Thursday, November 27, 2014

DIY Cardboard Fireplace

This Christmas season I decided to build a fireplace out of cardboard boxes so we could hang our stockings properly.

- 5 cardboard boxes the same size
- several large pieces of cardboard
- small pieces of cardboard
- masking tape
- white glue
- paint (black, brown/red, white)
- cardboard tubes
- photo or printout of flames/fire

1. Stand up three of the boxes on end side by side, with the bottom of the end ones facing forward and the bottom of the middle one facing backwards. Glue and tape them together. Let the glue dry.

2. Lay the remaining two cardboard boxes on top of the three, with the bottoms facing forward, and glue in place. Let the glue dry.

3. I turned this part around and reinforced inside all the boxes to increase the strength, but if you won't have anyone trying to climb on it, you could skip this.

4. Glue a sheet of cardboard to the back to cover it. You can skip this step but it helps with stability.

5. Glue long pieces of cardboard to the top and bottom to make a mantle and base. I had saved some 1-inch-thick "boards" of cardboard that were perfect for this. You can layer sheets of cardboard to make a thick slab. Feel free to paint them.

6. Paint the inside of the center box (that is backwards to the other four) black. Once dry, glue your flames to the back (optional).

7. My boxes were white, so I just painted the "bricks" over top in brown. You could leave your boxes brown and just paint the white "grout" or paint them white, mark off your grout lines, and then paint brown or red over top for bricks. You can paint any pattern or colors you prefer - match your decor or recreate a beloved fireplace from your childhood.

8. Glue cardboard tubes of different lengths inside your black center box. I used half tubes in the bottom first, then stacked full tubes randomly on top. I rolled up strips of cardboard and glued them in the ends of the tubes to fill them, but that's optional.

9. DONE!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Loki Wooden Chest

This was a rather unexpected project that came together really well...

I love the character Loki from the "Thor" and "Avengers" movies. Tom Hiddleston is a fantastic actor and the costuming is beautiful. I saw a Loki helmet pendant necklace online and ordered it, but when it arrived, I discovered that it was much larger than I had expected. The pendant is solid metal and very nice, but simply too big for me to ever wear as a necklace. I realized that the top loop of the pendant would actually make a great screw-hole and the pendant could easily become a unique accent to a piece of furniture.

While searching for the right place for my Loki helmet, I remembered the wooden chest that my grandfather had built for me when I was a kid. I had painted it purple and Mom helped me line the inside with black velvet. Deep down, I knew this chest was the perfect place for my Loki helmet.

After removing all the hardware, which was already brass and matched the pendant, I gave the chest a new black and green paint job:
GREEN: lid (inside and outside), front, right side
BLACK: interior, bottom, back, left side

I removed the black velvet lining for painting, then glued it back in after.

Next came some carefully cut strips of a broken black leather belt, glued on the left side and back of the chest, emulating Loki's armor.

Finally, I reattached all the hardware. DONE.

I plan to add some more brass accents, as I find the perfect ones.

UPDATE: More brass accents! I hammered brass diamond-shaped studs into the left side by the leather pieces, emulating more of Loki's armor. I got a little rough with the hammer on some of them and I like the effect - makes it look battle-damaged.

And some PERFECT brass corners for the top of the box. They look like the designs on Loki's armor plates as well as his helmet/horns.