We all want the interior of our home to be stylish and beautiful. To achieve this goal, designers around the world have come up with a great variety of decor elements. Among them, the fireplace is far from the last. But what to do if the dimensions of the apartment do not allow you to install a full-fledged fireplace complex or you just do not want to spend money? There is a way out - you can make a decorative (fake) fireplace from cardboard boxes with your own hands!
Yes, yes, you heard right - from the most ordinary cardboard boxes that often remain after buying household appliances. To make such an imitation of a fireplace, you don't even need any special knowledge and construction skills - it's easy and simple to make it! How? Read on!
To make a fireplace with your own hands from boxes, you will need the following materials:
- Naturally, one or more large boxes - depending on what kind of fireplace you want to get in the end;
- Wallpaper (one roll is enough) or white paper;
- Stationery glue or PVA glue;
- Three types of adhesive tape - regular, masking and double-sided;
- Paint brushes, sponges, cloths;
- Stationery knife, scissors, ruler, pencil, as well as tape measure and building level;
- A sheet of drywall or plywood to create a mantel;
- Depending on the type of decoration chosen, you will also need:
- a roll of wallpaper with a "brick" pattern or red cardboard - if you want to decorate your fireplace "like a brick";
- a roll of self-adhesive film with a pattern imitating natural stone, marble or malachite;
- white paint can, ceiling plinth and styrofoam moldings (columns, capitals, rosettes, moldings, etc.) - to create a more classic, elegant decor;
- "Liquid" volumetric wallpaper - to achieve the effect of relief marble chips on the surface of the fireplace;
- acrylic paint of bronze, silver or gold color - for special decoration of elements of fireplace decor.
Surprisingly, from cardboard boxes you can make not only a home false fireplace, which can perform an exclusively decorative function, but also build a portal for an electric fireplace! Of course, such a portal excludes the installation of a gas burner, or biofireplace, since there is an open flame and a fire can occur. It is impossible to install a heat exchange fireplace with a water boiler and a casing in it - because of the bulkiness of this structure and, of course, the danger of ignition of the cardboard from overheating. Also, you cannot install electric fireplaces with an open hearth and a built-in heating function - for the same reason. An electric fireplace with a closed fireplace insert and imitation of a flame (on the LCD screen or with the help of backlighting) can be inserted into the construction of cardboard boxes.
By style, the following types of fireplaces (fireplace portals) from boxes are distinguished:
- Art Nouveau style. This style of design of the fireplace portal assumes a variety of textures and colors, a combination of modern forms and old decor elements (stucco, rosettes, etc.). Such a fireplace will fit well in almost any interior;
- High-tech style. It would seem that the high-tech style presupposes a kind of futurism, the use of such ultra-modern materials as steel, plexiglass - what do cardboard boxes have to do with it? However, even of them, you can make a fireplace in this style - just make it an interesting geometric shape and paint it black or steel, and insert a mirror into the firebox. Alternatively, you can put the glass on the mantelpiece;
- Classic style. As you know, classics are always in fashion. Strict lines, a minimum of additional decorations - such a fireplace can be installed in absolutely any apartment;
- Country style. Loved by many "rustic" style. It differs in that such fireplaces are made of brick and natural stone. In order to give the fireplace from the boxes such a look, it is enough to glue it over with a self-adhesive film or wallpaper with a brick or stone print. Be sure to put firewood in the firebox.
How to do it yourself: step by step instructions
- First, determine the location of the future fireplace. This can be either a wall (frontal position) or an angle (corner position). If you need to mask any defect on the wall or in the corner, a properly located decorative fireplace will do just fine;
- At the installation site, take all the necessary measurements to clarify the parameters of the future box using a tape measure and a building level;
- Design your drawing carefully. Apply the fireplace to it in as much detail as possible, with decor details, observing all proportions. Draw in color, so it will look more natural and, as a result, it will be much easier for you to understand how the original result will look;
- Preparing materials. First, we select a box or several boxes. The ideal option would be a whole box from under a widescreen flat-panel TV, but if you have not found one, you can use sheets of cardboard previously cut from other boxes and fastened to each other with adhesive tape;
- We free up space in the room, lay out our materials. We carefully draw all the details on the box. Follow the rational use of materials - for example, it will be easier for you if the corners of the proposed fireplace coincide with the corners of the box;
- The main parts of the fireplace are the podium (base), portal and upper shelf. Editing begins at the podium. Since he will have to withstand the weight of the entire structure, it is necessary to strengthen it. This is done by inserting special cardboard inserts (the so-called stiffeners) inside the prepared base. Place them perpendicular to the floor, securing with tape. The height of the ribs is equal to the height of the side rim of the podium. By the way, you can strengthen the sides by gluing them with a couple more layers of cardboard. The base is made, as a rule, a little wider than the portal, by about 8-12 centimeters;
- Next, we form the portal.
There are two ways to assemble a cardboard portal - frame and with a back wall:
- for the manufacture of the portal on the frame, we take a pre-prepared sheet of cardboard, which will act as the front panel of the future fireplace portal. We outline the entrance hole of the hearth, the upper part of which we cut using a clerical knife, and then we cut the window in the center. We bend the resulting flaps inward, these will be the side walls of the hearth. Next, we cut out a rectangular strip equal in width to the inner walls of the portal, and in length to the width of the hearth. We get the ceiling of our hearth, which we fix with tape. To strengthen the structure, we glue the frame panels inside it, they must first be glued from several layers of cardboard. We put the resulting portal on the podium, glue it with masking tape or strips of white paper smeared with PVA glue. We wait for a while for the glue to dry and check the strength of the joints;
- as for the second version of the portal manufacturing - with the back wall - it is much simpler than the previous one. Basically, it's just a big box. The hearth is formed as follows: we transfer the prepared drawing to the front wall of the box, cut out the window with a clerical knife, just as in the first version, the flaps are bent inward and glued to the back wall of the box. The upper part of the hearth is formed from a separate sheet of cardboard. That's it, the portal is ready for installation on the podium.
