DIY Faux Fireplace

Our living room lacked a dramatic focal point. We also had a crazy cord management problem. Enter the idea to build a faux fireplace to fix all of our issues. It took us about 2.5 days and about $300 to complete it. We’re really pleased with the final product, especially since neither one of us had ever dry walled before!IMG_6108


First things first, we already had a “floating” mantle that we wanted to use. So, we made our plans around the dimensions of that. The mantle measures 5′ across. We made the fireplace 6′ wide for visual interest. The picture below is the general idea of what we wanted to do. Things changed as we got in the middle of it, but this is the basic sketch we started with.


Let’s jump right in! Here’s how to build your own faux fireplace!

  1. Build your base using 2x4s and 2.5 inch wood screws. This will be attached to the ceiling. Everything will be build off of this. Make sure it’s sturdy and drilled into ceiling studs. We cut out our baseboard using an oscillating saw to make sure the frame sat flush. IMG_6087
  2. Once the base is firmly attached, you’ll build and attach the “hearth, the build out that will become your actual fireplace hole, and the supports that will hold your tv/equipment. You can see in the picture below that we chose to make the bottom 2×4 “flat” against the wall. We did this for two reasons- to be able to mount it into the wall studs and to add a lip for the hearth to be attached (we used a scrap to make sure we had great mounting points). IMG_6088
  3. We mounted our mantle at this point. It gave us a better visual of how to build everything else out. We discovered that we needed some extra support to keep things stable. We added some “L” brackets made out of scraps to level out the mantle. We also added the support beams for what will become the actual opening of the fireplace. * Leg hack* We needed to match the hearth height of 4″. We cut two 2x4s the correct length of the opening from the wall to the front of the hearth. We then mounted the “legs” to a shorter piece of wood so that we could move them freely and get them squared up perfectly. Once everything was squared up, we mounted the shorter piece to the top of the 2×4 we already had running from the wall to the front of the hearth.
  4. Now, time for the last bit of woodwork! Last thing to add is the plywood topper for the hearth. We opted to not jigsaw out all the pieces. No pressure will be put on those open back pieces once the sheetrock is up.
  5. It’s time for sheetrock! We had never worked with it before. So, there was a serious learning curve. We discovered that the oscillating saw cut everything beautifully-and much faster than a hand saw. (Don’t use a circular saw. We tried. It was a disaster.) You’ll want to keep the drywall in as large sheets as possible. We started putting a piece at the ceiling and butted up under the mantle. We pieced together the rest because we didn’t want to have to buy more drywall. We used the plastic corner pieces to make sure our corners were nice and square. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. I put it on using joint compound. Apparently, they make a spray adhesive that makes it stick on perfectly. That would have been so much easier, but we were being cheap… so… it was messy. **NOTE** Matt ran all of the cords before we hung the drywall. He drilled out holes in the 2x4s for the cords to drop down. Definitely run your cords beforehand!!! It will save you from having to fish them down with a coat hanger. BEWARE NOT TO CUT YOUR CORD WHEN CUTTING OUT YOUR SHELF HOLES.IMG_6094
  6. Next, we did a test fit to make sure our TV was where we wanted it. Our TV mount requires a centered stud. That’s why our shelf has a bar in the middle of it. You can see in the picture below the first coat of the textured mud we did. Getting drywall perfectly smooth would have never happened for us. So, I decided to make the texture intensional. I used my mud knife to add a stucco-like texture to the fireplace. It worked perfectly! You can’t tell what is a bad joint or purposeful texture. I just did one thick coat of texture after we got our seams nice and joined and fairly smooth. IMG_6097
  7. This sucker is ready for paint! At this point, I moved all of my furniture back in place. Three days is too long for our family to live without a living room. I have a 2.5 year old. Things are always messy. Hence, the sheet covering our couch and his 5ft long stuffed snake. Note in the picture below that I also primed the hearth with KILZ to prep it for our faux tile finish. DHDM3482
  8. Time to lay the tile! Except for it’s not tile, they’re stickers. Yep, less than a dollar a piece. You cut them with an exacto knife. I chose to use JBWELD to put the front pieces on. Again, toddler–nothing is safe from being peeled off. The back pieces aren’t perfect, but they’ll be covered by decorations. IMG_6100
  9. Lastly, we added some shoe molding to the base where the buildout meets the hearth. It adds a nice finishing touch and hides and gaps that were too big for caulk. I starting putting decorations up before we finished the caulk or touch ups. Mainly because I was over the project (enneagram 7, can’t help it), also because we had people coming over and I was out of time. I will say that those books were in that toy basket, but my son needed to play with them while he watched Tayo. DESPERATE TIMES, PEOPLE. UYLY9042
  10. The plan was to finish this sucker by filling up the fireplace opening with birch logs. Still the goal, but I quickly found out that $50 of logs didn’t even complete the first layer. My Mother-In-Law told me about DIY birch logs from pool noodles. Check back- that could very well be my next post!



Material List


If you are interested in creating your own faux fireplace but aren’t sure where to start, shoot me a message! I’m happy to help you with your plans!


DIY Almond Milk

My son has a dairy and soy allergy. So, we go through a ton of almond milk! I started making my own a little while ago. It’s taken a while to perfect it, but I think we’ve got it! Lincoln loves it, and I get plenty of yummy almond meal to add to all sorts of recipes. Added bonus- the dates act as a mild laxative.


