I have loved the look of a fully stacked fireplace for years now. (& have even suggested it to a few clients with no bites...) Knowing full & well the hubs would never let me stack a real fireplace (that we don't even have) I just put this idea in the ole vault for future use.
Not being in the market for a fireplace mantle at all, I stopped by my favorite Antique Market, Dupre's, I spotted a vintage fireplace surround. It was hiding deep in a booth & I quite literally climbed over items to get to it. It appeared to be in great condition, with a great scale & classic lines. After I saw the price, I knew we needed a faux fireplace in our new Library/Dining Room. My husband looked at me like I had three heads when I let him in on our latest purchase... he has since come around :)
I had the mantel... now I needed logs & branches. Oh the logs & branches!! You need so many more than you think you will need. At least that was the case for us. Not only you need logs/branches, they must meet a few important criteria:
- No fresh cut branches. They must be at least a month old to have allowed for the drying process. New limbs are moist & a bit spongy. Once they have dried out they will begin to crack a little, but this is okay. Dried branches also have fewer tenants... Next point...
- No BUGS! When cutting into your branches, inspect them carefully for any indication of inhabitants. Obviously you don't want those brought into your home.
Luckily, we had some great candidates that fell a few months ago that I wouldn't let the hubs get rid of. I just knew they would be great for a project.
We took the branches, determined the thickness that we needed & got to cutting.
We found our miter saw was the quickest way to cut these babies down. We also used a little tape to let us know how big our cuts needed to be.
A chainsaw was used for the larger log. Luckily, one log provided plenty of the larger rounds.
Not intentionally, but just because life got in the way, the majority of our cut logs sat outside "drying" for a few weeks. I think this step also aided in our lack of bugs. But to ensure we got rid of any dwellers, we sprayed all of the wood pieces down with bleach & water & let them dry. This also brightened the wood.
Then I got to gluing... starting with a piece of MDF cut to the height of our opening & just a little wider I started putting together one giant puzzle. Making sure to spread each type & size around as much as possible.
I used Liquid nails for the large logs & hot glue for the smaller branches. After they were all attached, we reinforced the logs with our nail gun. Straight through the front of the logs. You can't even see any of the brads.
We then slid the HEAVY panel into place.
I love the warmth & texture it brings into the room. I can only imagine how great stockings are going to look in front of it! (We are very excited about having a place to hang stockings this year!)