Dollhouse Plaster Fireplace With Flickering Flame

How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame. Plus a super easy idea for making a DIY dollhouse flat-screen television to hang above the fireplace.



The most challenging part of making this miniature dollhouse fireplace is waiting for the plaster to dry! Layers of gray paint make the plaster look like concrete; it's simple to do and I'll show you how in the step-by-step tutorial below.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

Flickering Miniature Plaster Fireplace DIY

It's been a while since I shared a dollhouse update. If you are new to my dollhouse series, everything is either repurposed or handmade. The dollhouse itself is a secondhand repurposed IKEA Billy bookcase!



The faux concrete dollhouse fireplace also has a real wood mantle. But what makes this miniature plaster fireplace extra special is that it has a realistic flame with real stacked fire logs.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

I’ve included a supply list and detailed tutorial should you want to make this miniature fireplace. I've also included instructions for how to make the flat-screen television to hang above the fireplace further down in the post as well. So let's get started.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

What You'll Need To Make It

To make the fireplace you'll need sheets of plastic corrugated board. At the craft store, they come in 24" x 18" sheets but I found mine in larger sheets at Home Depot.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

The supply list below contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



Supply List



Fireplace Pattern Cut Dimensions

Pictured below are the dimensions for cutting each piece of the fireplace pattern, including the firebox.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

  • Cut 2 pieces 4 1/2” wide x 11 3/4” (front & back). 
  • NOTE: Adjust the height of your fireplace 1/4" lower than the height of your dollhouse ceiling. Mine is 12", hence the reason for the 11 3/4" height.
  • Cut 2 pieces 1 1/2” wide x 11 3/4” (sides)
  • Cut 3 pieces 1” x 4 1/2” (hearth)
  • Cut one piece 1 3/4” x 4 1/2” (top)
  • Cut 2 pieces 1 1/4" x 1 1/2” (firebox sides)
  • Cut 1 piece 1 1/2” x 2” (firebox top)
  • Cut 2 pieces 1 1/2” x 1 1/2" (firebox spacers)


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

Here's How I Made It

Front Piece With Firebox Opening

  1. Take one of the large plastic corrugated pieces (4 1/2 x 11 3/4) and measure 1 inch from the bottom and draw a straight pencil line across for the hearth.
  2. For the fireplace opening, draw another line 1 1/4 inches above the previous line.
  3. Measure 1 1/2 inches from the outside edge and draw a vertical line that meets the horizontal line in the previous step. Repeat this step on the opposite side.
  4. Carefully cut the fireplace opening with a straight edge and sharp retractable knife.


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

Dollhouse Fireplace Assembly

  1. Run a bead of hot glue along the edge of the front piece and attach it to one of the side pieces.
  2. Repeat for the opposite side.
  3. Glue the two firebox side pieces to the firebox opening.
  4. Glue the top piece onto the side pieces of the firebox.
  5. To keep the side pieces of the firebox square, glue the small spacer pieces between the sides of the fireplace and the sides of the firebox (as pictured above).
  6. We will not be adding a base to the fireplace so it allows easy access to the battery-operated tea light with stacked fire logs. 
  7. Attach the back piece of the fireplace to the sides.
  8. Glue the top piece onto the fireplace.
  9. To make the hearth, glue all three hearth pieces together stacked one on top of the other (as pictured above).
  10. Attach the hearth piece flat against the front of the fireplace at the 1-inch mark made previously.
  11. For added strength wrap all the joints with duct tape. This will soften the corners as well.
  12. Wrap the remaining fireplace with duct tape by butting the pieces up to one another. Try not to overlap the tape because the unevenness will be obvious on the surface of the fireplace.
  13. Go right over the opening of the firebox with the duct tape and then cut slits in the tape to wrap the tape around the rough edges of the opening.


Cover Fireplace With Plaster Texture

Now it's time to cover the fireplace in plaster with drywall spackle.


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

  1. Apply the drywall spackle with a small putty knife. It is your choice whether you have a textured Spanish-style plaster finish or a more modern smooth plaster finish.
  2. For a textured finish, apply the spackle in random directions.
  3. Before the spackle completely dries, knock back any areas that have too much spackle with the putty knife.
  4. Be sure that the entire fireplace is covered in spackle, except for the firebox.


Alternative Dollhouse Fireplace Finishes

You don't have to cover the DIY dollhouse fireplace with a plaster finish like I did. The possibilities are endless for how you surface your miniature fireplace. I've included some alternative options below.