- We install the mantelpiece. For its manufacture, you can use drywall or a sheet of plywood, or glue it from several cardboard sheets. The shelf is attached to the portal with double-sided tape. Like the podium, the shelf can be slightly wider than the portal;
- We begin finishing work. Carefully paint over all connections and unnecessary color spots on the surface of the box using several layers of paint. If it is not possible to use paint in a spray can, an ordinary water emulsion is suitable. If you wish, you can pre-glue the resulting structure with white paper, or you can even putty with a drywall solution;
- The last and probably the most enjoyable stage of making a fireplace is decorating it. It all depends on your imagination. You can cover your new fireplace with self-adhesive foil or wallpaper in marble, brick or wood; overlay with plaster stucco elements. You can use liquid wallpaper - and then your fireplace will have a rough texture of marble chips. Decorate the fireplace with fake wood (they can be made from cardboard or twigs), to simulate a flame, use a garland or a flickering lamp. You can also light candles there from time to time, but this method of decorating a fireplace is not entirely safe, since cardboard is still not a fireproof material. Remember this and do not leave open flames unattended. Place photo frames, figurines and other nice decorative little things on the mantelpiece.
Making a corner fireplace is easier than making a front fireplace. The materials are the same, only the way of forming the box is different. The plan for its implementation step by step:
- We draw a drawing and choose the corner of the house in which the future fireplace is supposed to be located;
- A large cardboard box will come in handy, from which a flat canvas is formed, which is then joined in such a way that the side folds of the box ideally coincide with the corners of the future location of the fireplace. As a result, you should have a triangular structure, which must be fastened with masking tape;
- For stability and reinforcement of the structure, ribs of rigidity are formed at the top and bottom. They turn out like this: from the top and bottom of the fireplace they measure approximately 12 centimeters and make small cuts with a clerical knife. On the inside of the box, lines are drawn that connect these marks. Further, along the drawn lines, they lightly draw with the same clerical knife to form an even bend of the cardboard, then bend these strips, cut off all unnecessary and glue together at the junction points. Thus, ribs of stiffness are formed at the top and bottom of the fireplace;
- In the center on the front of the fireplace we cut a hole for the firebox, the bottom must be rectangular, the top can be rounded like an arch. We do not cut off the lower part of this rectangle, but bend it inward, forming a right angle and forming the bottom of the firebox. We cut off all unnecessary, fix the bottom with masking tape;
- Creation of the side walls of the hearth. We take cardboard sheets equal in height to the inlet of the furnace, in length - to its depth. You can install them in a triangle, simplifying your task, you can form a right angle on each side - then you will have to additionally glue the missing firebox places with sheets of cardboard. Using masking tape, we fasten the structure. To form the top of the firebox, we also take a cardboard sheet and adapt its shape to the existing structure, also carefully gluing the joints;
- Now we need to attach the mantel and the bottom to our portal. To make them, you need two triangular sheets of cardboard, which must be glued with PVA glue;
- We let the structures dry thoroughly and proceed to decorate our fireplace. Its methods are identical to the methods of finishing a front fireplace, therefore, we will not repeat ourselves.
Upon completion of all work, we install the fireplace in the selected location.
If you wish, to decorate your fireplace, you can make your own fake firewood from cardboard scraps (corrugated is best suited). So let's start:
- To begin with, we prepare everything you need: sheets of corrugated cardboard from which the smooth top layer has been removed, a stationery knife, sharp scissors, white paint and a thin string;
- In order for our future firewood to be in perfect harmony with the fireplace insert, it is necessary to measure its parameters and, based on this, calculate the optimal size of firewood;
- Measure on the prepared sheet of cardboard the required dimensions of the "log", cut off the strip. Roll it up. The thickness can be different, it depends on what you want to get in the end - "log" or "twig". Wood can be made "knots", this will give them naturalness;
- After folding the cardboard sheet into a roll, its edge is well coated with glue, tied with a string and left to dry. Make several blanks of different sizes;
- To make “knots”, we form a thin “twig” from cardboard, glue and dry it, and then cut it with a clerical knife at an angle and glue it to the “logs” using glue and masking tape;
- After the glue is completely dry, our "firewood" needs to be painted. To begin with, they are thickly covered with white paint, and then you can tint them to the color of any wood. If you do not want to bother, then put a few black strokes on the white surface - and you are ready to "birch firewood";
- Gouache is well suited for coloring "logs".
So our wonderful fireplace made of cardboard boxes is ready! Due to its mobility and light weight, it can be easily carried from room to room, although this must be done with care so as not to damage the structure. It does not require any additional maintenance - just brush off the dust and do not put it in places with high humidity and in the open sun. Cardboard is an environmentally friendly material, so this fireplace will not bring any harm to your family members. Subject to all the rules of operation, the cardboard fireplace will serve you for more than one year, will become a stylish and modern decoration of your home and will delight you with the knowledge that you have created this beauty with your own hands!