Wood Fireplace Insert Tutorial

One of the things I was really excited about when we bought our house was that it had a fireplace. I love the idea of decorating the mantle, being able to sit by the fire in the winter, or roast s'mores, and being able to hang Christmas stockings from it. And I simply love the stone on ours. However, I less than love yet another dated brass accent (i.e. the glass folding doors). So my dad and I came up with, what I think, is a pretty awesome solution!

This is the before. (It truly isn't horrible, but that doesn't mean I have to like it)

We created this insert so that it gave the appearance of a fireplace filled with stacked wood, which is a cozy, rustic look that I love. However, what an awful pain in the butt to have to take out an entire stack of carefully placed wood each time you want to use the fireplace! This lets me just wiggle out the insert and then I can still use the glass doors to contain the fire, but looks so much prettier in the downtime!

These are the supplies you will need

1. Chainsaw 

2. Old logs or branches

3. Black spray paint

4. Clear polyurethane spray 

5. Liquid Nails

6. Plywood


Measure your fireplace so that when you purchase your plywood you have them cut it so that it's about 1 inch smaller than the height and width. 

Spray paint the plywood black

Take your old branches and cut them into 2-3 inch thick pieces. Only one side has to be smooth so that it will lay flat on the board. Try to pick pieces that have some interest in them so that they don't all look the same!

Lay out all you pieces to make sure you fill the board and don't need to switch some around to fill in some holes! Not every piece has to be touching, because they wouldn't be if they were really stacked! 

Take your liquid nails (making sure the one you buy is able to be used on wood) and attach the pieces to your painted plywood. 

Give it a day to dry before turning it up vertically, so that gravity doesn't mess it up!

Finally, spray it with the polyurethane! My hope with this was that way it didn't start to turn crazy colors from the wood being inside or getting old! So far it has worked, especially when compared to the pieces I have left over in the garage!  

I can't tell you how many people thought that out fireplace was filled with logs! Only when I explained it, and they looked closely did they see what it was! For the win!

Love this project, it really is easy once you have all the supplies! And it makes such a great impact! 

Happy crafting!