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Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Decor

thrifty above fireplace ideas

While there are countless ways to decorate the wall above the fireplace, inexpensive fireplace wall decorating ideas can be difficult to find. To keep your fireplace focal point worthy, here are ways to decorate above your fireplace that won’t break the bank, but will look like you did! For $25 or less, be inspired by these thrifty above fireplace ideas.

#1 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Wallpaper

A single roll of wallpaper covers 28 square feet, so shop the leftover rolls in you local wallpaper shop. Sometimes a single roll of really high end wallpaper can be grabbed up at an awesome price. Even not on sale, Peel and stick wallpaper rolls start under $20.00. Paper only above the mantel to the ceiling. If the fireplace is on a portion of wall that extends into the room, wallpaper just that portion. Cost: $20

wallpaper the fireplace portion of the wall

See HouseToHome.co.uk for instructions on wallpapering the fireplace wall.

inexpensive fireplace wall decorating with wall paper

This wallpaper accents the black, white and gray theme. Also from HouseToHome.co.uk

#2 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Wood Circles

Take a compound miter saw to the firewood logs you have on hand, and you have an inexpensive fireplace wall display for just your time investment. You have the option of covering the fireplace wall in the wood circles or creating an over the mantel display. Your expenses are limited to Gorilla Glue and paint (and an underboard if you are making display board.) Cost: Free to $20

 

Wood Circles as inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea

See instructions on how to make this rustic fireplace circle wall from DimplesAndTangles.com .

Thrifty Above Fireplace Decor - Wood Circles over Fireplace

Bloglovin.com’s instructions include how to darken some of the wood circles by baking them.

#3 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Door Mats Turned Art

Who would guess you could turn one or more rubber door mats into thrifty above fireplace decor with the help of a can of spray paint? No one but you will know they aren’t vintage iron scroll panels. Leave them unpainted for a black ironwork look or spray paint them to contrast with the wall above the fireplace mantel. For under $20, they come in a variety of visually interesting shapes. Cost: $25 or less

Rubber Door Mat Art above the fireplace

SalvageDior.com, a great source of inspiration for budget friendly decorating ideas, provides instructions.

 

Shapes of rubber door mats

Rubber scroll door mats come in a variety of shapes and make inexpensive fireplace wall decorations.

 

 

#4 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Framed Collection

If you own a collection of items such as seashells, consider using them to create a 3D wall display. If you don’t have a collection, shop flea markets and thrift stores for items such as bird houses, plates, old keys, compasses, magnifying glasses, quilt squares, old ice skates, or vintage cameras. To make the collection visually cohesive, use matching, inexpensive frames around each item in the display. Want to skip even the price of frames? Use ribbon or even paper frames to create definition around your hobby objects. Cost: Free to $25

Use inexpensive identical frame to structure the display of 3D items.

Vintage cameras are framed and displayed by ApartmentTherapy.com

Plate collection in frames over the fireplace

These plates are displayed in paper frames by Medium.com.

 

#5 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Driftwood

If you have ever walked a beach, you have most likely come across pieces of driftwood. Bring home those treasures for a no-cost way to decorate above the mantel. Individually, the pieces can be nothing special, but when grouped together, you and Mother Nature have collaborated to create art! Cost: Free

Driftwood decorates fireplace wall

Be inspired by this West Elm image to arrange driftwood pieces above your fireplace.

#6 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Square Mirror Tiles

A large mirror is traditional above the fireplace, but large mirrors can be expensive. Square mirror tiles or 10 inch square centerpiece mirrors, especially when applied from mantel all the way up to the crown molding or ceiling, can give a dramatic look at a budget friendly price. Cost $25 and up

Square mirror tiles above fireplace

Get the look of the ArchitecturalDigest.com Robert A. M. Stern townhouse bedroom with square mirror tiles.

#7 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: 3D Butterflies

Is your fireplace ready for a flight of fancy? Make  your own from cardstock or buy inexpensive 3D butterfly wall stickers to create a very inexpensive fireplace wall display about your  mantel. Mount them on a reclaimed wood base (such as from wood pallets) or directly on the wall. Cost: Under $10

3D butterflies above fireplace are an inexpensive way to decorate

DesignFabulous.com mounted white butterflies on reclaimed wood, but they can also be placed directly onto the wall.

