While browsing for some ideas to update/refresh my living room, I realized I had almost every ingredient already on hand for a craft project for the fireplace. Thanks to my awesome friend Michelle’s awesome husband Andy, this turned into a project that came together quickly and (in my opinion) successfully. Win!
-plywood board cut to the size of the opening of your fireplace (I got mine at Lowes for about $10. They were happy to cut it to the size I needed for no charge.)
-black paint to cover board (I used Annie Sloane chalk paint that was leftover from a previous project. Chalk paint is great and easy to use – you don’t need to prep the surface you’re going to paint and it has no odor. It also dries quickly and has a nice matte finish. I used the color “graphite”)
-birch logs cut into rounds in varying heights of one to two inches. I had about 8 short logs that I had been using as decoration in the fireplace. This had been only partially successful so repurposing them was a no-brainer. This is where Andy came in – he kindly cut them for me with his table saw. And as a bonus, he nailed some scrap wood to the back of the board to help the board stand upright. I bought the birch logs off the internet thru Amazon a few years ago.
-wood glue to attach the rounds to the board. I had a bottle of Elmers Wood Glue in my house repair stash.
This morning I laid the rounds out on the board, trying to mix up the different widths and heights of the rounds to create some texture and interest. It was a bit like working on a jigsaw puzzle. I had just enough rounds to fill the board (there are a couple small open areas that I might try to fill with some small craft rounds, but I may just leave it as is)
Next was gluing the rounds to the board. The wood glue worked great – I put a generous dollop on the round, wiggled it into place (to help the glue bind) then gently held the round for a minute to help it set. I carefully worked row by row and only missed one piece that I had to go back and attach!
After letting the board sit for a couple of hours, I set it in place in the fireplace. The angle of the firebox helps to wedge the support legs of the board in place, but I also placed a couple of heavy bricks on the legs to help counter the weight of the logs on the board.
I love how it turned out. It works well with my goal of using lots of light and neutral colors in the living room and adds a lots of texture and interest. Now I need to figure out how to decorate the fireplace mantle…..