DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover for a Faux Wood Fireplace Insert

I knew immediately after I purchased my vintage antique fireplace mantel what I would do with the inside of it. I thought about trying to find a nice electric heater that looked like real wood logs, but I couldn’t find the right size. My next option was a fun DIY. I decided to create a DIY birch wood fireplace cover for a faux wood fireplace insert.

DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover for a Faux Wood Fireplace Insert

If you’ve been around the blog you know this antique mantel has changed styles quite a few times.

I purchased it when we were living in our builder grade turned modern farmhouse home. Let me show you what it originally looked like.

Below is a picture from the Craigslist listing.

antique mantel

This beauty is from the 1800’s and it had so much potential.

So I stripped the wood down, all 8 layers (LOL!).

antique mantel

Looking better huh!

Ok enough about how I transformed this vintage mantel. I’ll share more about the finished product later.

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I wanted to create the look of birch wood in the middle. I was inspired by a photo from the infamous Magnolia Market shown below.

SUPPLIES TO CREATE A FAUX BIRCHWOOD FIREPLACE CENTER.

  •  Birch Wood – I bought 6 logs and cut them with a band saw. If I could do it over, I would have bought them already cut. It’s not too much more money and it saves you time and energy. Here is a link to birch wood that has already been sliced – Click HERE.
  •  Black Foam Board – I chose to use black, but you can use whatever color you want.
  •  Green decorative moss – I used a mix of green and brown.
  •  Brown decorative moss
  • Hot glue gun

FYI; the measurements for the middle of my fireplace mantel are 30″ by 32″ and I used about 90 slices of birch wood that measured 1.5″ to 3″ in diameter.

HOW TO CREATE A FAUX BIRCHWOOD INSERT FOR A FIREPLACE MANTEL;

  1. Cut the foam board to fit inside the mantel with a little overhang so you can attach it to the back of the mantel.
  2. Cut your birchwood logs (if you need to) with a band saw.
  3. Lay the black foam board flat and arrange the cut pieces of birchwood where you want them. Make sure you like the way it looks with even spacing.
  4. Hot glue the birchwood to the foam board.
  5. Hot glue decorative moss around it.
  6. Once you’re happy with how it looks, fit the foam board inside the mantel and nail it to the back of the mantel.

Let me show you some step by step pictures:

Faux Birch wood logs that I purchased below.

birch wood logs

Arranging the birch wood after I cut them with a band saw.

placing the cut birch wood on cardboard
placing the cut birch wood on cardboard
placing the cut birch wood on cardboard

After a little re arranging, I’m finally pleased with the placement of the birch wood logs. Now it’s time to hot glue them to the foam board.

adding the moss around the birch wood logs

Lastly, hot glue the moss in between the birch wood.

LOOK AT MY ANTIQUE FIREPLACE MANTEL NOW!

antique mantel with DIY birch wood fireplace cover

This was what it looked like immediately after I added the faux wood insert and displayed it on the wall.

Creating an antique faux fireplace mantel

Like I said earlier, this mantel has had quite a few different looks.

Not too long after I finished this shabby white wash finish on the mantel, I decided to give it a chippy white paint look.

Rustic Cottage Summer Mantel with DIY birch wood insert

I love the look of the white chippy paint, but I ultimately decided to create an entire blue feature wall with bookcases and board and batten.

This is what my mantel with a faux wood insert looks like today.

DIY Wall of Built In Bookshelves

What do you think?

I love how the natural wood tones blend well with the woven fabrics I’ve used to decorate with.

DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover for a Faux Wood Fireplace Insert

DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover for a Faux Wood Fireplace Insert

Learn how to create your own DIY birch wood fireplace cover for a faux wood fireplace insert. This is such an easy way to add rustic farmhouse charm to an old fireplace or a faux fireplace mantel.

Prep Time 1 minute
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 1 minute
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 30

Materials

  • Birch Wood – either cut logs into slices or buy birch wood slices
  • Black Foam Board – I chose to use black, but you can use whatever color you want.
  • Green decorative moss – I used a mix of green and brown.
  • Brown decorative moss
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions

  1. Cut the foam board to fit inside the mantel with a little overhang so you can attach it to the back of the mantel.
  2. Cut your birchwood logs (if you need to) with a band saw.
  3. Lay the black foam board flat and arrange the cut pieces of birchwood where you want them. Make sure you like the way it looks with even spacing.
  4. Hot glue the birchwood to the foam board.
  5. Hot glue decorative moss around it.
  6. Once you're happy with how it looks, fit the foam board inside the mantel and nail it to the back of the mantel.

Do you think you could easily create one of these inserts yourself?

Let me know if you do!

Lindsey**

One thought on “DIY Birch Wood Fireplace Cover for a Faux Wood Fireplace Insert

  1. I don’t like the way that beautiful mantel just disappeared into the wall once you painted. It has such caracter and you put do much time into stripping it, sanding it, only to cover it all up and disappear it! The book shelves are lovely but I think you missed the mark here. It now just looks like a builder grade mantel painted over.

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