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I have been designing Christmas stuff for clients for the past month and even some back in October! I have gotten a little sick of Santa and red and green until I took a couple days off and didn’t bring my laptop on my Thanksgiving trip – oh the horror! I came back refreshed and ready to decorate my own space. The tree is up and I am wishing we had a mantel to decorate. One day, in a future house we will. For now though I’m going to stick with this Christmas Faux Cardboard Fireplace Mantel for home or office that I’m sharing today, along with some free printable goodies!
The inspiration from this comes from a picture I saw on Facebook. It was shared by a page but no credit was given to the original creator – which is a huge pet peeve of mine. I want the creator to get the credit, just like I want my stuff to be linked to my name. Anyway, I did some digging and found the original post that inspired my project.
I just thought this was so creative and asked my husband what he thought. He agreed so I went to work on making my own version for his desk. I am so much more creative now that I am out of an office, I kind of wish I was working in an office to show this off myself, but only kind of and not really 🙂
This took a little bit of time because I printed the brick background on 8.5×11 sheets of card stock and had to trim them down and tape all the pieces together, trying to line them up. If I had been patient and waited to order some brick wrapping paper, that would have saved a lot of time. But I wanted to keep this to a small budget.
I kind of hoard shipping boxes. I hate spending money on a box when I ship something out so I try to keep them on hand, especially since we became Amazon Prime members this year and get a lot of boxes. The problem is, I tend to save them for something perfect instead of actually using them. This was the perfect project to put some of them to work and I still have tons left for Christmas gift mailings. A TV box would be perfect for this project.
Here is what you will need:
- Cardboard boxes – I used 6 different boxes, some cut in half and taped together to make longer boxes.
- Brick paper or wrapping paper
- Brown kraft wrapping paper (found in shipping supplies usually)
- Tape – lots of tape! I used shipping and scotch
- Fire in fireplace – printed, digital, etc.
- Decor for mantle
Measurements and sizes will depend on the size of space you want to fill and the boxes you find but hopefully these steps help you to make your own:
- My kids were eating a snack in the car in between shopping trips so I sketched out the measurements I needed from my husband’s desk and text them to him. When he got me the measurements back, I thought they were off because this thing is HUGE but it fits perfectly in his space.
- Measure and draw the size you want the fireplace opening to be on the box. I did it the exact size of my husband’s computer screen.
- Take a kitchen knife and cut out the opening. I used an older knife that we don’t use often to avoid dulling a good knife.
- Print off your brick pattern, trim the white edges and tape it together.
- Tape together boxes for the mantle that hangs over the edge a bit. Wrap in brown kraft paper. Tape everything together so it is secure.
- Cut out the back of the fireplace if you intend to put it over a computer screen to allow for airflow. Add a chimney made of other boxes and wrapped with brick print out. Adorn with Christmas decor you have on hand. I picked up all of mine from Target and each item was $3 or less from their dollar spot section and the Christmas decor area. I hung the stockings and garland with small, clear 3M mini hooks.
It was so big, I was really worried we got the measurements wrong but it fit perfectly! I love how it turned out. We found a fire in a fireplace image to save as his desktop background image. It’s just a fun little decor to brighten up my husband’s workspace this holiday season. People have been commenting and taking pictures of it set up at his desk.
This was always intended for the computer screen but my kids loved it. My son kept saying that I built him a house! I am super happy with how it turned out and the quality looks great. I decided to put together a little printout that could be used if you wanted it to have a fire going in the middle. You could avoid cutting the box and just tape this on the front and use blank 8.5×11 sheets of paper taped together to get the size fireplace you want. This would also be so fun to leave the back on, cut the brick down to the floor and put in a felt fireplace set that your kids could easily play with. Just be sure your decor on the top is well secured so nothing falls on top of playful kiddos.
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