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Christmas Tree Fire Retardants

Fire Retardants for Christmas Tree and Fireplace Mantel Greenery

Nothing can completely prevent a Christmas tree or fireplace greenery from burning. But you can reduce the flammability of your Christmas trees and mantel greenery with these homemade or purchased fire retardants.

Fire retardants prevent fires from starting and spreading, reduce or eliminate harmful smoke, and minimize fire damage. Some are made specifically for Christmas trees and greenery; others are made for anything that can absorb the spray fluid (including fabric, paper, and cardboard)

Fire Retardants Specifically for Christmas Trees

No-Burn Christmas Tree Fire Gard

No-Burn Christmas Tree Fire Gard is designed to be used only on live Christmas trees and other live greenery such as wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces. One spray bottle will cover an 8-foot Christmas tree. Although it claims not to harm needle retention, some users experience a significant needle loss.

Tree Shield Fire Retardant for Christmas Trees

The manufacturer of Tree Shield Fire Retardant for Christmas Trees has had this certified as a fire retardant for live greenery including Christmas trees, garlands, Christmas wreaths and table centerpieces. It is odorless, colorless, and nontoxic.


Fire Retardants for Wood and Other Natural Materials

Master Flame – Fire Retardant – Spray on Application or Mix with Paint

Master Flame Fire Retardant is designed for any absorbent material, but will not work on non-absorbent materials like glass, plastics or Styrofoam. So holiday decorations that are cloth, paper, cardboard, or wood are ideal for this product: stockings, most holiday decorations (except glass or plastic), cardboard boxes including ornament storage boxes, and baskets. It is also appropriate for curtains, upholstery and carpets. To make walls fire resistant, mix Master Flame Fire Retardant with your wall paint.

Because it it not specifically designed for live greenery like Christmas trees and mantel garlands, we do not recommend it for those uses.


Billed as an eco-friendly, “green” fire retardant, this product is plant-based and biodegradable. It can even be safely applied with children present.

Firez Off Fire Retardant works with anything it can soak into: cloth, paper, cardboard, and wood, including live greenery like Christmas trees.

Stop-it Fire Retardant Spray 

Stop-It Fire RetardantStop-It Fire Retardant

This spray-on fire retardant is for use on both live and artificial Christmas trees. Unlike salt-based fire retardants, it will not dry out your tree. Stop-It Fire Retardant can also be used on other cloth (stockings, silk flowers) and wooden (including baskets) holiday decorations.

It is odorless, nontoxic, and meets the stringent California State Fire Marshal standards.

Homemade Fire Retardant

Make your own Christmas tree fire retardant using a product found at your local hardware or nursery.

Mix 9 pounds of Ammonium Sulphate and 2 gallons of water in a bucket large enough to hold your fresh Christmas tree. Place the bucket in a dark, unheated space like a garage or shed. Next place your Christmas tree in the bucket and leave it there for 48 hours. Your tree will absorb the ammonium sulphate, making it fire resistant from the inside out!

When you take your Christmas tree inside to decorate, save the remaining water. Store it in an air-tight container, and it can be reused with next year’s Christmas tree.

A Note of Caution with Fire Retardants

Even if you have sprayed your Christmas tree, fireplace mantel greenery, and Christmas stockings with fire retardants, the contents of your Christmas stockings are not fire proof or fire resistant. Hang your gift-filled Christmas stockings from the fireplace mantel only when they are empty.




Posted in Holidays, Safety Tagged with: ,

Cardboard Fireplace

Christmas cardboard fireplace or decal fireplace

If you don’t have a fireplace, but want one just for Christmas stockings, a removable vinyl wall fireplace decal or a cardboard fireplace can be a great substitute. Although not providing the heat of a real fireplace, such imitation fireplaces add the holiday spirit and come in a variety of choices:

  • 3-D Cardboard Fireplaces
  • Free standing, 2-D Cardboard Fireplace
  • Vinyl Peel-and-Stick Fireplaces Decals for Walls
  • Poster Fireplaces

Each replica fireplace provides a symbolic accessory for the Christmas season, a perfect place for hanging stockings and taking holiday photos.

3-D Cardboard Fireplaces

Most three-dimensional cardboard fireplaces have the distinct advantage of being able to place lightweight decorations on the fireplace mantel, that is, the top of the cardboard fireplace. Because a  3-dimensional cardboard fireplace extends into the room, they have the depth of a real fireplace. They can also fold flat for storage for another year.

