DIY Fireplace Cover Practically Made For You

Decorative fireplace covers or folding screens for fireplaces can do more than hide a dirty fireplace or create a focal point. They can also be used to brighten up an empty corner, hide a pile of kid’s toys, unsightly radiators, or just about anything you need to keep in a room, but would like to hide.

If you are looking for an easy way to cover your fireplace with a screen when it is not in use or for the summer, covering it with this decorative folding screen idea is a very simple DIY project.

fireplace box without a fireplace cover

After having to remove the stone fireplace and mantel in my living room, I decided to makeover the rest of the living room and rearrange it for the summer with an easy breezy carefree summer decorating vibe.

I have been working on it over the past few weeks and sharing each of the projects as I complete them.

I still have a few more small projects to do, but the latest is an easy DIY fireplace cover I made to hide the firebox for the summer.

How to Hide a Fireplace in the Summer

This fireplace cover can be completed in about 45 minutes. What makes it so easy to make is using a cardboard pattern cutting board.

I have made a few of these over the years as it is one of my favorite DIY projects because it is so easy, functional and effective.

SuperBoard from Dritz leaning on wall

If you sew or quilt, you may have one already have stored away in a closet. If you don’t have one, you can purchase them for about $20 at a fabric or craft store.

The board comes folded and when opened, makes it looks like a decorative screen – hence half the work is already done for you. All you need to do is add your style in the way of fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap or any paper even maps.

This handy cover folding screen is not only easy to make, but it is easy to fold and store or move around as needed.

For the summer months, I rearranged my living room. Since we don’t use the fireplace, or the firewood storage area, I moved the sofa in front of it and the recliners on the mirror wall.

Brick wall with wood book shelves
How the wall looked when we first moved into the house.

Here is how the wall looked when we moved into the house. The brick fireplace wall in my living room has a firebox and another similar size opening to stack wood. We removed the brown stained bookshelves the first week we lived in the house.

After removing the stone fireplace for safety reasons – the wall looked like when we first moved in.

I wanted to cover both the firebox and the firewood storage area in the wall for the summer, but in different ways to add interest and color to the brick wall that I recently painted white.

I am not ready for a full fireplace makeover on this wall or even adding a mantel. I wanted simple and making the screen was the ideal solution.

Easy to make fireplace cover for living room
Summer Fireplace Cover over Fireplace Opening

To keep each cover simple, but different, I first glaze painted a decorative wood paneled screen I had in a green color.

I made the second screen using the cardboard sewing pattern cutting board that I covered in the same $3 rummage sale find remnant of grasscloth that I used to cover discolored picture frame mats. I had just enough of the grasscloth left to cover the folding screen with a few scraps to spare.

I couldn’t decide what opening I liked it placed best. In the photo above, it is over the fireplace box.

Living room fireplace wall decorated for summer.

Here I moved it over the wood storage opening. Showing you both. It is nice to have options. And here is another fireplace cover option you may like that is made with a brick panel and Spackling.

How to Make a Decorative DIY Fireplace Cover

To make this style of folding fireplace cover, you can use fabric, wallpaper, gift wrap or maps to make this type of fireplace cover.

Side view of DIY Fireplace cover for summer.

For this tutorial I am using the photos from an old post I wrote about how to make the fireplace cover using fabric. Follow the same directions when using wallpaper or gift wrap.

If necessary for the width of your fireplace, you can remove one or more panels. Use a utility knife to remove panels from the board. You want the accordion folded board to be slightly wider than your fireplace opening. I used all 6 for this DIY fireplace cover.

supplies needed: 

  • Cardboard pattern cutting board – you can buy these at sewing and craft stores or on Amazon – link in caption above.
  • 2 – 3 yards of fabric/wallpaper depending if you use the whole screen or cut off a panel or two to better fit your fireplace opening.
    • If your fabric is light in color, you may want a liner fabric to hide the blue lines on the cutting board or make sure you can apply the fabric to the brown side of the cardboard.
  • Spray adhesive
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
6-panel fabric covered fireplace screen. Fabric: Mesmerize Sorbet.

Time needed: 45 minutes

How to Make a DIY Fireplace Cover

  1. Measure and Cut

    Measure the board and your fabric or paper so that there is at least 2″ of excess fabric/paper all around to wrap around the back of the board. Press fabric if needed before attaching to the board.

  2. Cut Fabric/Paper to Size

    Double check: To make sure you have enough fabric/paper before attaching. Lay board right side down on the back of the fabric/paper.

    Make sure you center any pattern if there is one.

