After about two seconds of staring at our Christmas mantle display, I recognized that one of the main eyesores in this area was the fireplace opening. It just lacked something. And making something….a huge enormous mess. And a migraine every time I saw that enormous ugly mess.
So I thought it was time to get one of those fireplace inserts that look like sliced logs. You know the ones…they’re all over Pinterest and make your fireplace appear like it’s filled with piled branches and logs. They hide the unsightly mess if you have one, add interest, and prevent any draft. And here’s the twist: it all ends up looking like this.
I’ll guide you through how we created ours because it was far simpler than other DIYs I’ve seen. And you know who I am… I’m all about being simple. What makes you believe I got Jeremy?! (I’m joking, Mom!)
So the first step is to examine the issue. My fireplace aperture is sharply angled….it has a metal element at the top that would be my stopping point….the wood insert would not rest much further back than that. In addition, there was a lip in the bottom where the stone met the concrete. It only allowed me about an inch in front of where I wanted my logs to end, so I couldn’t cut bigger pieces of wood. In addition, my fireplace aperture is rather large but not particularly tall. It also includes a set of gas logs that we bought with the house but rarely use.
We’ve used them previously, but I usually get headaches when we use them, which is strange because I never did in our previous place. That being said, I just needed something I could access once a year
I began by searching through the wood inventory for this piece of underlayment. It’s a very thin piece of plywood that I cut to size using my circular saw. Weston obviously tagged it with a W for me…then wrote down that W when LJ definitely labeled it with an L. Boys
I also got some Rust-charcoal Oleum’s chalk paint from my collection, and William gave it a fast coat. I love that I can now assign duties like these to him. Sure, it’s sloppy, and I had to smooth away large globs of paint, but he did an AMAZING job overall. And it expedited my work!
It was then time to cut the wood. Jeremy dug three various sizes of sticks out of the woods for me (we have plenty of fallen wood), and I enjoyed how the largest branches had inner rings that represented how rapidly the tree grew.
When I’d had enough, I brought it all inside and placed it on the board till it looked natural and organic. My one piece of advice is to make the bottom row fit almost precisely. Then, with each slice, push it down into the row below it, similar to how gravity would draw it down if this were upright.
Then I used my Ryobi glue gun to hot glue each component in place. And, yes, you will need a lot more hot glue than you think. I used up a dozen glue sticks. The board was then put into position. It is supported by the concrete lip and the metal bracket.
I simply left it there and didn’t do anything with it at first, but it dropped in the middle of the night and terrified the living crap out of Jeremy. He appeared to be preparing to assault our piled wood invader. So the next day, I placed more hot glue globs on the rear where it meets the metal piece, and it is now securely fastened.
But now that it looks incredibly festive, Jeremy and I debated whether the wood should go all the way to the top… I’m thinking about cutting some more pieces and squeezing them in there without gluing them down to see if I like it. However, I believe that having the screen in front of you makes it feel done. The nicest aspect, in my opinion, is that there is no longer a large dark hole there….it seems cozier and warmer!
And the greatest thing is that it didn’t cost me a single penny. The Leftovers are the most delicious. So, if you’re thinking of completing a tiny project like this….something around your Christmas décor that helps take care of the clutter that’s staring at you….just do it! It’s remarkable how much just one small gesture has brightened my Christmas attitude!