Fake It Til You Make It–The Making of a Faux Fireplace

Look at me trying to sound fancy by using crazy words like faux. I mean I could have totally used “fake,” but I opted for the more classy “faux” instead. Let’s be honest, I totally googled the definition for both before I wrote this post just to see the difference. And, I totally googled the spelling of the word “til” as well to make sure it wasn’t 2 Ls. Look, I didn’t major in English.


Last week I took you back to high school geometry with my coffee table.  This week we are going back to elementary school spelling and grammar. Everybody on the bus! Just kidding…


So on to the fireplace…my sister had asked me to build her a “faux” fireplace to set her TV (massive TV I might add) on to replace the metal and glass stand she had but didn’t like.  Simple enough, I thought. But, then she started sending me a gazillion pictures of fireplaces like “can you do this, but make this part like that, then do the moulding like this, but not make this part so big? Oh, and I want it to come in at this point but stick out here.”


Oh. Em. Gee. “Um, why don’t I come over and we can draw out a picture and get the design settled?”  Is this what having “clients” is like? Love my sister, she’s just a little picky…


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Anyway, so I went over and measured the space and we drew out a picture of what she wanted. Don’t laugh, it’s drawn by hand and on a church bulletin and totally not proportional and I drew it in a hurry. Don’t judge me. Here’s the rough idea:

Some things changed in the process of the build, but this gave me a good idea and I made her sign off on it so she couldn’t complain when it was done that it wasn’t what she told me she wanted. Just kidding…but I did think about it 🙂


I didn’t have a plan that was exactly what she wanted built, but I used some inspiration from Ana White’s version of a faux fireplace. Ana White is amazing. I want to be her, but I’m not cool enough.


For this build, I used:

Miter Saw

Kreg Jig

Nail gun and Compressor


1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws

My sister wanted her fireplace surround and mantle on a platform, so I built that first.

I used my kreg jig to drill pocket holes in pieces of 1×12 about 6″ long and used pocket hole screws to screw them into a 1×12 piece the length she wanted the platform to be (about 55″) on each end and the middle. I used my nail gun to attach a piece of 1×6 (it didn’t go from top to bottom, but this isn’t supporting weight, so it didn’t matter) onto the front then attached the baseboard.


She wanted the surround to sit back from the front a couple inches, so I used 1×10 pieces for the sides and pocket hole screwed them into the platform making sure they were spaced so that the 1×12 front would fit (11 1/4″ from outside to outside).

Then I attached the shelf for the middle part using pocket holes and screws on the bottom side and used my nail gun to attach the crown moulding around the top. In hindsight, I would have attached the mantle before putting on crown moulding, but I wanted to make sure the mantle was wide and deep enough to cover the crown. No big deal doing it backwards, just makes it a little harder to line up the edges.

I cut the front doors to fit and glued the moulding on. I attached the mantle top using pocket holes and screws from the inside of the side sections while the glue was drying. Once the glue was dry, I attached the doors and middle with  two hinges per door. Both sides swing out and the middle folds down (just like the Ana White one).

Painting is the devil, so since I was doing this for free labor, I told sissy that she could paint. I was nice and puttied, caulked, sanded, primed, and sanded again before I gave it to her to paint. I can be nice 🙂


I’m sure she had fun painting it and I didn’t want her to miss out on some fun!

She’s a trooper…it’s a bazillion degrees outside right now.

And now she’s got a beautiful new faux fireplace and tv stand combo!

These are my sisters dogs, Rufus and Wally. Roo is my fav. He’s so cute and photogenic.


I love this fireplace and she’s so excited to decorate it for holidays. It’s always good to have a place to hang your stockings 🙂

The best news of all? She liked it, too. Whew glad to have that one checked off the list! I have a feeling that’s not the last project I will do for my sister, though haha. That’s okay. She goes clothes shopping with me, which is a nightmare, so I owe her a few 🙂


Your turn! If you don’t already have a fireplace, why not fake it and make it before it’s time to find a place to hang your stockings?  Happy building!!!


Don’t forget to pin for later!

Build your own faux fireplace with hidden storage--DIY fake fireplace--Woodshop Diaries

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31 Comment

  1. chris aka monkey
    September 8, 2015 at 11:24 am

    love this will you make me one also just exactly like this please xx

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      September 8, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Thank you! I’d love to make another one!

      1. Caroline
        January 19, 2016 at 8:58 am

        Do you make these on order? Shipping to Canada? If not how much did the supplies for this project cost approx. thanks!!

