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Monday, August 22, 2011

Fireplace Makeover: Part One {bye bye deathtrap}

This little project is seriously like another child to me. Crazy I know, but that is what it feels like. Right before I had Sophia, about a year ago, I started brainstorming some ideas about what we were going to do about the death trap that is out granite fireplace.
DEATH TRAP! Sharp pointy edges... everywhere!

For a while I just threw around the idea of throwing some of that foam piping stuff you can buy at Home Depot around it and call it a day {this was my thought process when I was ready to burst pregnant b/c the thought of doing anything other than that exhausted me... in fact even the thought of having to drive to Home Depot exhausted me}.

However, the more I thought about the more I hated loathed this plan. You see, our little fireplace actually is the focal point from our kitchen, living room, and dining room. You can see it from both of our hallways. In fact, unless you are literally in one of our bedrooms, with the doors closed, you can see this fireplace. So the thought of having a bunch of foam piping wrapped around the major focal point of our house was not an appealing option.

A few months later, after more brainstorming, I came up with another plan. This one involved still adding the foam piping, but sewing a pad that would be placed on top of the bench part of the fireplace. This seemed like a perfect idea to me. I figured the cushion would mask the hideousness of the piping and my problem would be solved. However, the more I thought about that idea the less I liked it as well. I really wanted to be able to put piping down the two sides of the fireplace as well, and a cushion was not going to hide that.

At this point, I went to my friend, the internet, and scoured looking for options... but I came up short handed. There is no way that I am the first person to deal with this sort of problem. How can I not find anything out there? That is when I got a little scarred! Maybe there is no solution.

That is when I had an epiphany {i.e. my genius mother said, "why don't you just build a facade around it"}. A facade?!?!?! BRILLIANT!

We kept putting off the project because, to be honest, we knew it was going to take some work. However, it got to the point that we needed to get it done because Soph was getting to that "pull up on everything, even if it is not meant to pull up onto" stage. Now that it is built and finished I kinda {read: obsessively} LOVE IT! Seriously, I wish I would have done it a long time ago... oh, how I love hindsight!

{what you need}
~ Pieces of plywood/particle board cut to size for the top and sides of your mantle
~ 2x2's cut to size to run across the inside of your facade {these are the braces to hold your plywood together}
~ Nails or wood screws {whatever you choose to use get ones that are long enough to really stabilize your facade}
~ Material {for our project we used three different types}
~ Batting
~ Staple gun
~ Piping {the soft kind I mentioned earlier. You can find this at Home Depot for CHEAP! It is used for winterizing your pipes}
~ Duct tape

{what we did}
How to: build the facade:
~ First we measured all the sides of our fireplace. We added 2 inches to our measurements on top {both vertically and horizontally} to make-up for the 2x4's we were using as stabilizers for our sides. We also added 4 inches to our front piece to make up for the 2x4's in each corner---- Are you confused yet? Here is a diagram to help!

~ Next we cut our ply board using our dimensions above. Dimensions were: 60"x 14"{that fit on top of the yellow top line on the left of our diagram}, 48"x14" {yellow, top right}, 52"x15 {pink front}, 52"x 14" {black, top}, 74"x15" {left, bottom side}, and 62"x15" {right, bottom side}. SIDE NOTE: The top pieces on the left and right seem short, but it is because the front top is already covered, so we had to subtract that wen cutting our boards because we did not want things to overlap.
~ Then we cut the 2x2's. Dimensions: {4} 15" pieces, {2} 52" piece, {2} 48" piece, {2} 50" pieces

Are you with me so far?

~ Then we screwed all the 2x2's together creating a frame.

~ Next we added the plywood pieces to the frame with screws/nails.
~ Lastly, we added some duct tape to hold together a few of our seams {classy right?}, and attached our foam piping.

Can you say hot mess?!?!?! Now, obviously I don't leave it like this {I guess you could if duct tape and gray foam is the aesthetic you are going for... but we weren't}.

Be sure to stop by on Wednesday for part two of my fireplace makeover. Also, if you have any questions so far, leave a comment and I will try to clear it up in Wednesday's post.

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