DIY Decorative Fireplace Screen

Although a hearth doesn’t house a roaring fire when temperatures soar, it can still be the focal point of a room. I wallpapered the recessed surround of an electric fireplace to mimic the look of mosaic tile; then, for a quick seasonal update, I built a summery screen to go in front. Here’s how to take your own fireplace from simple to stunning.

Materials and Tools

  • At least 4 yards of wallpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Utility knife
  • 5 art canvases
  • 6 square yards of fabric
  • Staple gun
  • 3-1/2 yards of black linen
  • Glue gun
  • 8 small hinges

Step 1: Choose wallpaper and fabric

I love the look of complementary prints: the Kaleido wallpaper by Jocelyn Warner feels fun yet sophisticated when mixed with the fireplace screen’s summery floral fabric from LuLu DK, and it truly pops off the freshly painted mantel. The screen is only up for a few months, so experiment with a bold eclectic look.

Step 2: Wallpaper the surround*

Measure the width of your fireplace surround and cut two sheets of wallpaper to run lengthwise across it, one sheet stretching across the top of the surround and the second across the bottom. Take care to match up the pattern along the horizontal seam. Using double-sided tape to hold it in place, cut away any wallpaper that’s covering the fireplace insert with a utility knife; then, it’s ready to be affixed. Use a semipermanent adherent like double-sided tape on a functioning fireplace for easy removal in the fall.

* When working with any functioning fireplace, be sure to remove the wallpaper before use to avoid discoloration, singeing and potential fire hazards.

Step 3: Build the fireplace screen

Use five 8″ x 20″ art canvases to create the screen. Cut the patterned fabric into five strips, approx. 1′ x 2′ each, with enough fabric on all sides to wrap around the back edges of the canvas. Use a staple gun to attach the fabric to the back of the canvas. Next, cut five 8″ x 20″ pieces of black linen to cover the back of each canvas and secure using a glue gun. Hinge the canvases together, alternating the direction of the hinges every second canvas so the screen folds like an accordion.

Transitional Fireplace (BSP-26-TS), mantel, Dimplex; fabric (on screen) Lulu DK Moondance in Light Blue (11115-3), Y&Co; wallpaper (on surround), Kaleido in Black, Jocelyn Warner; wall colour, Pavilion Gray (242) in Full Gloss, mantel colour, Pavilion Gray (242) in Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball; canvases, DeSerres; Acorn Forged Iron hinges (AH18Q), Lee Valley Tools; settee, stool, South Hill Home; desk, pitcher, Phil’z; Jennifer Graham Gravity bowl, Bluebird Handmade; baseboard, chair rail, The Home Depot.

Stacey Smithers
Donna Griffith