        1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
          January 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          Hi Caroline,

          I would love to make one to ship to Canada, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to pay the price for shipping! It took me about $150 in lumber, screws, and hardware (not including paint) to build the fireplace.

  2. […] a slew of other things.  Earlier this week, we discussed my sister’s new faux fireplace, but today I want to talk about my own. One reason I love my house is this huge fireplace in the […]

  3. […] week I was so excited to show you all my sister’s new faux fireplace.  I had a lot of good response from that post, so I thought I would post a “follow up” […]

  4. Bianca Derocher
    September 22, 2015 at 10:32 am

    HI! LOVE THIS! How tall is the platform alone?

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      September 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Thank you! The baseboard was 5 1/4″ tall, so I made the platform about 6 3/4″ tall.

  5. […] She asked me to make her something to replace this old cabinet with.  First, she wanted a pantry.  Then maybe some type of hutch, then we settled on a small cabinet with floating shelves.  So before her mind changed again, I started building haha.  Just like my sister and her faux fireplace. […]

  6. A Look Back at 2015 | Chasing A Dream
    January 5, 2016 at 7:02 am

    […] Fake it till you make it.  That’s what mom always said 🙂  What do you know, that saying actually came in handy this year–in my 25th year of life.  Sissy gets what she wants and she wanted a fireplace.  But, her house didn’t have one.  That’s where I come in.  I can’t make the fire….but I can build the surround.  Storage included 🙂  Check out the details here. […]

  7. Smitha Easter
    January 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I’m seriously in love with this! We live in an apt so this would be perfect for us- thank you! -:)
    <3 Smitha

    1. Shara, Chasing A Dream
      January 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Awesome! I hope it can give you some ideas on making your own. I LOVE fireplaces. Even if they’re fake, they make a room feel more cozy.

      1. Smitha Easter
        January 7, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        Yes exactly! I’m all for adding any and all cozy-ness?❤️

  8. […] wanted a dog crate nightstand like this one from Ana White.  But just like with the fireplace I made her, she wanted it customized.  She gave me the dimensions she wanted and I modified the […]

    1. Sherri
      November 19, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Smitha, did you end up making a fireplace? How did it turn out? I’m am going to attempt this! yikes!! I want to put an electric log inside. Has anyone done this?

      1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
        November 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        Hi! I would not recommend putting an actual heat source inside this fireplace as it is definitely NOT fire safe. It is strictly for decoration. The fake brick could easily catch fire.

  9. […] wanted a dog crate nightstand like this one from Ana White.  But just like with the fireplace I made her, she wanted it customized.  She gave me the dimensions she wanted and I modified the […]

  10. […] $20-$25 and a little frustration.  Third best part: Now my sister wants one, too….that and a fake fireplace for her living room.  Looks like I will be busy for a […]

  11. Christie Fitzgerald
    November 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I would be interested in ordering this faux fireplace for our bedroom. I love the hidden doors and the beauty of the piece. I like in Pennsylvania. How much would you charge to make one?

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      November 28, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Please email me on the contact page 🙂 and I’ll get back with you there

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  13. Patricia Steffes
    January 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I absolutely love this idea. Now, take it one step further and make sure there is an electrical outlet in there somewhere and you can plug in a small tv and show the channel that has the wood fire burning at Christmas! Or, fill some glass containers with string lights and light up the interior.

  14. Carla
    January 6, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    My husband made me a large fire place about ten years ago, very similar but he put a black marble tile. surround & we purchased a super electric fireplace insert, that looks so real & can also put out heat! Cost about $800 but saves on heating bill.

  15. Wanday
    January 7, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Outstanding!! Girl, this is TERRIFIC!! You are so talented!! A true craftsman!! (applauding) Wonderful! Wonderful!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 9, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Thank you so much! You made my day 🙂

  16. […] things like fake fur are totally cool (because…bunnies!!). And fake antique mirrors.  And fake fireplaces (because sometimes putting in a real one just isn’t worth […]

  17. Claudine
    November 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I love this fireplace…and secret storage! 🙂 Bonus! What kid of wood did you use?

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      November 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you!! The actual board measurements are in the post, but I used spruce wood for this project. It’s like the typical whiteboards you find at the building store 🙂

  18. Harriet Reymond
    November 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    This is GORGEOUS! Can you leave a list of materials, size and everything? I’m hoping I can convince my bf to make me one just like this for my birthday present! Thanks!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 7, 2018 at 9:04 am

      Thank you! The material list and cuts will vary based on the size you want. You can follow Ana White’s plan with the cut list and materials (the link is in the post), but basically all I added was the base “box” using 1×12 boards and some baseboard.

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