  1. Wrap the fireplace with brick or marble scrapbook paper.
  2. Turn it into a stone fireplace by gluing tiny pebbles to the surface.
  3. A faux cement fireplace with a texture medium and paint much like I did on this faux concrete bust statue.
  4. Or give it a wood shiplap finish with painted tongue depressor craft sticks.


How To Make Real Stacked Fire Logs With Flickering Flame

While the spackle is drying on the fireplace it's a good time to make the real wood stacked fire logs for the dollhouse fireplace.



Head outside and forage some small and dry tree branches. You'll also need a flameless tea light candle from the dollar store. You'll need several replacement tea lights because chances are children will keep that flame going.


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

  1. Cut the small branch into about 4-6 logs no wider than the base of the tea light.
  2. Place two logs on either side of the tea light flame.
  3. Stack two more logs in the opposite direction and attach them to the bottom logs with hot glue.
  4. Repeat the previous step with two more logs, making sure not to completely cover the battery-operated flame.
  5. Don't glue the logs onto the tea light, simply set the stacked logs on top. This way when the tea light battery dies, it can easily be replaced with another.


Painting The Plaster Dollhouse Fireplace

Now that the spackle is completely dry, it's a good time to knock back any areas that have too much spackle with a piece of 150-grit sandpaper.



Now you can do one of two things to the plaster finish. You can paint the plaster in a color of your choosing, like white for a Spanish style, or make the plaster look like concrete like I did.


  1. Paint the fireplace with two coats of dark gray latex or chalk-style paint. I used some leftover hurricane gray chalk paint that I had on hand.
  2. Instead of brushing it on, I stippled the paint on with a small paintbrush for added texture.
  3. Once the second coat of dark gray paint is dry, dry brush a layer of light gray paint so it looks like concrete.
  4. To do this dip a small paintbrush into the light gray paint and dab the excess onto a paper towel.
  5. The goal is to have very little paint on the brush - hence the term drybrush.
  6. With light pressure and brush random brush strokes, apply the paint in different directions so the brush highlights the raised areas of the spackle.


Real Wood Dollhouse Fireplace Mantel

While we're waiting for the paint to dry, it's a good time to make the miniature wood fireplace mantel.


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

  1. Cut a 3/4-inch square wood dowel five inches long.
  2. Sand it smooth and round the corners with a piece of sandpaper.
  3. To stain the wood mantel you can either dilute white paint to make a whitewash stain or use a white water-based gel stain. If your preference is a natural wood look, then use brown paint or water-based gel stain instead.
  4. Paint the stain on three sides and wipe it with a lint-free rag for a transparent whitewash finish.
  5. Repeat the previous step until you like the finish. I applied two coats of stain on mine.
  6. Once the wood dowel and the painted plaster are dry, draw a line between 2 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches above the hearth. Mine is 4 1/2-inches but it's a personal choice - there are no rules. If you want taller items displayed on the mantel and plan to have the flat-screen television mounted above, then go lower.
  7. Glue the wood mantle onto the fireplace along the pencil line with E6000 glue.


Paint And Frame Fire Box

  1. Paint inside the firebox with two coats of black paint.
  2. Also, paint four wooden toothpicks with black paint.
  3. Once dry, cut two of the toothpicks 1 1/4-inches long and glue them onto each side of the firebox opening with E6000 glue.
  4. Cut the remaining two painted toothpicks 2-inches long and glue them on the top and bottom of the firebox opening.


How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

Now we're ready to make a miniature flat-screen television to hang above the fireplace.



How to Make A DIY Dollhouse Flat-Screen Television

These are the supplies you'll need to make the miniature flat-screen television.



What You'll Need To Make it

  • Altoid Mint Tin
  • Tremclad Glossy Black Spray Paint
  • Small Wood Block
  • Glossy Red Craft Paint OR Red Sharpie Pen
  • E6000 Glue


Here's How I Made It

Making the dollhouse flat-screen television to mount above the fireplace couldn't be easier. The lid of an Altoids mint tin is the perfect size and depth for the wall mount television.



How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above.

  1. Wash and dry an Altoids Mint tin.
  2. Carefully remove the lid.
  3. Paint the outside of the lid with black glossy spray paint and let it completely dry before moving onto the next step. You don't want fingerprints permanently embedded on your television screen.
  4. This step is optional but cute realistic touch. With either a fine tip artist brush and glossy red craft paint OR a medium tip oil-based red Sharpie, draw a realistic LED indicator light on the bottom of the television (as pictured above).
  5. Cut a small block of wood to fill the void inside the lid and glue it on with E6000 glue. This will provide a surface to glue the television onto the fireplace.
  6. Once the glue has cured, attach the television above the mantle with E6000 glue.