#8 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Paint Stirrer Framed Mirror

Wooden paint stirrers can transform a too-small mirror into a dramatic mirror, right-sized for a display above the fireplace mantel. You may already have a collection of paint stirrers, you can ask your local hardware store for some, or you can purchase a large supply of craft paint stirrers inexpensively.  Round centerpiece table mirrors can be less expensive that the same mirror sold as a wall mirror. Cost: $25 or less

Paint stirrer mirror for above fireplace.

DecoratingCents.com gives complete directions for constructing a budget friendly paint stirrer mirror.

#9 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Wall Clock Pieces

In the $10 to $25 range, wall clock stickers are a budget way to decorate above the fireplace. Their drama is much larger than their price! Available in styles ranging from traditional black roman numerals to sleek, modern numberless, reflective mirror pieces, they work with every decorating style. Cost: $10 to $25

Wall clock stickers above the fireplace.

Wall clock stickers make a big impact with a small price.

#10 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Recycled Wood Display

Turn scrap or recycled wood into a unique and inexpensive fireplace wall display. We like the look of aged wood, so old wooden pallets are a good source of free wood with character. Or you can age wood with steel wool, vinegar and tea. Measure the width of the area above the fireplace for your display. Cut the pieces of wood into the shapes you want, and glue or nail them onto the wall. Cost: Free

Scrap wood art display above fireplace

DesignSponge.com created this inexpensive above fireplace display using scrap wood.

#11 Inexpensive Fireplace Wall Idea: Foil Art

If you are a bit crafty, you can create some astonishingly attractive, one-of-a-kind work of art for above your fireplace. The work will appear to be metal, and will have the look of Victorian ceiling tiles. All it takes is tacky glue and things you already have in your home such as aluminum foil, cardboard and shoe polish. Foil art is so easy, even children can do it, but it is not limited to childish designs. Cost: $4

Foil art for inexpensive fireplace wall art

Create your own foil art for above the fireplace. Directions and image by ArtClubBlog.com

 

Inexpensive fireplace wall decorating ideas need not look like you are on a budget. Instead, they can be art you are proud of and that gather wows from friends.

 

 

Posted in Decorating Tagged with:

Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

Jeff Benroth's cast glass logs.

Crystal glass fireplace logs are a great alternative to real firewood when you don’t use your fireplace during the warmer seasons or all year around if you don’t use the fireplace at all. These dramatic glass or crystal logs work equally well in a classic, traditional room as they work in a modern, sleek room.

The intense contrast between the concept of earthy, substantial logs and the ethereal, delicate nature of glass and crystals makes one’s brain do a double take! These seemingly incongruous concepts have been beautifully wedded.

There are multiple ways to achieve the look of crystal glass fireplace logs in your fireplace. Some are a good deal pricier than others. All have their wow-factor amplified by a small light source.

Top of the Line Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

The Jeff Benroth glass logs shown at the top of this page are works of art. Each log is made by sand-casting a real piece of wood and then pouring molten glass into the negative of the casting. Each 15 inch long, 4 inch diameter glass log looks real because it was make from a real log. These glass logs were produced in a limited run of 500, and each is numbered and signed. Don’t gasp too loudly when you see the price: $500. That’s per log. The nine in the display would total $4500.

Glass-Like Selenite Crystal Fireplace Logs

 

Glass like crystal selenite logs have many of the visual properties of glass fireplace logs but at a much lower price point. Selenite is a form of gypsum that naturally occurs as transparent or semitransparent crystals. The word selenite comes from the Greek word for moon because it has moon-like properties. Folklore claims selenite crystals remove negative energy from a room, but all we are sure of is that they make impressive substitutes for real firewood.

These selenite logs come in 9.5 to 12 inch long pieces, well sized to smaller fireplaces. For larger fireplaces, you may need to buy twice as many. They cost about $25 a piece.

Selenite Crystal Fireplace Sculptures

Another alternative to glass crystal fireplace logs are selenite fireplace sculptures. They capture the glass-like quality of glass logs and the crystal properties of selenite logs.

Above is an awesome Selenite Crystal Fireplace Sculpture, 24 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 15 to 18 inches tall. It is put together so votive candles can be tucked into it: When lit, they do indeed give a moon-like glow from within. The price is also awesome: $5,200.00! No, the decimal point is not in the wrong place.

