How To Make A Fake Fireplace Out Of A Bookshelf [7 Easy Steps]

Are you planning to make a fake fireplace? Then look no further because here you will get to know about how to make a fake fireplace out of a bookshelf.

You surely have a bookshelf at your home, right? Even if you don’t, you can buy an old one and turn it into a treasure overnight. So let’s see how you can make a fake fireplace out of a bookshelf in less than 10 steps.

How To Make A Fake Fireplace Out of a Bookshelf in 7 Steps

Electric fireplaces with bookshelves are so popular for their performance and outlook. They are very eye-catching and effective as well. But they may not look the way you want them. Or you may not have the budget to purchase one for your house.

In this case, you can make your own fake fireplace and add a faux fireplace bookshelf with it as well. Here we have 7 easy steps that you can follow to make a fake fireplace out of a bookshelf for less than $100.

Things You Need To Make A Fake Fireplace

Before jumping into anything you need to gather the essential tools first. Here is a short list of what you will need: 

  • Measuring tape
  • Nails and screws
  • Electrician hammer
  • Backboard
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush and latex wall paint

 Well, basically, these are the elements you will need to make your own faux fireplace. The good news is, you can find all of these things quite easily. After gathering these materials, let’s get to the building.

Step 1:

Measure the bookshelf you want to transform into a fireplace. It’s important to measure the dimensions from top to bottom, side to side, and back to front. If you have all the measurements it will be easier for you to build up a perfect structure.

Step 2:

 Now you will have to process the bookshelf. Carefully remove all the shelves except for the top shelf. If your bookshelf is old then the nails and screws can get damaged and rusty.

Be careful while removing the screws because you don’t want to damage the wood. And don’t worry about the screw holes. You will fix it in later steps.

Step 3:

If there is no backboard on your bookshelf then you will have to attach one. To do this lay the bookshelf on the drop cloth with the front face down. 

Measure a ¼ inch thick piece of plywood according to the height and width of the bookshelf. After cutting the plywood according to this measure, nail it to the back of your bookshelf. One nail for every three to four inches is enough.

Step 4:

In this step, you will need to set up the frame. You have to cut three pieces of decorative modeling to frame the front part of the fireplace. Measure the height and width and cut accordingly. 

Remember, you need two pieces for the height and one for the width. Cut the side pieces of the modeling at a 45° angle at the top corner. This way you will get a snug fit. The bottom corners need to be cut straight across.

After preparing the nail, turn the shelf over on its back. The front side of the shelf should be upward now. Nail the modeling pieces on the sides of the frame. Here, place nails four to five inches apart.

Step 5:

Dab wood putty into each nail hole on the front of the fireplace. Locate all the holes and fill them in properly. Then, let it dry for 30-40 minutes. After the wood putty has dried, sand over the surface slowly with sandpaper till it’s smooth and even. 

Step 6:

It’s time to paint the fireplace. Use standard latex wall paint to paint the interior and exterior of this structure. This will not only give it a stylish glossy look but will make the fireplace enduring as well. 

Step 7:

After the paint has dried properly, place it in the location you have selected for the fireplace and decorate it the way you want. And your faux fireplace is now ready.

If you have followed all these steps accordingly you have now transformed your bookshelf into a fireplace.

5 Things You Should Be Aware Of While Making a Fake Fireplace Out Of A Bookshelf 

The process of making a fake fireplace out of a bookshelf seems fairly easy, right? Well, it is easy. However, you have to be aware of certain issues if you want the fireplace to be perfect. Here’s what you should be concerned about.

1. Bookshelf’s Condition:

Well, you cannot just use any bookshelf you find to turn it into a fireplace. The bookshelf you are using has to be sturdy and well-shaped.

The condition of the middle racks doesn’t matter because you will remove them anyway. It is the whole outer structure that you should look out for.

2. Breaking Down the Bookshelf:

Be careful while you are breaking down the bookshelf. Un-nailing and removing the middle rack from your bookshelf can be a delicate task. So, do the job carefully. Otherwise, your bookshelf can be damaged beyond repair. 

3. Nailing it Down:

Don’t use long nails. Remember, you are trying to attach only thin objects (frame, back cover). You can use the standard 14-inch nails. And apply them 5 to 4 inches apart.

4. Measurement:

 It’s very important to get an accurate measurement. There are basically three points you need to measure accurately:

●    Measurement of the back cover

●    Measurement of the frame

●    Measurement of the height and width to make sure it fits in the room

Get these points right and your fireplace is perfect.

5. Let the Paint Dry:

This is a very crucial point. You have to let the latex paint dry properly. It can take 1 hour but it’s better if you wait for 3 to 5 hours to make sure that even the interior is dried thoroughly.

If you can keep the above-discussed issues in mind and maintain them properly then you will not have much to worry about.


How much does it cost to build a faux fireplace?

If you already own a bookshelf that you are planning to use then all you will need to purchase is the nails and the paint. Other tools are probably at your home. So if you already have a bookshelf it will cost you around $50 to build. But if you don’t own a bookshelf, you can get a second-hand one for as cheap as $20. So basically you can make a faux fireplace for less than $100.

How Do You Make a Fake Fireplace Mantel?

Here is how you can make a faux fireplace mantel with 6 easy steps:

Step 1: Mount your mantel top

Step 2: Cut your baseboard trim

Step 3: Measure and cut your 1x10s

Step 4: Measure and cut your 1x2s

Step 5: Caulk and patch

Step 6: Prime and paint

Are Fake fireplaces tacky?

Well, one may argue that faux fireplaces are tacky and it’s better if you buy one instead. But if you can build a faux mantle with proper instructions then it is bound to look stunning.

Final Thoughts

If you have been wondering about how to make a fake fireplace out of a bookshelf you have probably got your answer now.

Follow these above-mentioned steps and build your own fireplace. Do not hesitate to let us know about your progress in the comment below.

Happy building!

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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