Saturday, April 19, 2014

Making a dollhouse fireplace

After unsuccessfully searching online for a fireplace for the living room, I decided to make my own. I came across this blog by Elizabeth Slinn, which had some helpful ideas.

During the next few weeks I gathered different materials around the house to decorate the fireplace and then started to build it. Here is a mini tutorial.

Making the form:
After measuring your room, use foam core and cut the front and back to 4.5” wide x 4 ¾” tall.
Cut a 2” wide x 3.5” hole out from the bottom center of the front. Round the top of the hole if you like.
The sides were also foam core, cut to 1.5” wide x 4 ¾” tall. (It may look a bit taller in my photos, because I cut it to these measurements as I was constructing it after these photos were taken.)

Interior bricks:
Next, use mat board for the interior of the fireplace. Cut this as a 1” wide x 4.5” long strip. Lightly score the board with a utility knife 4” from both sides and fold.

Next, score the foam core back using a score tool to make the bricks go 4” up the back. Then put the mat board inside piece next to the foam board back piece to make sure the bricks line up once assembled. Once all of your horizontal lines are in place, stagger your vertical lines to resemble bricks.
I used the metal ball score tool after the smaller score tool to round out the scores.

Using red and tan paint, paint the bricks and add the soot. I used the tan paint and a very thin brush for the mortar and then mixed a darker brick color for every other brick.

Put it together:
I used blue tape to adhere the inside to the front and back. I LOVE blue tape!
Then I used wood glue to glue the sides on.

Decorating your fireplace:
I cut molding for the top and added wood and embellishments. The silver trim along the top and around the hole was a slinky metal ribbon material. I think I got it in the scrapbook section years ago or the ribbon section at the craft store.
I used gold ribbon to run down the sides.
Then I glued the mat board on the top with wood glue, flipped upside down and put a weight on it until dry.

I will tell you it took a week to come up with the right pieces to use. Every evening I would just take a look at it and start putting pieces on and taking them off. Then I would remember materials that I had and try those until I was happy.

Finishing and painting:
Then I painted it with two coats of a Zinc gray and black mix. Once dry, I went back and hit all of the embellishments with a lighter gray paint. Then used a coarse brush and black charcoal to enhance all of the edging.

Front fireguard:
For the front grill guard, cut two pieces of mat board at 2.5” x 3/16. Shape them with your fingers so they bend in a curve and brace them in the hole with white glue. Once dry, paint black.
I bent these two metal pieces of jewelry embellishments, painted them black and then glued them on with white glue.

For the base, I glued black textured paper on mat board and sanded the edges smooth and painted them black.

If you want to add electric for your logs just cut a small hole in the back to run your electric.
That’s it! Place it in your room and enjoy! 


  1. Hi Auralea! I think that your fireplace tutorial is simply WONDERFUL! I am so glad that you took up the challenge and made a fireplace for yourself! I know that I got a lot of personal satisfaction when I made mine and no doubt it was the same for you!
    Well done and Thank You for letting me know about both your project And your blog! :))


  2. Your blog is making me crazy! I want to try everything. The fireplace is simply exquisite!

    1. Haha your so funny Gayle. Never enough time for minis!!!!

  3. This is the best diy fireplace I've seen!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love this fireplace!! I wish I had seen it while I was building Thornhill. I just came across your blog and look forward to reading your posts from the past. Great inspiration for my next project.

  5. Love this fireplace!! I wish I had seen it while I was constructing Thornhill. I just came across your blog and will read all of your other post from the past. GREAT INSPIRATION!!!

  6. Just found this tutorial on Pinterest. Great ideas. Shall be trying them.

  7. This is absolutely gorgeous - thanks so much for sharing your creativity

  8. Rosemary A WhiteMarch 8, 2019 at 6:22 AM

    I saved the pic of your finished fireplace and when it came time to making it, (months later) I forgot there was this tutorial to go with it. So I drew up the plans (my first time doing that) and cut out some card stock (to make a model) and was just about to try a wood model (again a first timer here) when I decided I needed more instruction. Used your fireplace finished pic on Google image to find some ideas and here they are! It's a gorgeous piece and perfect for my house. Now I just have to follow your excellent instructions. Something to be said for "bookmarking" all the stuff I like!

  9. Love this fireplace I'm like you I use all my scrapbook and card making stash too. I'm in the middle of building a Georgian House and have just done 2 fire surrounds for that still to add some gilding but I'm pleased how they turned out. Just found your blog but I will be back to read more of your lovely posts.

  10. love the fireplace...looking for your blog!