In a city apartment, where, due to the lack of chimneys and reliable heat-insulating ceilings, it is impossible to install a fully functional wood-fired fireplace, it is possible to design its decorative model. When using inexpensive materials at hand, the work does not require great skills in construction and expensive tools. A do-it-yourself cardboard fireplace is built in a few hours, but it looks no worse than the real one.
Children can also be involved in work, for them this activity will be not only interesting, but also developing.
There are several models according to the location in the room:
- wall-mounted - located against the wall and protrudes with its facade for a certain distance;
- built-in - built directly into the wall;
- corner - occupies a corner of the room;
- island - does not adhere to the wall and is most often installed in the center of the room.
False fireplaces made of cardboard are most often made wall-mounted or corner ones, because they are not intended for heating the house, but have a decorative function. Such a dummy can also be used as furniture: shelves can be installed in a niche, and the top tabletop will play the role of a shelf for small items.
According to their external design, there can be a huge number of types of false fireplaces: in English, classic, rustic style, with an arch-shaped or rectangular firebox, with a dummy firewood or oven. When designing, it is important to take into account that this detail is combined with the surrounding interior.
The simplest option that children can make is a small dummy without a chimney with a rectangular portal and a firebox. Outwardly, it will resemble a large letter P. in the future, this decorative device can be supplemented with other elements and a more complex decor can be made.
It is possible to assemble a model of a classic English fireplace from cardboard. They are distinguished by an open trapezoid-shaped firebox and a direct chimney that goes into the ceiling. Inside the furnace niche, the walls are located at a slight angle of the order of 20 °. The English version is decorated with limestone, quarry or brick décor.
A dummy imitating a sauna stove or a rural style should have an arch-shaped firebox. Making a figured hole out of cardboard is not difficult. And it is best to finish it outside with cardboard or foam stucco molding in the form of bricks or cobblestones.
Material and tool
It is not a problem to get thick corrugated cardboard, you can use containers from large household appliances: TVs, refrigerators, washing machines or other goods. The entire manufacturing process can be done at home right at the place of the future location of the decorative hearth.
Corrugated cardboard is good because, thanks to the internal stiffeners, it retains sufficient strength, while it weighs very little, and is cut with a simple office knife. But a cardboard fireplace, even with an external finish, will not support a lot of weight, so you should not put heavy objects on it. It is not protected from moisture and high temperature, so a false fireplace should not be located near heat sources, and only safe methods should be used to simulate fire.
To work on the construction of the frame, the following tools will be required:
- stationery knife;
- polymer glue;
- transparent tape;
Depending on the methods of decorative finishing of the cardboard false fireplace, the following materials and tools may be needed:
- paint or decorative putty;
- paint brush or spatula;
- trays for paint or a container for mixing putty;
- corners, moldings, moldings, frames or profiles.
You can decorate such a hearth with a putty and subsequent painting, or stick finished stucco molding, polyurethane sheets, self-adhesive laminated paper with a wood or natural stone texture on the surface. Based on the chosen method, an appropriate set of items for decoration is selected.
Plan and calculations
Even the simplest version of a cardboard fireplace needs a phased work plan. It includes the following items:
- determination of the shape, type and location of the fireplace;
- choice of materials for the frame and decorative finishes;
- creation of a construction drawing with dimensions;
- preparation of tools and materials;
- marking on cardboard of frame parts;
- cutting of elements, their gluing and installation;
- external finishing.
The development of such a plan is good in that by performing all the actions step by step according to the existing scheme, you can gain some experience and next time start creating a more complex structure, for example, from polyurethane or plywood. Despite the frivolous work of gluing ordinary cardboard, you can make a detailed calculation of the dimensions of the firebox, portal and chimney, as for a real wood-burning fireplace. This is useful for gaining some building experience.
It is worth considering step-by-step instructions for creating the most common frame layouts: wall-mounted U-shaped and corner false fireplaces.
For a wall-mounted fireplace, you will need a wide cardboard box with a height and width of 1 - 1.4 m and a thickness of 0.2 - 0.25 m, for example, from a large LCD TV. First of all, fold and cut lines are marked on the cardboard with a pencil. A rectangular symmetrical cutout is made in the center on the front side - this will be the furnace portal. The back of the box remains intact. For greater rigidity, the inner walls of the firebox are glued inside. All sides of the frame can be fixed with plastic corners or moldings. The frame is placed on a foam or polyurethane base.
For finishing the U-shaped version, it is best to use light white ceiling panels or self-adhesive laminated paper. The foam panels are attached with a waterproof polymer adhesive that dries in minutes. Another finishing method is the use of water-based paint. In order for it to firmly adhere to the cardboard frame, you can first spread it with a primer or a very thin layer of liquid putty. After that, wait 1 - 1.5 hours for the primer mixture to dry completely and start painting.
Corner decorative fireplace made of a cardboard box is made in the form of a prism with a triangular base. The corners of the frame are tightly glued with tape or polymer glue, an arch-shaped hole is cut in the front part, the top can be decorated with a decorative tabletop made of lightweight material, such as PVC or laminated plywood. Inside the firebox, for beauty purposes, false walls should be made of the same cardboard.
The decor of a corner cardboard fireplace can be done in the same ways as the previous option: painting or applique. In a niche, you can place beautiful souvenirs or a toy fire, the creation of which will be described in the next section.
Fireplace portal - the part where firewood is burned. In the case of imitation using cardboard, there are several ideas on how to make its appearance as realistic as possible and similar to a real hearth. Firstly, it is worth installing a fake firewood grate inside. Since in the present version it is metallic, it is necessary to look for light materials that are visually similar to metals. These can be plastic or wooden parts covered with shiny mastic or foil. You can use black paint.
Next, we make an imitation of a flame in the furnace of such an imaginary hearth. There are several ways to create the illusion of a bright, flickering fire. The simplest and safest technique is based on the use of a New Year's garland. First, artificial firewood is made from dry branches. They are pasted over with cotton wool and foil. Further, a bunch of such firewood is placed in a circle of stones in a fireplace niche, and a garland folded into a ball must be inserted into its center. When connected to the network, a fascinating flicker is created inside the fireplace, similar to the smoldering of real firewood.
Garland or individual light bulbs can be placed in untreated salt crystals. They create a beautiful shimmering effect and, moreover, have a beneficial effect on the body. It should only be taken into account that the structure of the cardboard fireplace can withstand the weight of the salt lamps.
On the floor at the base of the firebox of the structure, some people place a flat display on which a picture of a live fire is transmitted. This method is beautiful but not advisable - to use an expensive monitor for only one image. But it is quite suitable for one-time use, for example, on New Years or another holiday.
A simpler and cheaper method of simulating a flame is using a hand-drawn picture, embossing, applique or volumetric hologram. This technique can be constantly changed, creating new original images.
To decorate a cardboard fireplace with an impressive decor, home craftsmen use their maximum imagination.
There are many interesting options.
- For example, a fake fireplace with a bright red flame from electric bulbs.
- Cardboard model in a classic style with sophisticated elegant stucco molding.
A cardboard false fireplace with brick decor and electric garlands in a niche, decorated for the New Year's celebrations