Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How To Make Fake Burning Wood For $1!!! - Fireplace DIY Part 2

Last week I showed you guys how to make a fake fireplace for only $1! While I highly recommend you go check out that post (see HERE), you will be left with one crucial part missing, wood. 

You can definitely skip this portion and simply just use fake candles, Christmas lights laid out on top of wood logs, or just a 3D style cut out image. For those of you who may want to have a little more realism added to your fireplace, I have the perfect solution. Fake wood that looks like it's burning! The best part is that you can complete this entire project for $1 like I did, assuming you have a few arts and crafts items lying around. Regardless, you'll be looking at an extremely cheap DIY that is easily recreate-able. With just a few minutes of your time, a little patience, and a pair of battery operated lights from Dollar Tree (see mine HERE), you can make your very own wood burning fireplace! 

For your supplies, you'll need to gather up:

Battery operated lights (Dollar Tree) - $1
Brown and black paint (you can find at Michael's for very cheap)
Thin white streamers (you can find at Dollar Tree)
Glue (Mod Podge or Elmer's)
Paint brushes
A plate to pour the paint on
3 to 4 paper towel rolls (or any cardboard rolls)
1 to 2 toilet paper rolls

2 battery operated flame less candles
Poster paper
Hot glue gun
Popsicle Sticks

*Please note that in my picture I included a roll of plug in lights, simply because I didn't have the battery operated ones yet. You can choose to use the plug in lights, but you will need to accommodate them with these instructions and the instructions on how to make your own fake fireplace.*

Step 1: Take each individual paper towel roll and create small to medium slits/holes all around
it. This will allow for the light to shine through the painted streamer paper.

Step 2: Cut small strips of your streamer and glue them thinly over the medium sized holes. Then cut your toilet paper rolls in half AT AN ANGLE (this is important for a branch affect). Make small cuts around the edge of your half of the toilet paper roll going upwards, bending the sections outwards. This will create a surface that you can glue and/or tape your half roll to the whole roll. This will give you a small branch like section. Once you've attached your "branch", start wrapping the log with your streamer. Be sure to make a hole on the whole roll where your branch is. You will be "covering" the branches hole, but you will still need a hole to have light come it. Also, cut out a small circle of streamer paper, that matches the size of your branches. This will be attached LATER. 

Step 3: Once you've completed your logs, you will want to start painting! Mix black and brown in a very uneven/splotchy way, to give the effect of "burnt" wood. I don't recommend going full black or full brown in any one area, as it may not have a "realistic" look to it. This process is a "messy" one in the sense that it isn't meant to be perfect. Simply play around with the colors
and go to town. Wood doesn't burn perfectly nor is it perfect to begin with, so don't worry. Try it out and remember, you can always paint over sections again. After painting your "logs", go ahead and GENTLY paint your circles for your branches. I only had 2 branch spots, therefore I only painted two. I say gently in all caps, because if you are too forceful or add too much paint, you can very easily rip the streamer paper, as it's delicate when "wet".

Step 4: When your branches are dry, all that's left to do is make SMALL holes over a FEW of the areas that you covered, just to add a "hot" spot. Thread your lights through each branch carefully, while trying to have them shine through your branches and holes. This may take a little working with, but you can make it work no problem with a little patience. After your circle's are also dry, you can then carefully tape them on your branch ends, so you don't have a giant hole that just shows your cardboard rolls. 

There are two additional features that you can recreate as well, with the optional supplies I mentioned about.

The first is a poster paper log. If you don't have any cardboard rolls, you can simply take poster paper, make a few creases in the paper when rolling - to give a "harder lined" look, glue (or tape) an overlapping fold together, then glue a streamer piece on top of the joined section. From here you can simply wrap the "log" with streamer paper, paint, then put a few flame less candles on each end facing inwards. You could potentially make a few holes prior to putting the streamer paper on like I did with the cardboard rolls, but it does compromise the structure of the paper. I chose to use my poster paper log as a "top" log. The flame less candles made it seem like the perfect "hot spot" to be placed on top.

The last additional feature is a grate. For this I would suggest looking up a fireplace grate and try to assemble as best you can using popsicle sticks and hot glue. I had to really play around with this idea and in the end - after painting it black - it came out pretty decent. I did this, because I wanted to ensure that my "logs" would stay in place. 

Overall - even though it's a little uneven and a bit wonky - I was pleased with the results! 

Really the project as a whole came out pretty
darn awesome if I do say so myself. The logs all shine with a glow and they light up the living room with a subtle, but comfy light. 

Of course it's not a "real" fireplace, but for now it will do. My son loves it and I love, so personally I think that's all that matters! I had gotten quite a few compliments on how the fireplace turned out, which is ultimately why I wanted to share this with you guys! The best part is that you can completely customized this process to your personal preference, without spending a great deal of money. It's also a really fun project to do with the kids. Best part is that you don't have to worry about an electric bill OR a fire hazard with this DIY!

Now that we have our cozy "fire", we put on a nice movie or some Christmas music, cuddle up with some hot cocoa, and enjoy the nighttime sky out our window. Who doesn't love a nice snuggle session by a "roaring" fire. Ok so maybe it doesn't roar, but it also doesn't require chopping wood logs and THAT'S something I can get behind!

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