Votive candles within the selenite fireplace sculpture

Votive candles within the selenite fireplace sculpture

You can create your own, dramatically less expensive, selenite fireplace sculpture by clustering these large selenite tower pieces (12 inch, 14 inch and 16 inch tall, running in the low $100s to the low $200s depending on size) with smaller (4 inch tall) selenite towers (about $8 each).

Add your own glass votive candles holders with candles, and  you have replicated the expensive selenite fireplace sculpture for a fraction of the cost.

Acrylic and Polycarbon Alternatives to Crystal Glass FireplaceLogs

Create a minimalist version of glass or crystal fireplace logs with clear, solid acrylic rods or clear tubes of polycarbon. These alternatives to firewood logs make a stunning display in a modern fireplace. Set them so you see the long sides, as you would firewood. Or up the drama by stacking them in the fireplace with the ends pointing toward the room.

Solid acrylic rods substitute for fireplace logs.

Solid acrylic rods can substitute for fireplace logs.

 

Clear carbonite tubes

Clear carbonite tubes can also substitute for fireplace logs.

Measure your fireplace and select or cut the tubes or rods into lengths appropriate for your fireplace, typically 12 inches to 22 inches long. To select ones that mimic actual firewood, go for outside diameters in the 2 to 6 inch range. If cost is an issue, smaller diameter ones are less expensive. Three inch diameter solid acrylic rods run about $65 per foot and 3 inch diameter carbonite tubes cost about $10 per foot.

Transparency of Glass + Crystalline Shapes

If you like the dramatic look of glass and the dynamic shape of crystals for your fireplace, here are two alternatives to crystal glass fireplace logs.

Each side of these handmade glass dodecahedrons is a five-sided pentagon. One side is open. The smaller one is 7 inches and the larger one is 9  inches. Together, they cost about $140 including shipping. Depending on the size of your fireplace,  you may need more than two.

Glass "cubes"

These five inch glass “cubes” actually have a seventh side.

Make your own, DIY version with these 5 inch glass “cubes”. One side is open, and a seventh side tilts the cube. Cluster several of them to replicate the more expensive look of the handmade dodecahedrons. They are only $16 for one cube. Complete the look with mini-globe lights.

Grouping of glass "cubes"

A cluster of glass “cubes” can fill your fireplace. Add mini-lights.

 

TIPS for Using Crystal Glass Fireplace Logs

Whether you are filling your fireplace with glass fireplace logs or selenite fireplace logs, crystal selenite fireplace sculptures or glass polyhedrons, keep these two things in mind:

  • Play up the unique qualities of glass and crystals by adding a light source.
    Candles, mini-lights, small LED up-lights, or even wireless stick-on lights can do the job. Place them behind and within your display, not in front of it.You won’t need lots of light. Keep it small. Too much light can diminish the effect.
  • Elevate a small arrangement.
    If you find your display looks too small for the size of your fireplace, elevating it by placing it on a clear glass or acrylic box or display base can magnify its effect. Add a small up-light source inside the box.

 

Let us know how you’ve used any of these looks in your fireplace!

Posted in Decorating Tagged with:

When to Close Fireplace Damper

When to Close Fireplace Damper

Your fireplace damper must be open when you have a fire in your fireplace. It provides the necessary updraft for the smoke and prevents carbon monoxide poisoning. But when should you shut or close the wood-burning fireplace damper?

Not sure how to open or close fireplace damper? See damper instructions here.

Close Fireplace Damper In Warm Weather.

During the seasons you will not be burning wood in your fireplace, close the damper. An open damper is much like an open window or open door – interior air you are paying to air condition will be wasted and escape out any opening.

Open door and open damper - both let air conditioned air out

In the summer, an open fireplace damper is like an open door. Both let air conditioned air out of the home.

Close Fireplace Damper When Fire Is Completely Out.

During the part of the year you are using your wood-burning fireplace, open the damper before you light the fire. If necessary to keep the fire burning well and smoke-free, you may adjust the damper into a semi-open position.

