In order to decorate a fake fireplace for a realistic experience, you need only have some basic design sense and an idea of how you would like to decorate your hearth. Fireplaces and wood-stoves, even if serving purely a decorative purpose, offer an excellent opportunity to express your individual design tastes. In fact, if you don’t use your fireplace for heating, you actually have more room to work with because you are able to decorate the firebox as well.
Here are some recommendations to help give your hearth the look of an authentic, wood-burning fireplace. Here is a step-by-step process to create that impression.
Step 1 - Fireplace Grate
If you don’t already have one, find a fireplace grate. These can be purchased new, but they are often found at thrift stores and garage sales. Chances are, if your home has a fireplace, there is a grate, but not always.
Step 2 - Arrange Logs
Arrange logs on it in a way that doesn’t clutter it up too much. Don’t simply stack several logs on top of one another; start with three on the bottom slightly askew from each other, then a layer of two, and perhaps add one on top. Five or six small to medium logs will do just fine. As an attractive option, paint some accents on the logs to give them an ashen or charcoal look.
Step 3 - Cut Cloths
Take lightweight and flexible pieces of red, orange, and yellow cloth (old scarves work well) and cut them somewhat raggedly into strips eight to 12 inches in length. They should be different from each other to create the illusion of ever changing flames.
Step 4 - Glue Cloths
With a hot glue gun, glue them to the backsides of the logs, staggering their arrangement. Don’t glue them all to the same log, and don’t glue them evenly across.
Step 5 - Position Small Fan
Once the cloth is glued to the logs, position a small hand-held fan behind the logs facing upward and secure with duct tape. It doesn’t need to be a large fan, just enough air to create a breeze for the cloth to resemble real flames. Add a red light positioned out of sight for an extra effect.
When all is done, your hearth will give off the impression that a fire is burning. You can even add a screen and fireplace tools to increase the atmosphere. Decorating your mantel will be the last thing to do. Just a few ideas include the tasteful use of candles and candelabras, ceramics, sea shells, and planters to go around the mantel, augmenting the faux fireplace that appears to be roaring.