That's it! How fun is this realistic flickering flame plaster dollhouse fireplace with a miniature flat-screen television.



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How to build a miniature dollhouse plaster fireplace with real logs and child-safe flickering flame, plus a DIY flat-screen television to hang above. #dollhousefireplacediy #dollhouseminiaturesdiy #dollhousefurniturediy

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Comments

  1. It turned out great! I like Barbie's outfit too:@)

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    1. Thank you Lynn, means a lot coming from you, an all things Barbie expert!

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  2. Oh my goodness, I love it! And the TV complete with a red indicator light!! lol, so cute!!

    I need to do another dollhouse update too!

    Tania

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's about time I did a dollhouse update, eh! This one was fun figuring out how to make it realistic. Now I can't wait to see the look on my grandkids faces when they see it for the first time.

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  3. This is such a great tutorial and information on materials, Marie. But, do you have any idea how annoying all the ads and pop-ups are...! Pretty much why, I rarely visit anymore. And, when you are the specialist in redo's...and waiting for all the junk to load, before we can get to the really good stuff---the story! Sigh, hugs, still love your blog though! Sandi

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the fireplace tutorial and materials list, Sandi. Especially considering your expertise in all things Barbie! I'm sorry you find the ads annoying. Providing free content ideas and detailed tutorials is my livelihood and how I earn an income. I am diligent about keeping ads to a minimum and I don't use pop-ups that are readily available. I'm glad you love the content you see on the blog though!

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    2. Sandy…. I don’t have any pop ups on mine at all. Is there a pop up blocker you can use to block when you visit Marie’s site?

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  4. Awwwwwwww Marie, you're brilliant. I love everything about your fireplace. From the plastered finish to the mantle and the glowing little log fire. It's just perfect. The grandbabies are going to be over the moon

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle, that means a lot coming from who I consider to be a miniature creation rock star! I can't wait to see the kids faces when they see this new addition to their dollhouse.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Paula! It was such fun working on the dollhouse again. It got me motivated to keep going with other dollhouse miniature creations.

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  6. I can hear the logs crackling! It is very life- like. I'm sure you had as much fun crafting this as your granddaughter will have playing with this made with ❤️ dollhouse. Stay safe and cool. I'm in SWFL so staying cool for me normal.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I sure did! Thank you 😀 It motivated me to start some more dollhouse accessories that I'll be sharing soon. I can't wait to see the look on my grandkids faces when they see the newest addition to their dollhouse at Grandma B's.

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  7. You're so creative! This is amazing and adorable my friend. I can't help wondering what's in Barbie's cup...what's she drinking fireside!🤣

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    1. Thank you very much, my friend! It was such fun to make. Pssst, from my mouth to your ears - I didn't want to make a fresh pot of coffee for such a little cup so I poured a little worcestershire sauce inside cup. LOL

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  8. So darn cute! I’m not sure I’d have the patience to do this right now. Years ago I loved doing little things like this but I don’t know about now. That fireplace absolutely looks real and I just love it! Painted legos would be another option..lol. A German schemer is really popular right now…I’d have to figure that one out.

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    1. I'm so glad you think it looks real, it was such fun to make! I thought about doing the German Schmear on it but I have a lot of brick walls going on already in the dollhouse so decided to go for a more modern look for contrast. Remember the red and white American Plastic Bricks from the 60s and 70s? Those would be great to use too with a schmear finish.

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    2. Oh I had forgotten about those bricks from years past! They were real similar to the legos if I recall. Yes those would work too! I wonder if you can still buy those? I was also curious as to where you got the white bricks that surround the fireplace? Forgot to ask in the first comment.

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    3. What is nice about those bricks in particular is that they were etched like bricks. I've seen them on eBay. The bricks surrounding the fireplace is actually decoupage scrapbook paper! You can see how I did it here -> http://bit.ly/32FIq9t

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  9. Marie this is so adorable. Barbie fans everywhere will want to make this for their Barbie homes. Happy Sunday. Have a great week. xoxo

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    1. LOL, that would be awesome! It was so much fun to make. Thanks Kris and happy Sunday backatcha! xoxo

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  10. Marie your fireplace is fantastic, but I found your entire tutorial fascinating. I adore reading this series even though there is no doll house here. It is so unique, and I love how you think out of the box. Very inspiring!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Leanna, your sweet comments mean a lot! The first thing my grandson asked was if it was a real fire? LOL My granddaughter is fascinated by the fireplace and insists the flames always be on when she's playing with the dollhouse.

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