Making a Fireplace Hearth Guard

fireplace guard

As I have mentioned, I have a 19 month boy who LOVES to get into everything!  As a chronic worry machine, one of the many things I have stressed about since he began crawling was our fireplace.  It has a brick hearth and I have been scared to death of Will hurting himself on it.  Therefore, I have kept a gate in front of it.  I know that they sell hearth guards but being my frugal self, I have been happy using the gate despite it’s appearance.  Lately though with the thought of the new baby arriving, I wanted to save some space in the playroom so my husband and I decided to create a solution together.  A friend had told me about seeing a homemade fireplace cover and that the person had made it not only be a safe solution to the danger, but had also made it the cover look beautiful at the same time.  Well, my husband and I decided to give it a try.  I think it turned out pretty great!  Not only is it a nice safety feature, it looks aweseome, AND it was created at a fraction of the price than if we had purchased one.  Check out financial breakdown, pictures, and directions below:

Price I found at various sources online for a hearth guard:  $69.95-$120.95!  Whoa!
(Some of these are fire resistant; ours is not but we made it so it easily lifts out of place for the extremely rare occasions we may have a fire.)

2X4:  $3
Plywood:  $12 a sheet, we used 1/4 sheet, so:  $4
Foam edging:  $5, we used 1/2 a bag so:  $2.50
Batting for cushion:  $14.95 at AC Moore-40% coupon=$8.95
Material to cover:  old sheet with hole in it: FREE
Staples:  around $0.50
Total Cost:  around $19
Total Saved:  $50.95-101.95

*I have estimates on the staples because we had a lot of material already on hand.  Really we only spent the $8.95 plus tax out of pocket so our savings was even better!  I am just trying to give you an idea of what it would cost if you didn’t have anything around your house already.

Picture before (using the gate)

Step 1:  Measure your hearth.  Be sure to cut the boards about 1/2 inch longer to make room for padding and material you will be adding to the boards.  Lay wooden frame on your hearth before adding padding, batting, and material to ensure correct measurements.
Step 2:  We hot glued foam padding to the edges (commonly used around AC units found at Walmart).  This is not a needed step, but remember, I worry a lot so I wanted extra padding for my little daredevil.
Step 3:  We used a staple gun to attach the cotton batting to the board.  I recommend doing like you wrap a present; the 2 long edges first and then fold over the ends.
Step 4:  Using the staple gun again, we attached the fabric (which was an old sheet we had laying around).
All in all, this took us about 3 hours to complete (while Will was sleeping at night).  It was a lot of fun and we had some terrific quality time together making something we can use and enjoy for the toddler years that are ahead of us!


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  1. Karen S. says

    This looks great! I was shocked at the quotes I got for around $300 to have one made professionally. I am also worried about my 18 month old son. It looks like it’s been a few years, has it stood up over time and do you have any additional suggestions? Thanks!

    • momondealz says

      It lasted 4 years and the only reason we took it off was to put our house up for sale. The only suggestion I would give it to use material that’s easier to wipe clean or a darker fabric. Our sheet was light and showed stains. :)

      • Karen S. says

        Great, thanks! We just bought a darker patterned outdoor material that I figured would hide stains and wipe off easier. We’re going to give it a shot this weekend! :)


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