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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 12/21/2006

What To Do With That Empty Fireplace

Got a fireplace in your home that you love to curl up next to in the winter? Not sure what to do with it once winter is over and you have cleaned it out, leaving a huge, gaping hole? Fill it with a beautiful scene or cover it up with a handmade fireplace screen.

To enhance your existing d cor and fill that empty hole in your fireplace, you can arrange items on your fireplace hearth. If your room has a beachy feel, you can add to it by placing bowls of variegated sand, along with various fish cutouts and seashells, on the hearth. If your room is more formal, you can dress up the hearth with a collection of candles or terra cotta pots filled with beautiful greenery. For a fresher look, add some flowers in season.

If decorating the hearth is not your thing, you can always create a screen that you can place in front of the fireplace until the cold weather sets in. You can make a fireplace screen out of almost anything. If you have an old framed painting stored away in the attic or basement, you can pull it out, attach the back of it to a wooden frame that you have created, add some legs and set it in front of the fireplace. You can do something similar with an old stained glass window or a large photo collage frame, or you can try making these screens.

Painted Fireplace Screen

Supplies:

Tape measure

Plywood

Power saw

Primer

Craft or latex paint in various colors

Paintbrushes

Four double-action hinges

Screwdriver or drill

Directions:

1. Measure the opening of the fireplace and cut three equal pieces of plywood that you can attach together to serve as a screen.

2. Apply a coat of primer to the three plywood pieces and let dry.

3. Paint each of the plywood pieces as desired. Some people prefer murals, while others go for a sleek design.

4. Allow the painted plywood pieces to dry thoroughly.

5. Attach the double-action hinges to the painted pieces with a screwdriver or drill.

6. Place the freshly painted screen in front of your fireplace opening.

Tin Fireplace Screen

Supplies:

Tape measure

Ceiling tin

Two 8-foot 2x2s

Power saw

Drill or screwdriver

Screws

Finishing nails

Hammer

Miter box

Molding

Directions:

1. Measure the ceiling tin and cut and construct a frame for it from the 2x2s.

2. Cut two more pieces of wood to serve as the base and screw them to the bottom of the frame.

3. Nail the tin onto the frame with finishing nails, being careful not to damage it.

4. Cut the molding to fit the tin, making sure you miter the edges, and attach it around the tin with finishing nails.

5. Place the new tin screen in front of your fireplace opening.

Wallpapered Fire Screen

Supplies:

Tape measure

Plywood

Power saw

Primer

Paintbrush

Wallpaper

Scissors

Water trough

Wallpaper brush

Sponge

Craft knife

Four double-action hinges

Screwdriver or drill

Directions:

1. Measure the opening of the fireplace and cut three equal pieces of plywood that you can attach together to serve as a screen.

2. Apply a coat of primer to the plywood pieces and let dry.

3. Cut a piece of wallpaper to fit each plywood piece.

4. Working on one piece at a time, moisten the wallpaper in the water trough and apply it, using a wallpaper brush to smooth out the wrinkles.

5. Remove any excess water and paste from the wallpapered plywood with a dry sponge.

6. Run a craft knife along the edges of the wallpapered plywood to remove any excess paper.

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for the two remaining pieces of plywood.

8. Allow the wallpapered plywood pieces to dry thoroughly.

9. Attach the double-action hinges to the wallpapered pieces with a screwdriver or drill.

10. Place the newly wallpapered screen in front of your fireplace opening.

These are just a few ideas for creating your own fireplace screen. A search online or at the library will uncover hundreds more. Give that gaping hole in your fireplace some class this year. Set it off with some lovely d cor or disguise it with a beautiful handmade screen.



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