We are lucky enough to live in Astoria, NY. Not only is it minutes away from Manhattan it’s filled with great people and has a very small town feel. We walk down the street and know our neighbors, the staff at the grocery store, the employees at the bagel shops (obviously)…it feels really special and is one of the reasons we’ve stayed here so long.
We’ve also gotten to know a lot of Astorian artists and makers. We were asked if we would help decorate a donation box for a local toy drive by Astoria Creatives (a local meet up group for designers, writers, artists, videographers, photographers, musicians…really anyone with a creative side to them). Of course, we said yes, We love to get involved with the community and give back, so it was a win win for us!
Since we decided not to create our annual epic “cardboard” fireplace this year, we decided to turn our donation box into one!
We knew the box was going to be in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, so we really had to make sure it would stay looking good for the entire season. We kept it as flat as we could and attached every really well so it could withstand heavy foot traffic and curious children.
The process was pretty simple but here’s the gist of how we put it all together!
Cut out the hole – Before wrapping our box with brick paper, we drew an outline of the firebox. We wanted a rounded top so we traced what we could find and then cut it out with a craft blade.
Add depth – We wanted the fireplace to have a bit of depth so we made an insert with a piece of foam board and added a piece of white brick contact paper that we sloppily painted black to look like soot.
Wrap the inside – The inside was looking a bit plain so we taped and glued a piece of plaid fabric on the inside of the the box. It was an extra step, but it was totally worth it and helped to completed the look.
Wrap the outside – We wrapped the entire outside of the box with brick paper. We used lots and lots of hot glue! It helped that there were two of us to hold back the paper, glue and smooth the paper down without any air bubbles. (Why do our glue guns always act up when we really need to use them?)
Cut out the brick – We cut out the brick paper where the hole in the front is. Leaving an inch boarder around the hole and scored it. Then pressed back the scored pieces and hot glued them to the inside of the box.
Make the fire – We cut out the fire from cardstock and logs out of a cardboard box and glued it down to the front. If you’re not the best at drawing, use clipart to help you out!
The sign – We used our Cricut Maker to help us write out a sign with all the info for the toy drive.
Add the garland – We used floral wire to help keep the garland in place. We poked holes about a half an inch down from the top and thread wire around the box and garland.
Even Teddy got in on the action! He loves to craft!
It was a tough decision not to do our big fireplace this year but we’re happy this fireplace will live on and hopefully catch a lot of people’s attention this holiday season!
The box was dropped off to one of our favorite local stores in Astoria, Lockwood! If you’re in the neighborhood, come check it out, shop and donate a toy!
Wherever you live, don’t forget about those less fortunate than you. After all, that’s what Christmas is really about! God bless us, everyone!