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How to Create a Faux-Log Summer Front

Play up an unused fireplace with this stacked log illusion

Whether your fireplace is out of commission just for the season or is more decorative than functional, follow the example of This Old House reader and Pepper Design blogger Morgan Spenla of San Diego, California, and play it up as a focal point year-round. "I liked the look of stacked logs inside but wanted something easy to remove," she says. So with a few simple tools and materials, she built a summer front that can be set aside when it's time to light up some firewood. Here's how to make one of your own.

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Step 1

Cut Logs

Cut gathered logs into disks 3 inches thick. Morgan's project required about 50 disks, equivalent to roughly 12 to 13 feet of wood. She chose eucalyptus for its light color.

Step 2

Prep Piece of Plywood

Cut a piece of plywood to fit inside the firebox, and give it two coats of black paint in a matte finish. Let dry completely.

Step 3

Attach The Faux Logs

Arrange the disks on the board to fit together tightly—remember, they should appear stacked. Secure each with wood glue and let dry. Then use a nail gun to secure the disks to the board from the back. Place the finished front inside the firebox. Morgan tucked hers behind the lip of her fireplace's curtain screen, but you could make a kickstand support from a triangular piece of wood if needed.