Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I hearth safety

We've been obsessed with over-childproofing our house lately.  With our little daredevil, it is a 100% necessary.  Our latest makeover victim...the fireplace!


I absolutely love the natural stone of our fireplace and after we installed hard woods in the living room, it became my favorite feature of our entire house.  I could not even relish the thought of hiding it underneath a layer of wood and foam.  I fought it as long as I could, but in the end, safety won.  For being such a big advocate against anything and everything that would cover up this beauty, I'm actually very pleased with how it turned out.


This project began much like the rest of our projects...a lot of research on Pinterest and pinning like crazy all the fireplace covers I could find.  I was actually surprised at the lack of fireplace seat pins out there.  We found a couple tutorials, but in the end we decided to make a design of our own.

First step is to measure out the fireplace to determine how much materials you will need buy.  Make sure to write all of the measurements down because you will need them quite a few times!

Supplies Needed
Wood for frame -- we used about 25 feet of 1x4 furring strips and 1/2" MDF for the top
3" foam for top
1" foam for sides
Fabric  -- We used around 5 yards.  I tried to find a fabric that was close in color to our fireplace.  I found a burlap print cotton at JoAnn's and thought it was perfect!  

My hubby did an amazing job creating the frame for the seat.  I wasn't involved much in this step, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

First step build all the sides


Next create the top for the seat.  We decided to make the seat as flush with the stone as possible.  And since we actually wanted to use the cover as additional seating, we cut a piece of MDF to fit on top of this frame as extra support.
















After we finished the frame we remeasured and bought the appropriate amount of foam.  This was the most expensive part of the project.  We found the foam pieces at JoAnn's and it was conveniently 50% off that week.  I highly recommend waiting for them to be on sale.  Even with 50% off, it was a little painful at the register.  If you are a little more prepared with exact measurements they can cut them to size for you.  We were not so organized, so we had to use a kitchen steak knife to cut through 3 inches of foam.  Needless to say, our cuts are a little jagged.

We covered the top with fabric first.  We glued the foam to the wood with a little hot glue to keep it in place as we stapled the edges of the fabric down.  It's really important to make the fabric super tight to get a nice smooth look.  Our staple gun was a little junky, so we had to hammer the staples all the way down.
We really just winged the whole wrapping process.  I think as long as it looks good on the outside it doesn't really matter how the straight the fabric is cut or if all the staples are lined up or not.


The top was pretty easy to cover.  I was so not looking forward to foaming the sides of this beast at all.  It just seemed daunting...which is probably why we put it off for a couple of weeks...but in reality it was not as bad as it looked.   Amazingly, we were able to knock that part out in less than an hour.

Again, for sanity reasons, we glued the 1" foam to the sides of the frame so it would stay in place during the fabric covering.  Unfortanately we were unable to get one continuous piece of foam that was long enough, so we had to have 2 separate pieces.  We matched the pieces up the best we could and glued the seams together.  We were a little worried how it would look, but once the fabric was on it was not noticeable at all.
We then wrapped the entire frame with our fabric, stapling it into the frame.  We then glued some of the fabric edges down for extra support.


After both pieces were finished, my husband nailed the top seat piece to the frame so there is no way the little one can pull it on top of himself..at least I hope so!  And that's it.  Easy right?

All in all, we spent around $150 total on this project.  The foam was the biggest chunk at around $75.  Fabric costs were around $35 and the wood was about $40.

In the beginning it seemed like a big price to pay for something that I didn't even want!  But we are really excited with how it turned out and the fact we don't have to worry about bumped heads or stitches is priceless!


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