DIY Cardboard Faux Logs

by Brenna

I have always adored a fireplace in the living room. Nothing beats the warm (in more ways than one) feeling that it brings. We have a great fireplace in our cozy little house, but we also have a little girl. As much as I would love to have a glowing fire in our fireplace and a hot cup of cider and a good book to go with it, a fire just doesn’t work with our lifestyle at the moment. So in the meantime, to achieve that cozy feeling, I made cardboard logs to hold the fire’s place.

Made of rolled corrugated cardboard, these logs are coated with plaster to add texture and a clean birch look. The cut ends are reminiscent of the rings in big, hefty logs, and the handmade appeal brings a special, fireless warmth that a pile of wooden logs can’t produce. So put away your axe, get out your scissors and fill your fireplace with handmade warmth! – Brenna (paper + ink)

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • 12″ wide single-faced corrugated cardboard (aka “corrugated wrap”)
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • X-Acto knife or mat knife
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • plaster of Paris
  • small bucket


1. With the ridged side out, roll the cardboard up as tight as you can into cylinders of varying sizes. Cut along the ridges with the scissors. My cylinders ranged anywhere from 5″ to 8″.

2. Hot glue the end of the cardboard roll to the body of the log.

3. Make a couple more cylinders, only 1″ to 2″ this time, and glue closed.

4. With the scissors or the X-Acto knife, cut the small cylinders at an angle, about 2″ to 4″ up, then at the next 2″ to 4″ measurement, cut the cylinder straight across. Repeat. These short pieces will make the branches that stick out from the log.

5. Hot glue the short branches to the main body of the log, with the angled side on the log. Use the masking tape to secure until the hot glue cools.

6. To apply the plaster to the logs, first remove all the tape on the outside of the log. You can use your hands to mix the plaster; just remember to remove your jewelry.

7. Play with mixing the plaster until you get a thin paste. The directions say to mix one part of water with two parts of plaster. I started with this ratio and added more plaster to obtain a thin paste similar to the consistency of runny oatmeal.

8. With your fingers, spread the plaster on the log with the direction of the ribs of the cardboard. Cover the sides of the log only, not the ends. You can add as much or as little texture as you like with the plaster.

9. Let the plaster set at least a couple of hours.

10. Arrange the logs in the fireplace, grab a mug of hot cider and a good book, and feel the warmth :)

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