Pinterest Makes Everything Look Easier

I hope you’re not looking for failure because for once, that did not happen. Surprisingly. After scrolling through Pinterest for a few hours, I decided that it is never too early to get into the Christmas spirit. So I looked up fun holiday crafts. I came upon the holy grail of holiday projects. It was amazing, perfect for my friend’s quad dorm, a great surprise for my group of friends, and it would only take about two hours. It was…a cardboard fireplace.

After telling my friend who lives in the quad, she immediately jumped on board. So after begging my suitemate to take us to Walmart, we set off to acquire our supplies. We got cardboard boxes for free from a nice employee who was pushing a cart full of them to recycle, red and brown paint that was only $1.99 each, a hot glue gun and some thin black duct tape. We also got some stockings for decoration, which were only a dollar. The stockings aren’t required but we wanted to. We also borrowed packaging tape from a friend to reinforce the cardboard after gluing it together. Overall, everything cost less than 20 bucks.

We got to work as soon as we got back to the dorm. We quickly found that cutting cardboard with scissors was very tiring and extremely hard. Therefore I grabbed a knife and began cutting. Just like last time, I did not read the directions. We just decided the dimensions based on how big we wanted the fireplace to be. Deciding the dimensions was surprisingly not that hard, we just needed measuring tape and a lot of patience. We also failed to look at the picture provided, so ours wasn’t exactly the same.

We used about six boxes on the fireplace itself, plus we felt the need to add a mantel and four logs. This took us about three hours. Which is a lot longer than we expected. After taking a break for dinner, we came back and began to paint our fireplace. Tip: if the cardboard has any lettering on it, make sure that the blank side is facing out. We may or may not have made the mistake of having the lettering on the outside. Big, black, bold lettering is difficult to cover up with cheap paint. We needed about three coats. We also took the time to put about three coats of brown paint on the logs to make them seem more log-like. After painting the mantel, the fireplace, and the logs, we took the thin black duct tape and used it to make it look like the fireplace was made out of cartoon-like bricks. After doing that, we attached on stocking to each end of the fireplace and promptly fell to the floor in exhaustion.

The end product of all of our work ended up looking like a cartoon fireplace. Which was totally okay, because our group of friends loved it. Even though it is way too early for anything related to Christmas. The lessons I learned during this project were: be extremely careful with a pocket knife when cutting cardboard, always invest in washable paint, and pay careful attention to all of your measurements. It’s also super important to make sure you have enough glue for your hot glue gun. We bought 20 glue sticks for ours and ended up using about thirteen. Overall, this project was a lot of fun and a bit messy. In the end it was worth the excited looks on our friend’s faces.