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Forum > Creative Sewing > Want to make a firescreen...curtain... thing ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Want to make a firescreen...curtain... thing
Any ideas or suggestions?
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3253
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Date: 2/2/14 12:05 PM

During fireplace season (aka "winter"), we get a bit of a smoky-smelling draft from our fireplace, so when it's not being used, we hang a blanket over our firescreen, which is similar to this, only not as pretty). With blanket = even less pretty.

Enter the fabric stash. I'd like to make some sort of insulating curtain thing we can use instead. I have a big piece of tapestry for the front that fits with our decor, and was thinking of maybe flannel or fleece for the back/lining. But the construction, the hardware/hanging/etc I haven't figured out yet. I don't want to just throw it over the existing firescreen, and I think it should be washable, so something like this cute makeover won't work either. The fireplace itself is stone, so it's somewhat impervious to having things attached to it.

I'd love to hear any ideas or brainstorming you might have! Evidently there is no such thing as fireplace curtains.

Thanks!!

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~Gem in the prairie

lkmbpk
lkmbpk
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 12/28/09
Posts: 730
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 2/2/14 12:30 PM

That sounds a little dangerous to me, which is probably why there isn't such a thing available.

You might be better off installing glass doors on the fireplace. They can be more expensive, but probably much safer in the long run.

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a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 2/2/14 12:54 PM

I can help, I'm allergic to smoke and smoke residue so we do not use our fireplace. Even with the damper closed particular wet weather conditions brought in damp smoky odor. And on some extreme high heat days the chimney back drafted, probably due to the poor placement of the air intake for the central heat and air system.

In our case, we had the chimney sweep out for a final super duper chimney cleaning and inspection. He added a chimney cap and a vent at the top of the chimney to augment the original fireplace damper. Big, big difference. Also reduced dust in the den since the heat/air intake was no longer sucking air down through the chimney on hot summer days. (House was built in 1970 and the last ac update included a high effiency two stage fan system. When the fan is at the high end of the second stage the draw at the intake is more than they would have planned for when the house was built.)

The new second vent is controlled by a heavy pull chain that is accessible to the front side of the firebox. If you cannot install a second vent I have an idea. Plan and construct a screen that holds ac air filters with carbon to exactly fit your fireplace opening. Then place a decorative screen in front of that.

The filtering screen could be hinged or be two or three panels that fit together. If ac filters are too large, I have a small Holmes air cleaner that uses smaller filters that are permeated with charcoal. Refill filters are available at Target.

If you build and use a filtering screen on the fire box opening your decorative screen can function as that, just decorative, and would not have to be bulky.

Just in case anyone is curious.......I like the original panelling in our den but the dark paneling and the gaping dark hole of an unused firebox were oppressive in combination. I designed, and hubbie built, an interlocking fireplace liner of thin marine grade plywood. The back strips are cut at the same height as the bricks in the back of the fire box. Then they were sanded to a slight bevel to give the look of fireplace brick. Everything was painted white and the 'liner' fits in with no fastenings. It can easily be taken out some day when the house passes on to new owners.

Our fireplace is set into a wall of brick, perhaps ten feet wide and the brick continues up to the cathedral ceiling. Once we eliminated the black hole and changed the screen to a contemporary flat pewter screen to compliment the gray with white brick, the entire room brightened. As a whimsy, I combined two prism cut glasses with a color changing light base (painted white) to create a flame like kalideiscope light show inside the firebox. The light base came from a changing color led lit holiday branch thing.

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a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 4/1/08
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In reply to lkmbpk <<


Date: 2/2/14 1:02 PM

Great suggestion on the glass doors. They can be ordered from Lowes here. Having the chimney cap and secondary vent installed at the top of the chimney wasn't in the budget but, as a bonus, it has paid for itself in energy savings.

And more off topic.........if you don't know when your chimney was last cleaned, have it cleaned and inspected. It's a safety thing.
-- Edited on 2/2/14 1:04 PM --

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LynneH
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LynneH
Ontario CANADA
Member since 4/10/12
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Date: 2/3/14 11:19 AM

We made a fireplace screen thing for my in laws years ago. We used plywood with some kind of metal screwed on the back and then tole painted on the front. They really liked it and it was moved to the side when they used the fireplace.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/1/03
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Date: 2/3/14 12:03 PM

To use, LynneH's idea, and make it washable, maybe you could make the fabric slightly larger than the board, and put elastic straps in the corners to hold it on.

I'm picturing 45 degree angled elastic, like some mattress pad covers use. (and a finished edge on the tapestry fabric.)

mendospot

mendospot  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/4/14 2:16 AM

I was going to do the exact same thing...and then we bought an insert. I think I have a book on this subject...or maybe it was something I saw on line a couple years ago. I believe it was a woman who used the Warm company's insulated batting. You might google it.

CdnSkier
CdnSkier  Friend of PR
Illinois USA
Member since 3/18/09
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Date: 2/4/14 3:32 AM

Depending on what type of metal the existing screen is made from, magnets might work. There are washable magnets designed to be sewn in to garments, purses, etc. I believe they are coated to prevent rusting. I wouldn't recommend washing them weekly, but I believe "occasional" washing is safe.

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RipStitcher
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RipStitcher
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Date: 2/4/14 10:14 AM

If you have a screen like that, I'd make a fitted cover for it that you can obviously put on when you aren't using the fireplace.

On the backside, I'd have a curtain fall straight from the top to the bottom with the insulating qualities. (instead of air blowing into that whole space of the screen - if yours is shaped somewhat like the pic you provided)

Then, maybe an inch or two around the edge (facing the fireplace) you could sew a fat strip of some batting or some other fluffy-wuffy material of some sort to help create a seal. Just have the edge of the curtain extend beyond that to look good from the room.

I think it's doable.

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EsseG
EsseG
Expert/Couture
Kansas USA
Member since 5/29/13
Posts: 20
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Date: 2/4/14 1:39 PM

Two ideas--Would Command hooks work on the stone surround to hang the curtain? There's an antique brass model that would look good or you could paint the white ones to blend into the stone.

To block my fireplace opening, I cut a piece of styrofoam to fit tightly, then wrapped it with dark brown fabric. It disappears with the decorative screen in front, just looks like the shadow of the empty fire box. This fireplace is never used so the styrofoam is OK, but now that I know styro is flammable, I'll use something else when I re-do it.

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