Diy Faux Fireplace

Diy faux fireplace

So how do you cozy up your master bedroom and make it feel like a private retreat without spending a lot of money?

Diy Faux Fireplace Feature-1

 You build a Diy faux fireplace and mantle.

We used to have a dresser on this wall but we moved it into one of the guest bedrooms. The room is only 13-1/2′ wide so we needed something shallow but with a strong visual interest.

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I turned to Ana White for the plans to Diy the faux fireplace. You can find her plans here .  I made quite a few modifications to mine so I won’t do a cut list.

I wanted my mantle taller than 44-3/4″ so I added 6″ to the length of all the long boards.  I wanted the overall depth to be 11″ so I substituted the 1″ x 3″ boards with 1″ x 8″ boards. I also added a faux hearth at the bottom for a more finished look.

I built this for free from my scrap pile.  You read that right, the construction of this mantle cost me $0.00.

I read through Ana’s plans about 15 times and then I searched my scrap pile for the appropriate boards.  In the places that I needed the smoothest possible finish, I used MDF.  In the other places, I used 1″ x 6″ and 1″ x 8″ pine boards.

Surprisingly this came together quicker than anything I’ve ever built.

I built the front with MDF boards

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Then I layered on the other pieces. I secured the edges of the boards with pocket hole joints  and glued and finish nailed the surface pieces.

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Next I added my 1″ x 8″ ‘s to the back making sure everything was square.

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I trimmed the base out with mitered boards.Diy Faux Fireplace -25

To make the hearth, I beveled a 1″ x 12″ on my table saw on 3 edges leaving the back at a 90°.

I did the same to the top  board only I reversed it so the bevel will be on the bottom and the flat part would be on the surface.

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To get it perfect, I attached the crown to the  top of the mantle with glue and finish nails while it was placed on top of the fireplace.

Once all my pieces were secure, I removed the top for staining later.

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That crown under to top of the mantle really tried my patience.

The molding on the legs was much easier since it was just 45° angles.

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I sanded everything smooth and sprayed all but the top of the mantle with two coats of oil-based primer.

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I sanded with a 220 grit paper between the coats then I caulked all the joints.

Once I stained the top of the mantle, I attached it to the fireplace.

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This is what the back looked like before I added the stained top.

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I painted it with 2 coats of Behr Silky White in a satin finish to match all the other trim in my house.

I added a french cleat to the top back so that I could secure it to the wall at the studs.

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And I scribed the new baseboards to fit perfectly around the hearth.

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I added some low voltage LED lights from Ikea to the inside and made a mercury glass insert to bounce the light around.

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And then…………

It was time to decorate.  This is only phase 1 of the mantle decorations so expect some things to change by the next time you see it.

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This room is going to be our  haven so it will reflect a lot of “us”.

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There will be reminders of the good times in our relationship.

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So as I change things around on this mantle from time to time…..

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the theme will always be focused on “us”.

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How awesome is that distressed mirror insert?

Distressed Mirror

I made it from scratch and I will give you the full tutorial later this week.

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Having the LED light means that lighting the candles is optional.  I don’t have to stress about remembering to blow out the candles in the hurricanes.

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I need to find something to put on the left side of the faux fireplace on the floor.  I was thinking about one of those ceramic garden stools or perhaps a hamper disguised as something more tasteful.

For the Distressed Glass Insert Tutorial click here.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have any design suggestions?  I’m all ears.

For those of you who stuck through this long photo heavy post, I’d like to extend my most sincere appreciation.

Until next time…

Signature Post


  1. Brenda says

    Amazing job! It really brought a lovely, cozy feel to the room. I’m hoping to follow you lead on this project, the candles and pictures are such a wonderful and personal touch!

  2. Tanawaja Bailey says

    AWESOME job on your Faux Fireplace! You have inspired me the build one for my new home. What size is the top, stained board on your fireplace? 1 x 8, 1 x 10, 1 x 12 ??? And is the width of this board 51 inches? Thank you. Tanjee.

  3. Fon Wilson says

    I think that it is great. I had an idea to do a fireplace t.v.stand and this has opened up some really great ideas for me. Thanks so very much and I love this version you have!!!!!!

  4. says

    I can’t wait to try this out. I have a blank wall that has been bothering me for ages. Typically a couch goes there but I can’t put furniture in front of it because I teach yoga right out of my living room and need the floor space. I think this will make for such a soothing atmosphere for yoga and just relaxing in the living room especially with the candles and underneath lighting.

