Create Your Own Cozy Fireplace

Hi, friends! It’s Katie here. In this crazy year of staying home much more than normal, I have been pouring myself into home projects more than ever. I mean, hey, if we’re gonna be here a bunch, I may as well make the best of it, right? My last big project was finishing up my Daisy Table DIY, but I have a new, exciting space in my house that I can’t wait to tell you all about: my bedroom fireplace! Oh my goodness, it just makes me so, so happy!

It all started with this beautiful antique mantle I found on Facebook Marketplace. I’ve been trying to squeeze a fireplace into our historic home for years now (yes, my home is the old ABM studio) and when I saw this piece, I knew it had to be mine. It matches the time period of our house perfectly! Just look at that stained glass. *Sigh*

After a bit of haggling on the price, thanks to my husband (I CANNOT HAGGLE—I am so bad at it), the mantle was mine! I had already planned out how I wanted to box in the mantle opening to fit an electric fireplace insert, so I called up my friend, Evan, to tell me if my idea was crazy or doable. Yes, I bought the mantle before asking if my vision was realistic. I have no chill. Evan is also the person who helped me finish up the daisy table and built the shelves for my book nook, so I knew if my idea wouldn’t work, he could find a way.

Also, here’s your friendly reminder: if you aren’t a woodworker, there’s no shame in hiring someone or asking a friend! You don’t have to do EVERYTHING yourself!

Here are a couple of Evan’s renderings so you can get an idea of how he fit the insert into the mantle. I sent him the measurements for the fireplace insert I was planning to buy, and he boxed in the bottom and added a panel at the top so I could add some decorative stick-on tile. Oh! Let’s pause here. Stick-on tile has come a LONG way since I last checked it out. From where we sit in our bedroom, you cant even tell it’s fake!

The plywood behind it had to be painted for it to adhere, but I was very impressed with the quality of the stickers and the stickiness of the adhesive. I just cut them to size with scissors and stuck them where I wanted! So easy.

So, the breakdown for this DIY is: find a mantle secondhand, pick a electric fireplace insert that will fit, have the opening customized (by someone with skills if you aren’t a woodworker), don’t forget the tile stickers to add some pizazz, and enjoy your very own fireplace! I’ve never loved my bedroom more!

When I walk in here at night and turn on the faux flame and the little heater, it feels so magical. 2020 is definitely my year for all things cozy. What projects have been you been getting excited over lately? xo. Katie

Credits // Author and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I love this! Crazy creative idea and excellent execution!!! Truly one if the most unique ideas I have ever seen.

  • I’ve never quite known what to do with the narrow space across from the bed in our bedroom but now I know EXACTLY what I’m going to do! Thank you so much for this idea, I love it!

  • Where was your electrical outlet?? I like your idea. I live in Tallahassee I have a fireplace I want to get. repaired…I don’t know where to take it..dont want just anyone.. I want to try this Idea.

  • I have an electric fireplace in my bedroom, but it doesn’t have a mantle and looks a little sad. I love this idea and it’s amazing how “real” it looks: as though it’s built into the house. Very cool.

  • I love this so much! I was in desperate need of some holiday cheer a few weeks ago knowing we wouldn’t be able to travel cross country to see our families for the holidays this year. I found a similar electric fireplace on Craigslist for $50 (she had some interesting additions, bedazzled with “gemstones” and pink lace, but she cleaned up real nice). I couldn’t find an affordable mantle so I just got this shelf https://www.homedepot.com/p/36-in-Floating-Shelf-HDCAE36W/203662712 and hung it above the little fireplace. Fixed her up with stockings and some decor and it is just the holiday cheer my heart and my little apartment needed. Highly recommend!

  • Thank you for this approachable and creative post! It’s just what I need for my main bedroom wall across from our bed. So perfect, a thank you. I always enjoy seeing Katie back on the blog! Happy holidays!

  • Thank you, I have totally changed my mind about fireplaces after this post. I had a fireplace in my house as a child and maybe because it was old I never liked it – keeping this idea for most of my adult life, until now ahaha. i am ready to buy an house with that inside, now! XXX S.

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