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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
Time needed: 45 minutes
How to Make a DIY Fireplace Cover
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add More Adhesive
If needed to smooth corners, add more spray adhesive to make sure the fabric/paper is secure.
- Smooth Fabric
Make sure the fabric attached to the back is free of air bubble and it smooth.
- 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.
Optional: Use Duct Tape
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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?