Shut the damper when the fire is completely, absolutely out. That means ashes are cool to the touch even when stirred. If you close the damper before that, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

Functionally, this is what that means:

  • Start your fire before you “need” it.
  • Toward the end of the evening, let the fire die down instead of adding more logs.
  • Separate remaining bits of firewood on the grate. Stir embers on the fireplace floor.
  • Leave the damper open overnight. Yes, you will lose some heat up the flue, but you will save the occupants of the home from poisoning by colorless, odorless carbon monoxide.
  • In the morning, stir the embers and check them for any hot spots. Only when they are completely cold to the touch is it safe to shut the fireplace damper.

Is the Fireplace Damper Open or Closed?

To close a throat damper in a fireplace, lift the handle and pull it back towards you.

To remember whether your damper is open or closed (and to remember to close fireplace damper when the embers are completely cooled), you can use a brass damper hook with a Closed and Open side or a brass fireplace sign with a Closed and Open side.

 

 NOTE: For Fireplaces with Installed Gas Logs

If you have installed gas logs in your fireplace, the damper should never be closed.

  • If you have a pilot light constantly burning under your gas logs, shutting the damper puts you, your family and your pets at severe risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Even if your pilot light is not lit, there is the danger that someone might forget to open the damper when using the gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces emit a copious amount of carbon monoxide, so they must always have an open vent.

If your fireplace damper is stuck in either the closed or open position, here’s how to un-stick it.

 

Posted in Safety, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with:

Summer Fireplace Myths

summer fireplace myths

Which of these summer fireplace myths do you believe? Learn the facts that might surprise you about fireplaces in summertime.

Summer Fireplace Myth #1: Since you won’t be burning a fire in hot weather, your fireplace will have to suffer from Black Hole Syndrome.

A fireplace candelabra brings the tiny fires of candlelight to your fireplace without the heat of a wood or gas fire. With open, airy looks, they fit the breezy, beachy days of summer. Fireplace candelabra are made in a variety of metals, glass and wood. And you can select candles in neutral white or ivory or in colors to accent your room’s décor.

 

fireplace candelabra fireplace candelabra

Don’t fall for this one of the summer fireplace myths. Rescue your fireplace from the Black Hole Syndrome by adding a fireplace candelabra and candles.

Buy Fireplace Candelabra and Fireplace Candle Holders

Summer Fireplace Myth #2: Since you’re not using your fireplace, you can forget about your chimney until next fall.

It is during the warm weather that animals seek out sheltered areas – like chimneys – in which to nest. If your chimney does not have a chimney cap, it is an inviting and easy-access home for birds, raccoon and even feral cats.

 

Bees and other flying insects can also find your chimney a desirable nesting area. But even a conventional chimney cap cannot keep them out since they are smaller than the holes in a chimney cap screen mesh. Therefore, a chimney cap with an integrated top-sealing damper is necessary to keep out these smaller critters. The top damper shuts off insects’ access to your chimney with a gasket seal closure, much like a refrigerator door seal. It opens again when you want a fireplace fire.

 Summer Fireplace Myth #3: If you clean a fireplace at the end of cold weather season, it cannot stink in summer.

You were responsible; you had your chimney cleaned when fireplace weather was over. Yet as the weather gets hot and humid, you are smelling campfire-like odors from your fireplace.

Even the best of chimney sweeps cannot rid your chimney of every last microscopic bit of creosote and soot. Bricks and mortar, for example, are porous. Creosote and odors can be trapped in them.

During the winter when the air in the house is warmed by your furnace or fireplace, that warm air rises up the chimney, carrying any creosote odors up and out of the house. But the wet, humid air of summer is heavier than the dry air inside the house. As this heavier air comes down your chimney, it can bring with it the chimney odors.

What’s the solution? A top mounted damper seals the top of your chimney so no humid air comes into the house through the chimney. When you are using the fireplace, you open the top sealing damper with a chain that runs down through the chimney and into the top of the fireplace fire box.

 

Summer Fireplace Myth #4: Fireplaces are for inside the house, not outside.

An outdoor fireplace is a wonderful way to enjoy summer evenings. Whether a free standing gas or wood fireplace or a fireplace incorporated into an outdoor screened area or patio, an outdoor fireplace is a great way to increase the use of your outdoor space. And s’mores are every bit the hit they are in winter as they are in summer.

Be a Myth Buster. Debunk these summer fireplace myths.

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: , , ,
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