Too windy to go out – again
In frustration with the weather and no possibility of a walk or gardening, I had a rush of blood to the head, and as there was a ready prepared sheet of homemade tiles to hand I made a fireplace that I thought I might share. The previous fireplaces I’ve done by sticking the tile sheet to 3 mm cardboard, but I thought it might be a good wheeze to try making one as you would make a cardboard box lid.
I do tend to go into far too much detail not wanting to miss anything out, I’m not sure whether I’ve erred one way or the other with this attempt at an explanation. Probably a bit hit and miss – hope there’s not too much I miss.
I started with my sheet of tiles made in the last week or so with thin card, shades of paint and a sponge or two
and ended up with this
Accident dropping the knife there on the right and some rough cutting and folding here and there but it may well do the job in the boys’ bedroom.
- Tiling 1 cm squares –
NB: all descriptions of sizes are based on this measurement so, if you are going for a different size of tile you’ll need to adjust all the following figures accordingly.
- Scalpel, glue, scissors, bits of scrap wood strip
I think I did the following
Cut a section of tiling 9 cm tall, 7 cm wide
Found centres top and bottom
Decide on size of grate opening – this one’s about 2 cms wide.
For the height of the grate I would like a finished height of 3 cms but would also like to turn one layer of tile under (1 cm) for extra rigidity, so have cut at 4 cms height for opening with that in mind.
Let’s go on with photos
I’d already done a dry run so this piece is cut and scored as I was too lazy (and didn’t have spare tiles) to make a fresh start for you.
You can see the grate opening at 4 cms height.
Because the overall width of the tiling sheet is an odd number the grate opening leaves a half tile each side at the front.
- One tile in, gently score up the long sides (on the painted face of the tiles) and bend back to create the outer edges that will meet the chimney breast.
- Score and bend the grate opening inwards. I like to cut mine this way as it gives a finished face to most of the return edge of the grate opening.
- Similarly, one tile down from the top score and bend that row to become the mantelpiece
and one tile up from the bottom of the sheet, score bend to create a base, ready for cuts to be made there later as well.
Now for some of the cuts
Here we’re trying to make the dropped mantlepiece look with two small side niches, each 1 cm square and 1 cm down from the top mantlepiece ledge.
Side and top scoring done
At both top corners:
follow the labels
The tile one in and one down is hereinafter known as the ‘odd tile’
The ‘odd tile’ bends towards the back
The side strip bends backwards and its cut piece made up of two tiles has two bends – one inwards towards the centre and one upwards, up the side
The top edge tile bend downwards
Rear view of the side strip bent inwards and across under the ‘odd tile’
All bends achieved with the side strip sitting under both the ‘odd tile’ and behind the top tile flap
Too much glue but stick the flaps down
Bottom scoring and cutting
If not already done, score along the bottom one tile row up. You can see when you bend it backwards to form a base that the outer edges of the whole fireplace need one tile releasing with a cut so it can bend at 90° under the base and similarly at the grate opening each side.
Because of the narrowness of the remaining face of the fireplace, when trying to stick down the two now released 1 cm squares at the bottom I found that I needed to trim at least one of these newly freed tiles so that they did not overlap each other and make the bottom wonky. The second photo below shows the cut and bent in tiles at the base.
I’d pegged the top shelf corner arrangement and added some gash coving pieces at the mantlepiece and the top of the grate opening.
Also added a spragging piece of wood strip between them.
Further coving bits used at folded in base and grate sides to give some stability there.
You may decide that you would like some down the outer sides too. You can see the bent in tiles that make up the base here
I do hope this is not all gobbledygook and apologies if I’ve missed too much out.
It certainly made a change from sticking card tiles on yet more card but now I must work out how it will meet the chimney breast. I reckon that once the hearth is added and the whole thing is more stable I could add a closely fitted thin card or even paper across the back and use that as an anchoring point with museum wax or similar perhaps.