Sunday, March 6, 2011

Faux Firelight

Do you have a non-functioning or faux fireplace?  Sure, it's great to have that mantle to display your favorite artwork or knick-knacks; and it IS a really great focal point for the room...but what about the empty hearth?  You could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a gas insert OR you could create  faux firelight by yourself for little cost and even less effort!

Creating these warm little bursts of firelight are Flicker Flame light strands!  Each light sends off an orange flicker that creates the illusion of a real fire warming up the room.  Assembling this quick project is so simple!

First you will need to purchase a grate for your fireplace (this is the metal contraption that holds your logs in place).  These can be purchased for a few dollars at estate sales, garage sales, or second-hand stores.  Don't have time to search?  You can pick up a brand new one for as little as $30 for a simple model.

Now for the lights!  We found ours at Lowe's priced out at $8.99 for a strand of 10, and we purchased two strands for this size fireplace.  We did purchase them around Christmastime, so availability could be sketchy at this time of the year.  But as with most things nowadays, they can easily be found on the Internet for purchase.

Onto foraging fun:  the gathering of the logs!  We chose to use birch for our fire simply because we love the texture and color, but any kind of wood would suit this project just dandy.  For a more realistic effect we split the wood, but this is a step that could easily be skipped if you don't have a lumberjack at your fingertips.

And now to assemble.  In order to conceal your cords as much as possible, weave the lights through log by log as you arrange them.  This will take a little patience, but you don't want ugly cords getting in the way of enjoying your fiery display.  

As you can see in this picture, the visible cordage is minimal.  Take your time, start over if you have to, but get those cords out of sight!  For a creative conceal of the extension cord, we added a fireside basket filled with extra wood (realistic AND functional!)

And to give you an idea of the warm glow it throws off at night:

So pour yourself a cup of decaf, grab a blanket, and cozy up to your fancy new fireplace.

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