Decorative Screen Practically Made For You

One of the projects in my book, Instant Decorating was a DIY decorative fireplace screen I made to accent the décor in my family room. I made it using a cardboard sewing pattern cutting board that you can buy at fabric stores.  It comes folded like a decorative screen so half the work is already done for you.   Decorative screens can not only be used to mask a dirty fireplace, but they can brighten up an empty corner, hide a pile of kid’s toys , radiators, or just about anything you need to keep in a room, but would like to hide.

I recently made an updated version of it using fabric and brass fasteners and posted it over at

Fabric Version

Photo 2

You can see the full tutorial by clicking on this link:  No Sew Fabric Screen

Gift Wrap Version/Curved


Here is a scanned image of the one that was in my book. As you can see it is not the best quality image, but you can see it is different from the one above as I cut the top in a decorative arch shape to resemble a fireplace screen I once had.  I have included the steps here on how I did this variation of the screen.


Supplies Needed

Cardboard sewing pattern cutting board
Utility knife
2 rolls of gift wrap
Spray Adhesive

1.  Remove two panels from the board with a utility knife. The screen will now only be 4 panels wide.

2. Fold remaining board in half. Draw and mark pattern on two panels.  You can draw it freehand or use a large plate or platter to create the rounded edge.  Cut pattern out with utility knife. Fold the two cut panels onto uncut panels and trace outline; cut second side following pencil outline to create identical sides.  (Fig. 1)


Figure 1

3.  Lay two rolls of gift wrap pattern side down on the floor. Decide where you want the seam  – the middle fold is a good place.    Make sure you match up the patterns where you are seaming the two rolls of giftwrap together.  Place the cut board plain side down on top of gift wrap and lightly trace outline of board with pencil. Draw a second line 5-inches outside the first line and cut the gift wrap on the second line with scissors. (Fig. 2)


Figure 2

4.  Turn cut board over and apply spray adhesive onto board and let dry until tacky. Carefully center top piece of gift wrap over board. Working from center out to all sides smooth out gift wrap with your fingers to avoid creases and air bubbles. Repeat with second piece of gift wrap to cover remaining board.

5.  Cut excess gift wrap as shown to wrap around edges. Spray adhesive along back edges. When adhesive is tacky, fold over gift warp as shown in (Fig. 3) to adhere. Smooth with hands to flatten.  You can add more gift wrap to the back to create a more finished look or leave as it is.


Figure 3

Gift Wrap Variation

Instead of applying the giftwrap to the screen in full sheets, cut it up into small pieces and use Mod Podge to overlap the pieces to cover the screen.

The fabric I used for the screen on the post is from JoAnn’s Fabrics – isn’t it yummy?  It is called Mesmerize Sorbet. Normally $10.99 yard, but I used a coupon and got it 40% off.




  1. says

    Oh my gosh.. just this morning as I was looking at my fireplace that we NEVER use – that I hated the way it looks and I needed to do something to cover it up! :) Gotta try this one!

  2. says

    you are one talented lady. I love the fireplace screens and the way you’ve changed the top. Also read your new sew footstool, and instead of buying a footstool and spending way too much, you’ve inspired me to make one.

  3. says

    You have such a special flair and great creativity.
    What I really like about the way you present a project, is that you have step-by-step directions (and pictures to go with them).
    Love this new project and your last project is just pure genius.

    • says

      Thanks Christine. I have been doing DIY for a while – my dad was great at fixing things and I picked up many things from watching him. He was detailed oriented and would write everything down before he did it. My mom had an eye for style and how it should all look and be completed. I think their traits rubbed off on me. :)

  4. Julia says

    I have your 1994 book, and I actually made a firescreen then! I used wallpaper printed with a book design, and it was so nice to be able to craft something that looked great for very little money. It lasted quite awhile, until it finally bit the dust and I was able to afford a metal firescreen. Thanks for the memories! I love reading your blog for great ideas :)

  5. says

    Your blog is so inspiring! Love the Michael’s stencil post.

    I’m your newest follower. I saw you at Homework’s blog hop. Have a good day.

  6. Wendy says

    Diane – I love your blog! So many great ideas! I have one question – can you use fabric on the curved screen?

    • says

      Hi Wendy-

      Yes you can use fabric. I made one for my daughters room when she was little using fabric. Just follow the same directions as the gift wrap using the spray adhesive. When you cut the tabs to wrap the fabric around the back use the spray adhesive to attach them flat to the back. Smooth them out and then take some white glue mixed with a little bit of water or Mod Podge and brush it over tabs on the back of the screen. This will help keep the tabs adhered, but more importantly will keep the edges of the cut fabric from fraying. It works perfectly.

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