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DIY Fake Fireplace

Author:Laura W.
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DIY chimney place with white bricks and stockings in living room

Shopping List

  • 3 trifold boards or a few boxes of like size (number of boxes depends on size and how large you want the fireplace)
  • 6 pieces of black poster board or black paint (spray paint or acrylic paint)
  • White paper (printer paper, drawing paper, etc.)
  • 2 rolls of clear masking tape or glue stick
  • Packaging tape
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure or meter stick
  • Décor (garland, tinsel, figures, bells, stockings, etc.)

Living in an apartment or rental with no fireplace? Give Santa a way to get in with this DIY craft.

There are countless ways to make this project, but here is what I did. I also put alternative materials below, so you can use what makes most sense for you!

supplies - white construction paper, black construction paper, glue, and cardboard decorations - stockings, tinsel, tinsel tree

Step 1: You will need to cut 2 of the trifold boards in half down the middle. Close the board and start cutting right down the center, so you have two folded halves.

 using box cutter to cut cardboard poster board

Step 2: The remaining trifold board needs to be left as is and will be the center of the chimney (see #1 in the image). Using the image below as a guide, position one of the cut pieces and the uncut trifold boards against the wall.

 assembling boxes and trifold poster boardtop view of cardboard boxes

Step 3: Measure the length across the 3 pieces that are standing up. Mine was 37” across. Measure how tall your remaining trifold board is. Mine was 27”.

Next, create the top of your fireplace using the 2 halves of the trifold board. You are going to use the remaining 17” (overage since you only need 37” for the top part) to create the sides. 17/2 is 8.5 for each side. I just did 8” so there was some wiggle room when connecting the boards together.

measuring cardboard boxesmeasuring cardboard with tape measure

Step 4: Measure 8 or 8.5” in on one side of the folded trifold board and cut that piece out. Do that on both pieces of remaining trifold board so you can create the top and sides of the fireplace.

marking desired length on cardboard box with tape measureoutline on cardboard

Step 5: Cover the exposed sides of each piece in black poster board (or paint them). I used black paper since I made this in the winter and it was too cold to spray paint outside. This was the most time-consuming part of the project, since I had to measure and the cut black paper perfectly, so it would fit. I then taped the pieces to the boards and assembled them like so.

cardboard partially covered in black paper cardboard covered in black paper

Step 6: Once you have covered all the pieces, you can start assembling. I taped all the bottom pieces together first, and then taped the top ones last, one side at a time.

I taped the outside at first, then realized it was better to tape the inside instead, for more support. You won’t be able to see the tape once you put the ‘bricks’ on though, so don’t worry.

black cardboard box trifold with one black box on top two trifold cardboard posters with two cardboard boxes on top - black

Step 7: Time to make the bricks. I used drawing paper, but you can use printer paper or poster board or any other kind of paper you want. I chose white, but you can use any color you want.

I used an iPhone 4 to trace the bricks because it was exactly the size and shape I was going for. You can use sponges, Altoid boxes, or anything else you have lying around your house that is somewhat brick shaped. I traced the phone and then cut bricks out in layers.

tracing an Phone 4 on white paper to resemble bricks cutting out white bricks on white paper

Step 8: Tape (or glue) them to the fireplace. I offset the second row so they weren’t all lined up. Some rows will need shorter bricks. I just cut those by hand.

 black cardboard trifold with white bricks being 'installed'white bricks taped on black trifold cardboard posters/boxes

Step 9: Decorate! I bought some garland, a Christmas tree décor piece, a bell, and some stockings to jazz up this fireplace. You can use any sort of Christmas décor you have laying around the house as well. Be creative!


Now jolly old Saint Nick has a way to get into your house and leave the kids presents this Christmas.

Looking for more craft ideas? Check out: Christmas Tree OrnamentsSanta Hand Print OrnamentCute As A Button Snowflake Ornament. We also have some great ideas on a few new traditions you and your family could start this year here.