If you plan to hang more than empty stockings, you may need to counterbalance these 3-dimensional fireplaces by placing something heavy (like a couple of bricks) into the back of them.

⇒ Corobuff Cardboard Fireplace Decoration

Corobuff Cardboard Fireplace Decoration

This free-standing cardboard fireplace by Corobuff is four feet wide. The recessed firebox portion, where the “fire” is located, is 17 inches wide and 15 inches high. You will have to assemble it by folding and fastening it. Securing it with binder clips or tape, instead of the included clips, improves its sturdiness.

⇒ Shindigz Cardboard FireplaceCardboard Christmas Fireplace Prop by Shindigz

At 3 feet, 8 inches wide and 3 feet tall, the Shindigz 3-dimensional sturdy cardboard fireplace is 10 inches deep. The “fire” is a separate piece that sets in the recessed opening, so those who want to replace the flames with something else (such as battery powered LED candles and LED fairy lights) can do that. Assembly is required, and taping helps keep the corners squared.

LED Fairy Lights

You can use LED fairy lights to create a glow in the firebox of the Shindigz fireplace.

Free-Standing 2-D Cardboard Fireplaces

Some free-standing cardboard fireplaces have side “wings” that fold, similar to a tri-panel fireplace screen, to support the cardboard. Other free-standing cardboard fireplaces have a back support to keep it upright.

Back view of 2-dimensional, stand-up cardboard fireplace.

Back view of 2-dimensional, stand-up cardboard fireplace.

Their main advantages over 3-D cardboard fireplaces are that they assemble more quickly and don’t extend into the room. Attaching stocking to them can be more complicated, however, as they cannot hold much weight unless you firmly attach them to a wall.

⇒ Folding Stand-up Brick FireplaceFolding Stand-up Brick Fireplace

The Beistle Folding Stand-Up Brick Fireplace is three feet wide and 25 inches tall. It comes with cardboard mini-stockings or without the stockings.

Folding Stand-up Brick Fireplace with 10 Carbdoard Mini-Stockings

Folding Cardboard Fireplace also available with ten 7.5 inch stockings printed on both sides.

⇒ Advanced Graphics Life Sized Cardboard Fireplace
Fireplace - Advanced Graphics Life Size Cardboard Standup

One of the largest cardboard fireplaces, the 49 inch tall, 44 inch wide Advanced Graphics Life Size Fireplace has a cardboard stand in back that holds it upright. Attach it to a wall if you plan to hang filled stockings from it.

Vinyl Peel-and-Stick Fireplace Decals for Walls

These peel-and-stick decals are typically made of 3M vinyl. They can only be used on smooth surfaces, but they are safe to used on painted walls. Many are smaller than most actual fireplaces. To hang stockings, consider using Command hooks sized to the weight of your filled stockings.

⇒ Fathead Fireplace Wall Decal

Fathead Wall Decal, "Fireplace"

One of the few vinyl decal fireplaces that are as large as most fireplaces, the Fathead Fireplace Wall Decal is 47 inches wide and 35 inches tall. It is a classic white fireplace with a warm fire, appropriate in most every room’s style. Hang a wreath above it, and you have instantly decorated your room for Christmas.

Although more expensive than other fireplace vinyl wall decal stickers, unless your space is very limited, it is more likely to give you the effect you wish than the smaller fireplace decals.

⇒ N1239 Fireplace Vinyl Sticker 

N1239 Fireplace Vinyl Sticker with Off-White Mantel

N1239 Fireplace vinyl sticker decal in room

The N1239 Vinyl Sticker Fireplace is 28 inches wide and 22 inches tall. The mantel surround is an off-white and frames and arched firebox.

⇒ N1241 Vinyl Sticker FireplaceN1241 Fireplace vinyl sticker in medium oak

Like the vinyl fireplace decal number N1239 but want it in a darker, oak style? The N1241 Vinyl Sticker Fireplace has a natural, medium wood tone. It, too, is 28 inches wide and 22 inches tall.

⇒ Christmas Decorated N1241 Vinyl Sticker Fireplace

Christmas decorated N1241 Vinyl Fireplace Decal

Identical to the preceding fireplace decal with the exception of the addition of greenery and two stockings, the Christmas Decorated N1241 Vinyl Sticker Fireplace is for those who want their Christmas fireplace complete. Again, it is 28 inches wide and 22 inches tall.