    I was wondering – do you think using all MDF would be ok and supportive enough to hold a few knick knacks and such on the mantel? I saw you used a combo of pine boards and MDF, but I don’t have a scrap pile (such is city living) so I’m heading to Home Depot for supplies tomorrow. I figured MDF might save on cost.

    Thanks Ayisha for sharing this! You are truly talented.

    • Ayisha says

      Yes Rebecca, MDF will be just fine however I will caution you about the weight of MDF. It’s heavy and the cut edges need to be sealed well. Meaning you will have to slather them with oil based primer and sand them like crazy to keep them from being fuzzy.

  5. Lisa says

    Love this, so glad I found your blog! Bought our materials last night & my husband is building it today! I’m a little intimidated by the Mercury glass insert but it was a beautiful addition so I have to try it!

  6. Chana says

    Wow! that is gorgeous! You did an excellent job. You have given me a great inspiration for the surround I wanted to build for my ugly floor to ceiling brick fireplace. :) I look forward to seeing what else you can do.

  7. Diana says

    Wow ! I really love your faux fireplace, this is the perfect tutorial that I was looking for! My apartment doesn’t have a fireplace :( but it will have it soon with your help! Thanks!

      • Diana says

        Thanks Ayisha! I need your advise: I have a 4 meters white wall with brown baseboard. What color do you recommend me for my fireplace? My living room is in brown, dark yellow and beige, and all the wood (tables, tv table, etc are in dark brown) I am not sure about what color will looks better. I found by internet many white fireplaces, but a few in brown :( what do you suggest me? thanks in advance! :)

  8. Crystal Knight says

    When I say “LOVE”, I cannot exaggerate those four letters enough! I would really like to make this before December. Your directions are very thorough but I’m am an ultra-beginner and some of the instructions are like a foreign language. Nonetheless, I am determined to create this beautiful piece!

  9. says

    You are amazing! I just came across your blog when I was searching for faux fireplaces and I never imagined one looking so good. The mercury glass in the perfect solution for what would be the inside of the fireplace. Great job!

  10. Stefanie Freeman says

    What ended up being your final height? I checked out the Ana White page but it seemed too short? We’re building one for the livingroon just not sure what a good height would be..?

  11. Diane says

    Absolutely perfect!! It’s exactly what I want… For my tiny living room
    ..and being married to a carpenter this should be easy as pie!
    Thanks for the great pics! I love that you keep it themed around the two of you. Romantic and meaningful.
    This is going to the top of the honey do list! Thanks again!

  12. says

    This is SO COOL! I want a fireplace so badly, but I have to admit – not for the functionality but so I can decorate the mantle each season. :) This is a perfect alternative!! I’m going to get my husband on board and give it a shot!!


    • Ayisha says

      Hi Evangeline, Since I already had the lumber, I cannot give you an exact number but if you use the 3/4″ common boards from Home Depot and you already have an old mirror, you could build this for about $75. The glass for the mirror runs $10 and the mirror spray paint is almost $10 per can. I used 4 but I did waste a bit in error. Of course if you don’t already have things like paint, vinegar, screws and stain, it could easily cost your $100. Still not bad considering what it would cost to either buy or have something like this custom built by a carpenter.

  13. Shirley says

    Looks great! This is exactly what I wanted for our new home. I’m keen in woodworking but still a begineer. What sort of saw would you recommend that’s easy to use but able cut precisely especially for trims n corners. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ayisha says

      Hi Shirley, Sorry for the late reply. I have a 12″ Skil compound Miter Saw. It’s pretty basic but the real precision is in the blade. I use Forrest Blades on all of my saws. They cut like a hot knife through butter. I’d also like to add that the quality of my cuts increased tenfold once I learned how to square up my blade and adjust my saw.

  14. Gayla D'Gaia says

    Owwwww! I lovvveeeee this! You are amazing and have truly hit the nail on the head (literally) for me! We have a faux fireplace that was left behind after my boyfriend took out the natural gas lines in the house and removed the fireplace heater that had been supported by the natural gas. I’ve been waiting for a great idea to transform the piece remaining – one solid unit of the sides to the floor up to the cross section/mantle itself – and this will work very nicely. I’ll have to modify the design a bit. All in all, I think this idea will lead to just what I had in mind. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Melissa Padgett says

    Awesome job…from building to styling….it looks amazing! I’ve been trying to find a good faux mantle look I like and this fits the bill! Thanks for sharing!!


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