Mum creates fireplace illusion in her living room using £4.50 cardboard boxes

Jourdyn May Verrett was looking for ways to hang Christmas decorations with minimal space and became “obsessed” with images of other people making their own fake fireplace

A mum who didn’t want to spend a fortune on a new fireplace managed to create her own faux version using cardboard boxes.

Jourdyn May Verrett, 27, a mum-of-two and keen DIYer from Texas, spent just £4.50 on the stunning design – and says it required minimal effort.

The money-saver is currently remodelling her home and had sold all her living room furniture.

This meant her TV had been sitting on an old pop-up table before she created her new fireplace – and she was also limited on what she could do with Christmas decorations.

Jourdyn had been searching online for unique ways to hang stockings when she spotted people making their own fireplaces for Christmas on Facebook.

If you’ve got a real fireplace that you’re looking to spruce up, a design like this wouldn’t work as cardboard would be highly flammable and could cause a fire.

Keep any fake fireplace you’ve built away from open fires or anything that could catch alight.

She told : “I was instantly obsessed with that idea and decided to make my own version.

“I really needed to keep things cheap, so I tried to only use what I already had laying around the house.

“The sides of my toddler’s playpen worked great to form the basic shape of a fireplace around the table.

“I cut four cardboard boxes down to size and secured them to the playpen with zip ties.

“The mantle is made of styrofoam packaging cubes laid across the edge of the table, and held together with duct tape.”

Jourdyn used everything from rolled paper, poster board, paper towels, and duct tape to fill in any gaps.

She also taped all the edges and corners together to keep the form secure.

“The inside space got painted black, and I tossed in a pile of gold ribbon scraps with a puck light to create a fake ‘fire’ look,” Jourdyn said.

“I wrapped the fireplace in faux brick and wood-grain contact paper, which is basically sticky wrapping paper.

“It also has a slight bumpy texture to it, which I think helped the design look realistic.

“I got really excited when I finally stepped back and realised it was actually starting to look like a fireplace. I finished it off with some Christmas decor.

“I really love how it turned out! I can’t believe how easy and beginner-friendly it was. I mostly love that it didn’t require much planning or money.

“I had everything on hand except the contact paper, so the total cost was only about $6. It took about four hours of trial and error to complete.”

If you’re thinking about trying this out at home, Jourdyn says her top tip for fellow DIYers is to try to keep the cardboard as smooth and level as possible.

She also recommends using supplies you already have to cut down on costs.

“Just adjust your plan based on the materials you find laying around,” she continued.

“Spending $500 or more on a solid piece of furniture just isn’t in the cards for us right now.

“Being able to turn just $6 into something so realistic and usable is something I’m very grateful and proud of. I’m sure I’ll buy a real TV stand eventually.

“But until then, this fireplace has turned out to be an amazing alternative.”

Jourdyn is so pleased with the look of her faux fireplace that she’s considering keeping it far beyond Christmas.

“I think this would be a great option for anyone wanting a traditional Christmas fireplace without the ability to build a real one,” she adds.

“It looks great in Christmas photos, and the mantel displayed our stockings beautifully.

“I only intended this to be a temporary decoration for the Christmas season… but I’m now considering leaving it up past the holidays to serve as my actual TV stand.

“At least, until I buy a real one!”