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    Friday, December 29, 2006

    Cool Weather Craft: Faux Fireplace

    Quick and easy to create, this stable fake fireplace with sturdy mantel serves all the decorative purposes of a real one.

    A temporary fireplace when you have no Santa portal. Supplies

    * Six milk crates
    * Brick red acrylic paint (2 jars)
    * 10 brown paper grocery bags (used)
    * Foam paintbrush
    * Paint dish
    * 2oz clean water (an empty paint bottle full)
    * Large cardboard box
    * Packing tape
    * Piece of 2x12 wood
    * Warm colored tissue paper (reds, oranges, & yellows)
    * Wrapping paper tubes

    To Build Fireplace

    1) Disassemble paper bags.
    2) Tape three bags together widthwise, two bags widthwise, and two bags lengthwise.
    3) Empty paints into bowl and add water. Stir together.
    4) Paint red rectangles (bricks) onto paper bags and lay flat to dry.
    5) wrap each column of milk crates with the painted brick paper.
    6) Line up columns to fit board.
    7) Place board on top of columns and wrap, leaving a drop of paper about 2 inches long in the front.
    8) Tape last bit of painted paper to the wall behind the columns to complete fireplace.

    To Build "Fire"

    1) Cut two "firey" shapes out of cardboard box.
    2) Cut a slice 1/2 way from the top to the bottom of one cardboard piece.
    3) Cut a slice 1/2 way from the bottom to the top of the other cardboard piece.
    4) Slide them together to make a standing cardboard frame for the fire.
    5) Tear tissue paper into random uneven chunks and crumple lightly by hand.
    6) Lay the frame flat and apply glue to entire surface.
    7) Beginning with lightest color, apply layers of crumpled tissue alternated with glue.
    8) Repeat tissue & glue procedure on each of the four sides of the frame, creating a "merrily roaring fire".
    9) Stand fire up and fluff up tissue, placing your "prettiest" side facing the front.
    10) Cut wrapping paper tubes to size to represent firewood.
    11) Stuff some scrap paper bag bits into the ends of the tubes and arrange in front of fire to complete the effect.

    Optional changes:

    * Make your wood more realistic by painting the tubes dark brown or even rolling newspaper into "logs" and painting for further realism.

    * Place your fireplace's center right in front of your heating register so that when the heat is on, it blows the "flames" about and exudes warmth.

    * Put a mirror under your "fire" and place small blinking and solid lit LED lights in yellow and orange between the "legs" of the fire to provide a flickering effect and ambient light in your fire.

    Hang stockings, decorate mantle, and enjoy!

    Apologies for posting this craft so very late in the season. At least it is still good for bringing a warm feeling into the home during the winter months, right? *sheepish grin*

    At the end of the season, take down the fireplace and toss all the paper and cardboard bits into the compost heap to make mulch in the spring. This is a great (and frugal) way to recycle some paper grocery sacks, teach the kids about reuse of things, and spend some fun time together.



    lovelife said...

    that is so cool. you have more fire in your fire place then we do in the 2 in our house.
    hope you had a good time at Christmas.

    Heather said...

    that's quite a project! very cool!

    The Maven said...

    That's so awesome! I better not let my kids see how detailed your projects are or they're going to want me to be that creative :P

    tracy said...

    Neato! Must go search for milk crates now...

    dawn said...

    Would you mind if I shared these instructions with some crafty moms?

    This is way cool.