Instructables
We have a nice fireplace in our living room that is not used (due to family member allergies) for fires or warmth.  This instructable will show you a way decorate it so that you can still enjoy the ambience of a fireplace without the smoke and messy cleanup!

 
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Step 1: Clean out your fireplace.

I gave it a good scrubbing.

Step 2: Tin surround

Picture of Tin surround
We went to our local big box store looking for corrugated tin for the backdrop.  What we found was this wonderful-looking Mobile Home Skirting!  I measured the back and sides of the inside of the fireplace and cut the tin to fit, snipping out the bottom of one to fit over the gas pipe.  USE GLOVES when cutting the tin.  I used duct tape to hinge them together.

Step 3: Fit tin background

Picture of Fit tin background
Put the hinged tin at the back of the fireplace.  I added a candle stand because I have candles (for decoration only).

Step 4: Adding lights and tulle

Picture of Adding lights and tulle
I found twinkle lights at an after-Christmas sale last year (they have a green cord so I'm on the look-out for ones with a white cord this Christmas) and arranged them in the bottom of the fireplace.  4 yards of light green tulle went around the lights.  The candles were white ones that I painted to look like birch ("camo candles!" exclaimed my husband). 

Step 5: Adding a floral touch

Picture of Adding a floral touch
Last I wanted something to make it not look like something from a wedding, so I bought a vine with orange seed heads and twined it around the whole thing.

Step 6: The Finished Look

Picture of The Finished Look

The magazine tub helps hide the green cord coming out the front.  I turn it on in the evenings for a soft, twinkly glow. 

At Christmas I switch out the candles, replace the light green with maroon, and put in beaded flower picks in maroon and gold - looks very festive!