  • 1cup raw almonds
  • 3-4 dates, pitted
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • Dash of salt
  • Generous play of quality vanilla


  • Blender
  • Milk bag (or cloth napkin)
  • Glass milk jug (or storage of some sort)
  • Large bowl
  • Strainer

The Process

  1. Soak almonds in water overnight or up to 48. Keep them covered in the fridge if you’re soaking more than overnight.
  2. Once your almonds are soaked, strain the water off and give them a good rinse. The soaking releases an enzyme that can actually hinder nutrient absorption. So definitely discard the soaking water and rinse the almonds!
  3. Boil your dates in 2 cups of filtered water for 5 mins. This softens the dates and gets some of the nutrients into what will be your almond milk.
  4. Finally time to make the milk! Once your boiled dates have cooled, dump the dates with the water into a blender with your almonds. Add another cup of filtered water. Blend this mixture for a while- maybe 3 mins? You’ll start to see when it’s getting nice and smooth.
  5. Place your milk bag in a large bowl. Pour blender contents into the bag. It will take some serious squishing to get all of the liquid out. Keep at it! You want all that liquid! Almonds ain’t cheap!
  6. Once you’ve gotten all of the liquid that you can out, place the bag and its contents aside. (You can roast this on a silpat to make almond meal. It’s probably the only real reason to make your own almond milk. Recipe for the best muffins coming soon!)
  7. Put your milk back in the blender (rinse your blender first so that you don’t have any almond chunks put back in your smooth milk). Add the salt and vanilla. Blend again.
  8. Pour your delicious milk into your storage container of choice. I find that the milk is only good for 4-5 days. That’s why I prefer to make smaller batches.

The more water you add, the less creamy the milk is. So you can definitely stretch your almonds. I prefer this ratio, but you can tweak it to your preference. Make sure you shake before drinking!

If this seems super extra, it’s because it is. Store bought is cheaper and easier. Like I mentioned earlier, I like making my own because I get the almond meal, which is a great flour substitution. However, it is super nice to know exactly what is your going into your baby’s body!

Welcome to motherhood- the place where you make things harder than they have to be for your kid🤷🏻‍♀️


We all can agree that the easiest way to change any room decor is by changing the pillows. Fortunately, they’re super easy to make. I literally just make covers for existing pillows. Super cheap. Super simple.

I picked up this navy and white fabric at Joanne’s. I found these Pillow covers at Hobby Lobby. I do realize my DIY limits. Mixing homemade with store bought helps hide the fact that I’m not the best seamstress in the world.

Products used:

1 yard decorative fabric

1.5 yards plain “cheap” fabric

6 yards Trim- if using

Fabric glue



Sewing machine

All purpose thread in matching color

* fabric amount made 2 24″ square pillows and 2 12×22″ lumbar pillows


Start by cutting everything out. The pillows I made were 24×24. So, I’ll use that for reference. I prefer to cut my fabric the same size as the pillow- not adding any length for seam allowance. I think it makes for a better looking pillow- nice and full!

Cut out 1 24×24″ piece of your patterned fabric.

Cut 2 pieces of your plain fabric to 14×24. These will make your envelope on the back for you to slide your pillows in to. * if making a different size pillow, half the size of your pillow and add 2 inches to get your needed size for these pieces

Take your back pieces (plain fabric) and fold over 1/4 – 1/2 inch on one of the sides that is 24″ long. Iron that down nice and flat. This will make a finished edge for your envelope.

I like to use a little fabric glue to make sure it doesn’t come unfolded. You could stitch this, but I’m not that talented. So, I glue.

I added trim on these pillows. Honestly, this type of trim is a pain and I’ll never use it again. It looks fancy though. So, I guess it’s worth it? I used a flat trim on the edge of the lumbar pillow. Much easier to work with… this round situation is not fun. I’ll show you how to attach though!

You’ll want to pin it down all the way around. Match your raw edge to the edge of the trim, keeping the “fancy” part of the trim towards the middle of the pillow. This will allow it to be where you want it when you finish your pillow. Once your all pinned, throw that sucker on the sewing machine and give it a quick stitch around. This keeps it from moving around when you assemble your pillow. Careful around the corners! But don’t worry if you don’t get them right, we have fabric glue to fix everything. Now its time to attach the back panels. Pin your first piece on with the right sides (the side you want to see when the pillow is finished) facing each other. You’ll place the second panel on and line it up with the edges. They are meant to overlap.

Time to stitch around the entire perimeter! Once you’re done, flip it inside out and stuff with a pillow!

Project complete!

Playroom Mountains

After a year of my living room being taken over by toys, I decided it was time to create a space especially for Lincoln. Because every one year old needs two rooms and free reign of the entire house, right? I wanted a space that could still function as a guest room, since that was that I was converting to the playroom, but I wanted it to be fun and whimsical for play time.

Enter these mountains.

They were super simple to create. The black mountain tops are magnetic paint. Perfect for hanging up artwork!

Let’s get in to how these mountains got done.

First, I taped off basic shapes I wanted for the mountains. I brought one of the peaks down on the adjoining wall just to add some visual interest.

I painted the large mountains a dark grey the little mountain peaks a lighter grey to make them appear as if they were in the background. Peel off the tape and you’re left with the picture below.

Fill in the gaps with the light grey paint. I used a little tiny paint brush to make sure my lines stayed crisp.

The finishing touch is to top the dark grey mountains with black paint. I used magnetic paint that I had left over from a different project. Just tape off the peak shapes you want with painters tape.

The entire project took me about a day to complete. The drying time is what gets you!

I got the bedding and pillows from Target. We use the beds as more of a couch situation, but guests can snuggle in when they come!

Products used:

Painters tape

Valspar Signature paint in Metropolis (dark), Gravity (light) and Sherwin Williams Origami White (wall base-still used Valspar paint- just had them match it)

Paint rollers

Art brushes