  3. Attach to Board

    Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric or paper to the board. Take it outside to do this. Throughly cover the board and let sit until the adhesive gets tacky – about 1 – 2 minutes.

  4. Place Fabric/Paper On Board

    Carefully center the fabric/paper on the board. Smooth the fabric/paper to the outer edges of the cardboard screen to make sure there are no air bubbles and wrap the excess to the back.

    steps to cover a cardboard screen

  5. Wrap the Excess Fabric/Paper to Back

    Turn board over so back of board in face up. Apply spray glue all around the edges of the board – about 2″ in from the outer edges.

  6. Fold or Cut Corners

    Wrap the excess fabric/paper to the back and press into the tacky adhesive. Cut or fold corners on an angle to cover corners.

  7. Add More Adhesive

    If needed to smooth corners, add more spray adhesive to make sure the fabric/paper is secure.

  8. Smooth Fabric

    Make sure the fabric attached to the back is free of air bubble and it smooth.

  9. Optional Decoration

    Depending on the pattern of your fabric/paper, you can add brass fasteners for a decorative accent.

    I used an awl to make a hole in the center of the circles on the fabric. I used tape to secure the tips of the fasteners to the back of the screen.

    steps to follow to make a decorative fireplace screen

Optional: Use Duct Tape

How to attach wallpaper to cardboard fireplace cover for summer.
Back of fireplace cover screen.

When attaching wallpaper to the cardboard folding screen, after using spray adhesive, you can make sure the paper will stay secured by using duct tape.

How to Add a Decorative Shape to the Fireplace Screen Cover 

If you would like to create a more decorative cover for your fireplace when it is not in use, consider cutting the top in a decorative arch shape to resemble many store bought fireplace screens.

This is what I did in a previous house and was a project from my book, Instant Decorating. This scanned image is from my book.

I used 4 panels for this screen

Making this screen is basically the same as the folding screen covers above – here is an overview of how to cut and cover the screen when you decoratively cut the top edge.

supplies needed:

  • Cardboard sewing pattern cutting board
  • Utility knife
  • 2 rolls of gift wrap – 4 panels – if using entire board you will need a 3rd roll
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Pencil

1. This board is 4 panels wide. Use a utility knife to remove 2 panels from the pattern cutting board. You want the folded board to be slightly wider than your fireplace opening.

Figure 1

2. Fold entire board in half as shown. Draw and mark the pattern you want cut on the top edge on two panels as shown above. You can draw it freehand or use a large plate or platter to create the rounded edge.  Cut pattern out with utility knife.

3. To create an identical pattern on each half of the board: Cut the pattern out on the two panels and then fold these two cut panels over the uncut panels and trace the cutout outline.  The cut out the top with the utility knife. (Fig. 1)

4.  Lay two rolls of gift wrap, pattern side down on the floor. Decide where you want the seam of the fabric/paper if it is not as wide as the board – the middle fold is a good place.    Make sure you match up the patterns where you are seaming the rolls of gift wrap together.

Figure 2

5. 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)

6.  Turn cut board over and apply spray adhesive onto board and let for a minute 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 sections of the board.

Figure 3

7.  Cut excess gift wrap as shown to wrap around the boards 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 of the screen to create a more finished look or leave as it is.

More Fireplace Summer Cover Ideas

As you can see, it is easy to make your own fireplace screen from the 3 decorative folding fireplace cover screens I made. You can make them to fit the size of your fireplace opening as well as the style of decor depending on the fabric or paper you use.

Here are few more ideas to consider:

  • Cut up or rip the paper into 2″ – 3″ size pieces. Use decoupage medium to slightly overlap the pieces to cover the folding
  • Rip 2″ sections of beige masking tape and slightly overlap them to cover the board. Use a paper towel or rag to rub shoe polish or transparent gel stain in a color you like over the ripped up taped surface. Seal with decoupage medium in a matte sheen.

Can you think of any other ways to cover the folded screen or ways to use it besides as a fireplace cover?

Grasscloth covered folding screen that makes an easy DIY summer fireplace cover.

More Home Decorating Ideas:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This is brilliant. Thank you. To put in perspective, for my extra large space, I was only finding ugly fireplace screens the costs in the thousands. Sylvia

  2. Richella J Parham says:

    This is such a clever idea! Yes, I do have one of those folding cutting boards as well as quite a stash of fabric. You’ve set my wheels in motion!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Richella – Thank you for featuring my screen using a cardboard folded cutting board. I have made a few of them over the years, I was happy to find that they are still made so I could make my latest one.