⇒ Wallmonkeys Christmas Fireplace Peel and Stick Wall Decal

Wallmonkeys Christmas Fireplace Peel and Stick Wall Decal

If you are looking for a fireplace decal with a less realistic and more whimsical take, the Wallmonkeys Christmas Fireplace Decal has that Disney-esque quality that often appeals to children. This decal is also small: 24 inches wide and only 22 inches tall. Since it is small, it is works in a little child’s bedroom.

Fireplace Posters

These posters focus on the fire more than the fireplace. They do not show the area around the fireplace (the fireplace surround) or a mantel.

Because they are posters, they will need to be attached to a wall. Another option is to place them over the firebox of an unused fireplace. If you never intend to light your fireplace, but would like the look a a blazing fire nonetheless, a fireplace poster is a great option.

⇒ Realistic Fireplace Poster in Two Sizes

Experience This Incredible Realistic Fireplace Poster in Super High Quality

Printed on high quality, photo gloss paper canvas, this Realistic Fireplace Poster is available in a 24″ by 18″ or 36″ by 24″ size. Attach it to the wall or place it over the opening of a real but unused fireplace.

⇒ Extra Large Fireplace Poster

Posters: Fires XXL Poster - Warm Fireplace 47 x 32 inches

This Extra Large Fireplace Poster is 47 inches wide and 32 inches tall. It is a photo-realistic image of the fire in a fireplace.

⇒ Shindigz Wood and Marble Fireplace

Shindigz Wooden Marble Fireplace Insta View
This poster is unlike most fireplace posters: It is much larger, made of thin plastic, and shows not only the roaring flames but also the complete fireplace (and even the hearth!)

The Shindigz Wood and Marble Fireplace is a huge 5 feet, 2 inches wide and 3 feet, 2 inches tall.


A 3-dimensional cardboard fireplace, 2-dimensional free-standing cardboard fireplace, vinyl peel-and-stick fireplace wall decal, or poster of a fireplace fire are all ways to add an instant fireplace to your home. Create a place to hang those Christmas stockings or to take Christmas photos in front of. And when the holidays are over (or better yet, when you get a real fireplace), these can be put away to be reused another year or another place.

No fireplace for Christmas stockings? Get fireplace wall decal or cardboard fireplace

Posted in Decorating, Holidays Tagged with: ,

Halloween Rats Mantel

Halloween Rats Mantel

Halloween is the time when we welcome those eerie bumps-in-the-night frights. In fact, we go out of our way to dress down our home to make it look scary. Here’s a fresh idea on bringing a little fun Halloween decorating into your home: Download and cut out these rat silhouettes, and then let Halloween rats cavort on your fireplace mantel. We like to call it Rat Attack!

Halloween rats scamper around the fireplace.

Halloween rats scamper around the fireplace.

Now, don’t let your skin go crawling on you. These rats are simple Halloween fireplace mantel decor cutouts, but they can bring some colorful conversation to your Halloween bash. It’s such an easy fireplace craft that your kids might want to get in on the action. Here’s how you can do it at home.

Step 1 for Halloween Rats

Download the attached rat silhouettes from FireplaceMall.com. You can print them on regular copy paper if you would like, but we suggest printing them out on a sturdier card stock that will help your look last throughout the Halloween season.

To get these rat silhouettes, click the Download button.

Click to download Halloween Rats to cut out

Step 2 for Halloween Rats

Cut out your Halloween rats. It’s a bit of a tedious task, but well worth the patience. If you have some skilled hands nearby, this could be a great project for your older kids. (If scissors are not your thing, get the vinyl decals of rats, below, for a quicker version of this display.)

Cut out the rats from the download.

Cut out the rats from the download.

Step 3 for Halloween Rats

Touch up your rats. Even the most experienced hands may leave a little white around the edges. A quick once over with a black marker should do the trick. If your printer runs low on ink and the last rat isn’t the same consistency as the first, you can always touch up the entire silhouette with a black marker.

Step 4 for Halloween Rats

Arrange the Halloween rats on and around the fireplace and mantel. This is a good time to get the whole family’s perspective. As you can see, we’ve added several shapes, sizes, and poses in our rat silhouettes. Play around with the placement until you’re happy. Think about how they might scurry up one side of the fireplace to escape the flame. In our example, we ran random rats across the thick ledge of our hearth so the shapes would pop out in the contrast.

Add Halloween pumpkins, spider webs, witch's cauldron or witch's broom to the mantel and hearth.

