love the polished yet rustic look of a stacked log fireplace, but when I looked around, it was hard to find a full tutorial on how to make one myself. So, with a lot of trial and error, we worked out the kinks and created this simple, yet beautiful DIY Stacked Log Fireplace Insert for you guys.
It’s custom fit to your fireplace
Fully insulated to prevent drafts
Lightweight, movable, and even keeps the kiddos out of the fireplace.
But before we get into the details, here’s a little backstory about why this project is so awesome to me:
Our house is a beautiful work in progress.
When we moved in, several electrical outlets sparked if you plugged anything into them, there were raccoons living in both the chimneys, and vines smothered the house keeping you from enjoying the gorgeous city view. We’ve done a lot and there’s so much more we are still excited to do, but keeping the older homes draftiness under control in the winter months can be a challenge on it’s own.
There used to be a single Plexiglas sheet that we’d put in front of the fireplace that seemed to offer almost no insulation and would often fall over. Then last year, we just had the fireplace open through the winter and if you sat on the couch, you could often feel the freezing breeze from outside hit your legs. By fully insulating the insert from the back, we created a look we love that also controls drafts.
When I started this project, my plan was to cover the entire front of the fireplace with logs, but it was surprising how far the six logs I collected went. To give you an idea before you start this project, my insert took 6 medium length logs and only covered half. I plan on making one for the fireplace in my studio also, but will be sure to collect more logs when I do. For now, I kind of love the asymmetrical look of the partially stacked logs. It looks charming and more realistic don’t you think? For your project, feel free to get creative and experiment. It’s your house and whatever makes you happy is all that really matters anyways.
- 1 piece of wood cut to fit your fireplace opening. Home Depot will cut your wood for free if you provide the measurements.
- 1 piece of foam insulation cut to be the exact size of your wood
- Logs of various widths and sizes, cut 1″ to 2″ thick. We live at the mouth of a beautiful canyon so just gathered a few logs that had fallen and cut them with a table saw.
- Wood Glue
- Black Paint
- Paint Brush
Cut Your logs. I like mine to be slightly different widths. It creates a more natural look when they are all glued together.
Glue your insulation piece to your wood board using wood glue. Double check the size to be sure it actually fits in your fireplace opening. While the glue is drying, you can paint the front of the wood with black paint. Since you want a completely black finish, use two coats. Wait to dry before moving on to the next step.
Now is the fun part! Feel free to get as creative as you want. Start gluing your logs to your painted board using wood glue. Feel free to experiment with spacing between each log and your overall layout before gluing them down. I found that giving just a little bit of space gave me more of the look I wanted and covered more surface area with less log disks. Play around, double check to be sure you didn’t skip over any, and let dry.
After everything is set and dry, pop it in your fireplace and enjoy! The logs create convenient handles to pull your insert out when you want to use your fireplace and the snug fit should stand up beautifully.
I love how our living room is coming along. It’s totally kid friendly and comfortable. (the kids even make the abstract art on our mantel with egg shells! See the tutorial here) I love being surrounded by our little handmade touches and feel like it really makes the space our own. We have made all the art on the walls, the faux fur pillows, and now even the fireplace insert. With each new project, it feels a little more like home.
Comment below and let me know how your fireplace makeover turned out!