Create this inexpensive faux fireplace for a Halloween prop using cereal boxes. This recycle project is one you probably haven't seen before.
Time scale: 3 out of 5
For the fire:
Begin making your faux fireplace by crumpling newspaper and stuffing it into the empty cereal boxes. You will want the boxes to be stuffed so they are fairly firm but not bulging. Close the top and glue shut with your hot glue gun.
Add hot glue to the small edge on the side of the cereal box. Put another cereal box against this. Continue until you have four connected.
Make four of these; one for the front, on each side of the faux fireplace and one for each side.
Now glue together four boxes end to end. Attach to the top front of each of the two front pieces. Stand this up and glue the side pieces on.
You may notice in the picture that there is actually part of a cereal box across the top, front. I was running short on boxes, so I had to cut one in half. It will be easier to use full sized boxes for the whole thing. The opening on the front of the fire box itself will just be a bit wider than the one pictured here.
Glue together four more boxes end for end. Lie these down flat and glue the back edges across the front of the faux fireplace, for the hearth.
Cut a large piece of cardboard and glue it across the bottom. Make sure you square up the side pieces of the cereal boxes and have them standing straight, before gluing this bottom piece down.
Measure the inside opening and cut the pieces of cardboard a couple of inches bigger. Score to the measurement of the opening. Fold over the two inch edges and glue the sides and top piece together into the opening from the back side. This is easier if you are lucky enough to have a cardboard box that will actually fit into the opening without having to cut pieces.
Now measure across the top of the faux fireplace and add four inches to the length and two extra inches to the width. Cut two pieces of cardboard this size and glue them together, for extra thickness. Now glue to the top. Overlap the two inch width over the front and two inches on each end.
Cut a strip of cardboard about two inches wide and the same length as the top piece. Attach to the front edge of this. Cut two side pieces and add those also. Add a piece across the underside at the back for extra support if it doesn't seem sturdy enough.
Now the fun part, where this will transform from cereal boxes to a stone look. Start by painting the entire thing black. Let it dry and then do a second coat. Leave the inside of the faux fireplace box black.
Dab the paint brush into gray paint and with a pouncing motion, add all over the cereal boxes.
Without rinsing the brush, add a little bit of white paint and apply this, but more sparingly. If it seems like there is too much paint on your brush, dab on a paper towel before applying.
With a clean dry brush, swipe over the freshly painted surface lightly to soften. Working with this a bit, really will make this start to look like stone. There is more info on paint techniques here*.
To finish this off you will want a fire, right? Use a small fan on a stand that will tilt flat. Loosely wrap around the bottom with tin foil.(leave air spaces).
Cut orange crepe paper and red cellophane into flame shapes and tape on to the edge of the fan.
Hide the stand of the fan better by adding small sticks and branches. To make a more realistic fire you can add a small light that flashes and changes color.
This faux fireplace was used as a prop in a Halloween castle display. It is fun and easy to make.
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Who needs to buy expensive toy food, when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost?