If your image of Christmas includes stockings hanging on a fireplace but your home doesn't have one, you can make a surprisingly realistic version from cardboard. 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.
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
Wide masking tape
4 pieces scrapbook paper, 12 inch x 12 inch
Assorted wood trim pieces
Hot melt glue gun
Start with display cardboards that measure 36-inches tall, with a 22-inch center panel and two 12-inch side sections.
Using the 1 x 12-inch wood board as a guide, trim the folded sections of one of the black displays 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.
Fold the two white cardboard displays into two columns.
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.
Glue the boards at the back also.
Tape the raw edges with masking tape.
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.
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.
Tape the fireplace face in place.
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.
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.
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.
Stick the paper bricks on the area around the fire box or brick the entire face of the fireplace, whichever you prefer.
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.
Decorate the fireplace - you are done!
Remember the fireplace is cardboard – don't use candles with a live flame.