Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wordy Fireplace

This is latest fireplace project.  The brick is wrapped in tar paper, then written on with chalk. 
I saw it done at the Bachman's Fall Idea House in Minneapolis - done by the fabulous Ki Nassauer of Junk Camp fame.
We currently have the black and white thing going on.   When I first saw this done at the Idea House, I knew I had to try it. As In "Great Scott! That's fabulous, I must do my fireplace!" kind of epiphany.  Plus it's a great way to break up the large brick fireplace in general  - until I can have my master plan, which is for Paul to wrap it in wainscoting.

  The brick was originally bare, with basic built in cabinets on either side.  They had to go -we immediately ripped those out and I white washed  the brick in 2000.   I painted it solid white about 2 years ago. 

To attach the tar paper, not wanting to drill holes in the brick, we used industrial strength velcro instead. Then, because the picture holes had to be predrilled into to mortar, Paul meassured where'd they'd go before putting up the tar paper.  The tar paper, we had from adding the porch. The moulding, Paul had.  (Velcro - Home Depot $8.  Chalk -  Target $2)  

Once the paper was up, I just went along with a tape measure, eyeballng 3" letters, and wrote my quote.
(the opening line to my favorite book - Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve.)  A seasonal quote would have been good too, but I didn't want to feel pressured to change it if I didn't get to it. 
The moulding hasn't been painted. I want to change it to something bigger/wider.  I'm not set on what will be on the mantel, but you get the idea.  I think I'll go with something junk-inspired and not so 'tea party'.   This, I just threw together.  

Update 12.11.10:  I've redone the fireplace tar paper.  This first time around didn't quite give the effect I wanted.
I had to giggle at the 'discreetly pulled off her..."  I assure you the next world was 'stockings'.  LOL!  But I really didn't want to see it everyday.  Plus the words just weren't quite right. On the redo I laid the tar paper on the floor to write,  spaced the lines a 1/2 inch apart, and instead of a quote I wrote family names, pets, street addresses where we'd lived and important family dates.  I also wrote the words smaller.  I also replaced the 12 pictures and the mirror with one rectangle mirror. 
See the redo here.   and a Feb -'11 update here.


  1. love this idea!!! never saw it before, and it's so sweet. and resourceful!!

  2. Fabulous Jeanne. You are one smart cookie can not wait to see what is next. :)
    I am a fan...

  3. Wow! but I do miss the typewriter....it was a hit for my photography class! I really love what did with the tar paper!

  4. Can you erase the tar paper? Or is it pretty much stuck once you write it?

  5. Brianna, The tar paper is not eraseable. It smears very easily. Definitly have to use a new piece to change the words.


  6. this is amazing!!! forgive my ignorance but what is tar paper??

  7. In fact your creative writing abilities have inspired me to start my own blog now. Really blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
    Fireplace Mantels


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