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Your Fireplace NEEDS This DIY Stacked Log Insert – How to tutorial

    I am so excited about today’s post, you guys are in for a real treat! This DIY project is really simple, but makes a big statement! Today my dear friend, Elizabeth from Elizabeth Bear Designs is here to share how she created a faux stacked log fireplace insert. I’ve admired this fireplace on her beautiful Instagram feed, but it wasn’t until she mentioned that it was a DIY project that I realized the stack of logs was fake! Well sorta – I’ll go ahead and let her tell you more about it…



    DIY stacked log fireplace insert

    Thank you Ashley for inviting me to share one of my favorite DIY projects on your blog! I love your posts, so I am honored to be here.

    Hi! My name is Elizabeth Bear. I founded Elizabeth Bear Designs in the beginning of 2017 in order to do what I am passionate about – interior decorating and working with brands. I moved to Colorado in 2010 when I married my college sweetheart. My style focuses on modern, clean lines, natural elements, and lots of white with pops of color. My motto is ‘less is more‘.

    So, I’m not sure if you’ve had this discussion in your home, but men sometimes prefer functional things despite the lack of aesthetics (and that is definitely true in my house!). Women, on the other hand (or at least this woman), like function AND aesthetics. My husband loves having a wood burning fireplace. And being in Colorado, I definitely do too. But what I didn’t love was the large black screen and big blank space it created in the room.

    empty fireplace with metal screen cover

    Although the screen was effective, it did not match the design style in the rest of the space. Leaving the screen off didn’t work either, and was actually worse.

    Empty fireplace opening with ashes inside and small pebble rocks surrounding it

    We talked and came up with a solution which served both of our needs: use the screen while burning a fire and make a stacked log insert to cover the hole when not in use. (After using the insert for some time, we have discovered that it also doubles in function and keeps the winter draft out!)

    How To: DIY Stacked Log Fireplace Insert

    Supplies Used:

    We started with a large piece of cardboard and traced the fireplace opening to make a template.

    Flat cardboard with tape measure, scissors, and expo marker laying on top

    Square cardboard cutout inside of a fireplace opening with the words 'Cardboard template' written on it

    My husband used the cardboard template to cut a piece of plywood which would be used to glue the logs to. He cut it to fit the opening exactly, which made it so the board fit snuggly into place. (If your opening doesn’t hold the board tight, you could add ‘L’ brackets on each of the bottom corners on the backside to keep it from falling backwards.)

    Square piece of plywood sitting as a fireplace insert to block draft

    The next step was to paint the board dark grey (or black would work too) in order to give the illusion of a hollow space behind the logs. We discovered that using a paintbrush worked better than spray painting the board, because the paint was able to adhere better.

    Square piece of painted plywood sitting as a fireplace insert to block draft

    We then headed out to the backyard to find the perfect logs from the wood pile to glue to the plywood board. We used a miter saw to cut the logs into round pieces about 1″- 3″ long. We made sure to vary the depths to create the look of stacked logs.

    A miter saw sitting on a table outside cutting logs into small round pieces

    As we cut the pieces, we laid out a pattern on the plywood. Then to fill in the gaps between the rounds, we used an axe to chip small triangular pieces and added them to the pattern.

    Once we were happy with how it looked, we used lots, and lots, and lots of wood glue to adhere each wood piece to the painted plywood. After drying for 24 hours, we put our new fireplace insert into place.

    Square fireplace insert with stacked logs

    With all of the wood pieces, the fireplace insert ended up being fairly heavy. So whenever it needs to be moved to have a fire, the hubs has to move it for me. But other than that, I absolutely love how it turned out! No more black hole!

    Fireplace mantle with art and TV hung above it and stacked logs in the fireplace insert

    Side view of stacked logs inside of a square fireplace insert

    Back of a tan couch with blankets draped over facing a fireplace insert with stacked logs and a TV mounted on the wall above

    Friends, I hope you will join me over on Instagram (@elizabethbeardesigns)! I would love to get to know you and see what fun things you are up to 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your week!



    See what I mean about it looking so realistic?! I love all of the texture this DIY adds to a space, and the fact that it keeps the drafts out during the winter – win win! Thank you so much for sharing, Elizabeth! Can’t wait to catch up with you over at our favorite place 😉 For more fireplace ideas, checkout our fireplace makeover post here!