  3. Barbara H. says:

    I actually like this better than the airstone. I like both of your screens, too – that wall now has a nice clean look. I had seen your references or pictures to a fireplace change but for some reason could never find out why. Your link in this post took me to the original makeover but they I finally did a search using “airstone” and there it was. I must have missed that January post somehow. Thanks for all the great tips and instructions that you so generously share with your reader.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – Now that the stone fireplace is gone and the brick wall is painted I like it much better. When we first moved into the house I liked stone fireplaces so we added it. Now I am all about open and airy – minimal decor.

      The reason we needed to remove the stone fireplace was because we used the wrong backer-board. The chimney sweep we used told us it could be a fire hazard so we removed it. I was not unhappy about doing since I like change.

  4. This idea is just too brilliant and it looks fabulous in your living room!

  5. Amazing idea!!! Looks great👍 I really love the green folding screen too 😊

  6. Another clever idea! Amazing how great this looks made from simple materials. This is something even I can do. And I like the option of using duct tape – I find myself increasingly turning to duct tape to solve all sorts of problems. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. OOPS! I meant a HIGHER screen. I wrote asking how to make a larger screen.
    Also, I put the wrong email! The correct one is the one I filled in for THIS comment!

  8. Diane,
    How would you go about this in order to make a larger screen??
    Something high enough to cover a dog crate in a corner or a large pile of toy filled buckets and baskets? or JUST a MESS ;-D
    Thank you and love your projects!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi S. Marie – If you need a taller screen and still want it made out of cardboard, you could go to an appliance store to see if they have any refrigerator boxes. You could cut them into panels the size you need and duct tape the panels together, then cover.

      If you would like to use the pattern board – get two. Use duct tape to attach the top of one and bottom of the other. Add the tape on both sides. Then use yardsticks or long pieces of screen molding and attach them vertically over the seam on the back of the boards to add stability, then cover.

  9. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Oh, wow! I have been wanting into cover our.fireplace box. Thank you.
    Now move on to showing ways or things to decorate the fire box without the cover ugh ugly space.
    How to decorate inside for allnseasons. Please.

  10. The most incredible part is how much – if it is a good idea- the time to use it again will always come around again.
    Just need to be patient. Really lovely.

  11. Linda Schombert says:

    Hi Diane, love the green screen in the corner and the grass cloth one in front of fireplace…question, when you place the fabric/grass cloth over the adhesive board and press together, how long do you wait before bending them into position? Any problem with the grasscloth bending?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – After attaching the fabric or wallpaper – make sure it is smooth with no air bubbles over where the folds are. Work out from the center to the outer sides. Once you can see that the material is adhered well, you should check again to make sure. Wait about 10 minutes and then bend each fold and run your hand over each fold again. This will ensure the paper is glued on over the folds.

  12. June Gibson says:

    Hi..really love this idea of the fireplace screen.. when you glue the fabric on to the board as it lays flat, is there enough give in the material so that the screen will fold. I’m not sure if you lay out the whole screen in the fabrics or if you glue in sections folding as you go. Hope that makes sense!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June –

      I understand what you mean about the fabric not folding along with the cardboard screen.

      When you use spray glue/adhesive, every single inch of the fabric will stick to the cardboard. To make sure it is stuck at the folds, as you attach the fabric, run your finger or the handle tip of a wooden cooking spoon down each fold or crease as you apply the fabric. If it doesn’t stick, you need to add more spray adhesive.

      If you do this there will be no worry about the screen not folding up when you want it and in reverse, when you open it, the fabric will stay in the folds and creases.

  13. Rachel McAdams says:

    My daughter has an ugly plastic binder. Can she cover it using mod podge and wrapping paper?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – The plastic binder can be covered with gift wrap. It would need to be quality weight gift wrap. Thin and cheaper wrapping papers will wrinkle. I also would use Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Multi-Surface Matte finish. It is sold at Michaels. I like it much better than Mod Podge. It is not tacky like Mod Podge can be. It comes in both Matte and glossy, but I like using the matte better. I would spray glue the paper onto the binder and then seal with a few light coats of decoupage medium.

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

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ellise@CharlesWhyte says:

    This is a GREAT idea. We have an old gas fireplace that works really well but is ugly. I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks for the idea!

  17. 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 :)

  18. christine 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.

    1. 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. :)

  19. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Wow!! You did a great job. And a nice, detailed tutorial too. Love the fabric you chose!

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back!). :)

  20. 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.

  21. L.Lane Designs 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!