How to Re-Purpose Your Un-Used Fireplace

Build a Faux Stacked Log Fireplace Insert

If your looking for a great way to re-purpose your non-working fireplace this is a great way to do just that.  We helped our daughter build this one for her fireplace and she loves it!   It is an inexpensive way to stop drafts and refresh an empty un-used fireplace.


DIY Home Fireplace Project

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Lets get started…

  1. Measure the opening (H x W) to your fireplace at the location you want your faux insert to set. We recommend the logs not come out past the opening. (refer to picture above)
  2. Once you have the measurements you will need a piece of 1/2 ” plywood or 7/16 OSB for the back support, then cut to the measurements in step 1.
  3. Once your back support is cut we recommend spray painting it with a flat black paint (for black-out effect).
  4. You will then need to locate several different small size logs from 1 1/2″ to 4″ dia. that you can cut (we used birch, pine, spruce).  You can use anything that you have as long as you like how they contrast in color and grain pattern.
  5. Once you locate your logs you will need to start cutting your pieces.  You will want the side that is going to be attached to the plywood to be pretty flat.  We cut ours with a compound miter saw, but you can use what works for you.  The side that is exposed to the room that you are looking at in the picture does not need to be flat or smooth.  The rougher cut the better.  We cut all logs 6″ long with a chain saw (for rough cut), then cut those pieces in half ranging from 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, 2 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ with the miter saw (for smooth cut).  This will give you 4 different lengths of smaller logs to place on your back support. (make sure you cut them different lengths so that your insert is not flat)
  6. We recommend laying your your back support on a table or floor (painted side up). As you cut your smaller logs place them on the board in a row, alternate the different lengths and diameters row by row, pushing them snuggly together.  You will have to play with it a bit to close up larger gaps so it looks like actual stacked wood.

Now that all of your pieces are placed it is time to secure each of them to the plywood.  You can secure each cut log with wood glue or you can follow the directions below to secure them with glue and screws as we did.

Glue & Screw method

  1. Once you have all the logs in place on your back support you will need place your back support on 2 saw horses or between 2 tables so you have access to run the screws in from bottom side of the back support.
  2. Now you are ready to drill your holes with a 1/8″ inch drill bit. Remove one log at a time so you do not mess up your arrangement and drill a hole close to the center of where the log sets. Larger logs may require 2 or even 3 holes to insure good attachment.
  3. Place your wood glue on the end you are securing to your plywood, set in place and run a #6 x 1 1/4″ drywall screw in from the underside of the back support to secure.
  4. Finish securing all pieces and allow a few hours of drying time so the glue has time to set up before turning over.
  5. Now that everything is dry you can turn your project over so that you can see all of the holes from the back side.
  6. Now you should be pretty happy by now you are almost done.  You will need to seal this project with Flat Clear Sealer

We made ours very snug so we did not have to secure it.  You will have to decide if you need a knee-brace in the back or secure with a bracket.  We hope you enjoyed this fun project.

Until Next Time, Blessings from our home to yours

Terry & Teresa




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2 thoughts on “How to Re-Purpose Your Un-Used Fireplace

  1. This was such a great project I got to build with dad! I absolutely love it. Great focal point for my living room.