How to Build a Faux Stacked Wood Fireplace Insert

A white fireplace with a wood log insert.
What You'll Need
Protective eye wear
Measuring tape
1/8 inch plywood to fit your fireplace opening
1 7 ft 1 x 6 board
Hand saw
Black matte spray paint
Wood logs
Wood glue

Image via Hunted Interior

Does your home have a non-functioning fireplace that you would like to keep, but don’t want to accessorize with candles or battery-operated lights? The following plans for a faux wood insert will add a cozy, warm feeling to your space with very little effort.

Rather than going out and collecting a stack of logs to pile inside your fireplace, you can create a wall of logs that looks more tidy and uniform, and takes no time at all to maintain. What’s best of all is that you get to decide which type of log you want to display, and should you decide to do something else with your fireplace all you have to do is pick up the insert and move it out of the way.

Note: Before you begin, be sure to put on your protective eyewear to prevent any accidental injuries to your eyes while you're working.

Step 1 - Measurements

Use your measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the opening to your fireplace. Write the dimensions onto a piece of paper, and use a pencil and a ruler to mark off the dimensions onto your plywood.

Step 2 - Cut the Plywood

Use your saw to cut along the pencil lines on your plywood in order to create a piece that will fit into your fireplace opening.

Step 3 - Paint the Wood

Take your plywood outside to spray paint it. Be sure to place it in an area where the spray from the paint won’t discolor anything else. (It’s best to do this on a day when there's not a lot of wind.) Carefully spray the plywood so that it's evenly covered in black paint. Allow the paint enough time to dry completely before bringing your plywood inside.

Step 4 - Cut the Logs

Use your pencil and measuring tape to mark off 2- and 3-inch segments on each of your logs. You will want to have disks of varying lengths to make the insert look more natural. Cut along each of the pencil lines with your saw.

Step 5 - Attach the Wood Disks to the Board

Place the wooden disks onto your black board so that they appear to be stacked. Make sure they fit together as closely as possible—you don’t want to have wide spaces between the disks. Once you've placed all of your wooden disks, take out your wood glue and begin individually gluing each one onto the board. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Step 6 - Cut Wood for the Supports

Use the 1x4 board to build triangular supports for your insert. Use your pencil and your measuring tape to measure two 8-inch lengths and two 12-inch lengths. Cut along the pencil lines with your saw so that you have two 8-inch pieces and two 12-inch pieces.

Step 7 - Attach Supports

Use one 8-inch and one 12-inch piece for each support. Place the end of the 12-inch piece so that it's positioned at a 90° angle over the end of the 8-inch piece. Glue the two pieces together. Do the same with other pieces of wood. You should now have two L-shaped supports. Use the remaining part of the board to create joining pieces for each support to create a triangular shape. This piece will make the support as strong as possible. Allow the glue on the supports to dry overnight.

Attach each of the supports to the back of the insert board. Glue the supports so that they sit at the bottom on either side. Allow the glue to dry overnight, and then carefully slide your new faux wood log insert into your fireplace.


You can use this insert for a working fireplace as well. Simply remove the board when you want to build a fire and replace it when the fire has burned out and you've removed the ashes.

Have a fireplace with a metal framed glass covering that you would like to spruce up? Not a problem. You can use the insert here, too. Rather than adding the wooden supports to the back of the board, attach magnetic strips around the perimeter. The magnets will attach to the metal frame and keep the board secured into place.