

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Step 13: Paint and Mod Podge

place the pieces of scrapbook paper like brick
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Paint the sides and face of the fireplace gray. Tear scrapbook paper into brick-sized pieces and Mod Podge them to the area around the firebox.

Step 14: Set the Bricks

scrapbook paper bricks in place
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Stick the paper bricks on the area around the fire box or brick the entire face of the fireplace, whichever you prefer.

Step 15: Add Trim and Mantel

glue trim around the paper bricks
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Glue corner trim at the front edges of the fireplace. Cut molding to fit around the edges of your brick area, and glue it in place. Set the mantle on top of the fireplace.

Step 16: Decorate Your Cardboard Christmas Fireplace

fireplace ready for the holidays
Image Credit: Debbie Williams

Decorate the cardboard Christmas fireplace - you are done!

Tip

If the mantel will be decorated and stockings hung on it, secure the faux fireplace to the wall (or stabilize it through some other method) so it won't tip over. A falling fireplace, even this relatively light one, could injure pets or small children, or at the very least damage any ornaments placed on it.

Warning

Remember the fireplace is cardboard – don't use lighted candles or other forms of live flame.

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