Add Halloween pumpkins, spider webs, witch’s cauldron or witch’s broom to the mantel and hearth.

Step 5 for Halloween Rats

Add in a little more Halloween décor such as

Make it Halloween festive and as ghoulish or as fun as you like!

Presto! You’re done. It only takes a few minutes to achieve this same look in your own home.

Scampering rats can climb up and around other wall, windows, and doorways in your home.

Scampering rats can climb up and around other wall, windows, and doorways in your home.

The Halloween rats need not scamper only across your fireplace mantel. The critters also look great on the kitchen back splash, running down a hallway, and climbing up and over a doorway or window.

If you don’t have time to cut out the rat silhouettes, here are two alternatives:

Then wait for all those Halloween ghouls and goblins to stop by so you can show them what the witch is brewing up in her special sauce – RATS!

Posted in Decorating, Holidays Tagged with: ,

Hurricane Fireplace Tips

Hurricane Fireplace Tips

When a hurricane is headed your way, here are three hurricane fireplace, damper and chimney tips for the safety of your home and family:

Hurricane Fireplace Tip #1: Shut the fireplace damper.

Hurricanes bring not only high wind but also astonishing amounts of rain. As you prepare your home for an approaching hurricane, you shut the doors and windows (or even board them up) to prevent rain from entering your home. Likewise, you should shut the fireplace damper to keep rain out of the house.

The flue in your chimney provides a direct access from the firebox (the spot where logs burn in your fireplace) inside your house up and to the outside. When you have a fire going in your fireplace, that flue allows the smoke from  your fire to evacuate up the flue to the outside. But when there are torrential rains, water can come down your flue and into the firebox.

There are three main ways to keep rain out of your fireplace:

  • Have a chimney cap. They provide a “roof” over the hole at the top of the flue. They keep most rain out, but often not all the wind-driven, torrential rain associated with hurricanes.

    A chimney cap prevents most rain from entering your chimney and fireplace.

    A chimney cap prevents most rain from entering your chimney and fireplace.

  • Have a top-mount damper, and shut it. These dampers fit on the very top of the flue. When closed, they seal shut with a gasket, much like your refrigerator door’s gasket. A chain with a handle at the end runs down the flue and is accessible from inside your home. By pulling on the chain handle, you can open the top-mount damper to have a fire in your fireplace and close it at other times. Of course, you will certainly want to close your top-mount damper during hurricane weather!

    top-mount fireplace damper

    Top Sealing Lyemance Damper without Chimney Cap

  • If you do not have a top-mount damper at the top of your chimney’s flue, you most likely have a fireplace throat damper. These are metal plates just above your firebox. A damper handle opens and adjusts the damper for fire-burning and closes it at other times. Close your fireplace throat damper as you prepare for the hurricane. See How to Open and Close a Damper.

    Throat damper: framework and valve plate

    Throat damper: framework and valve plate

Hurricane Fireplace Tip #2: If a hurricane leaves you without electrical power, you can use your fireplace for cooking and heating.

Heating is usually not a problem during hurricane season, but breakfast bars, room-temperature canned beans, and bottled water satisfy the appetite only so long. If you need a hot meal, be prepared to cook in your fireplace. If food from your freezer is thawing, turning it into a stew can save it and nourish body and soul. Here, for example, are directions for cooking a chicken in the fireplace. Popping popcorn in the fireplace can entertain young and old alike when living screen-time free without electricity.

If you are without hot water in the wake of a hurricane, you can use your fireplace to heat water for washing up, washing dishes, and even hand-washing clothes.

Of course, you will need to open the fireplace damper if you are using your fireplace for cooking. Therefore, we suggest fireplace cooking for only after the rains have passed.

Hurricane Fireplace Tip #3: After the hurricane, check to make sure your chimney cap survived.

A well-secured chimney cap can make it through fairly strong winds (see How to Install a Chimney Cap), but not always through hurricane force winds. After a hurricane, check to see that your chimney cap has survived the hurricane and is still securely attached.

If  you fireplace or chimney has sustained any damage whatsoever, have it inspected by a building inspector or a certified chimney professional before using it.


These before, during and after Hurricane Fireplace Tips will prevent rainwater from entering your home through the flue, provide you with alternative heating and cooking tips when the utilities are out, and help you access post-hurricane chimney cap, chimney and fireplace damage.

Posted in Safety, Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: ,
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