How to turn an Entertainment Center into a Fireplace: DIY Upcycle

How to turn an Entertainment Center into a Fireplace: DIY Upcycle

step by step CollageSometimes I get these really crazy ideas. Then I tell said crazy ideas to my husband and he says, “You’re crazy!” But then a day or two later, he comes back and says, “Let’s do it!” This project is one of those ideas that turned out really well, and it’s completely customized! {You can see some of these other projects here, here, and here.} We had an entertainment center that we no longer needed for its intended purposes. Here is what it looked like before:


We actually moved the TV out of our room into Ben’s office- at least that was our plan. It wouldn’t fit into our new (upcycled) entertainment center, which is another post for another day, so we ended up getting a flatscreen. But anyway, the point is, I didn’t want to get rid of this entertainment center. I got it for Ben our first married Christmas 11 years ago, when I barely had the $90 it took to buy it!

So instead of chunking it, I had the idea to make it into a fireplace for our bedroom, which is more cozy than a TV anyway, right? So my forever-obliging husband set out to paint it, and make a tile backing. It was his first time ever to tile and I think he did a great job. Here’s how we did it: First, measure the opening of the TV cutout of the entertainment center. Cut a piece of plyboard to that size. Choose your tile and lay it out how you want it on the plyboard, including the spacers.

You will  need a tile cutter for this task, which we had to buy since we hadn’t done this before. Cut the tile to fit the plyboard. Then, following the directions on the mortar, adhere the tile to the plyboard. Make sure you wipe off the excess mortar while it’s still damp so it won’t be too hard to remove later. Let the mortar dry, usually at least 48 hours. At this time, you can also paint your entertainment center if you like. We did. :) Use “L” brackets to attach the plyboard to the back of the entertainment center. The plyboard will be quite heavy by this time, so it’s definitely a 2 person job!

fireplace with fire

Depending on the style of your entertainment center, you may need to drill a hole for the cord of the fireplace to fit through. We got this electric fireplace insert from Amazon and we LOVE it. (It was only $99 when we bought it so watch for it go to on sale!) It heats our bedroom really well, the flame is realistic, and best of all, it has a remote control! We had originally bought one from Lowe’s that didn’t have the heat, just the fake flame, but quickly decided we wanted the heat as well. I’m so glad we did since we’ve actually had a cold winter in Texas!

from entertainment center to fireplace DIY

It’s definitely my favorite feature in our bedroom, and the kids love curling up beside it, too. See, a little crazy idea can be a good one!DIY upcycle entertainment center to fireplace

 So, what’s the craziest idea you’ve had that turned out well? Ours is definitely much crazier than this one (think combining two houses into one), but that’s a post for another day!If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow eat/pray/read/love on Pinterest for more DIY ideas!

Linking up here: Thrifty Thursday Craft Frenzy Friday Cedar Hill Farmhouse Tip Junkie

TDC Before and After

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A Shabby Nest,

Savvy Southern Style

DIY By Design

City Farmhouse


This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

  1. What a cool idea! My parents have an old entertainment center that would be PERFECT for this. (And it’s just sitting in their attic–I may wind up “borrowing” it. :P)

    Do you ever worry that the heat will cause it to catch one fire, or does the entertainment center stay relatively cool when it’s on?

    Pinning for later–thanks! :)

  2. THAT is AMAZING!!!!! OHMYGOSH- I would have never ever ever…. (x100) thought of that! I am really just so impressed with out it turned out- it is absolutely beautiful!

    What a gift you have with this stuff- I will definitely be sharing!

  3. How darn creative Kelli. Since it actually throws heat out, go with that – get some chicken wire over the front for that faux look of doors, and so no one burns themselves (ha!) and stack some small round wood in the open shelves. Accessorize!

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  7. What a creative upcycle! It looks great and is so functional, too. Pinned and Tweeted. Thank you for partying with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  8. Thank you for sharing on Monday Madness link party last week :) I love the whole idea of this post from the colour you chose to paint the unit to the tile back panel! It is so awesome if you pop over to Monday Madness this week you will see it as one of the features:)

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  10. This turned out so great! I would have never thought of something like this. Now since we are a fire placeless family I need to consider this for sure! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday, we hope to see you again this week!

  11. Thanks for showing how to make this. Very clever.Pinning to furniture board. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend. Linda @Crafts a la mode

    • Our has been super safe! We bought the insert brand new and there has been zero problem. Also, my last name is Hays 😉

      • I noticed that and it’s spelled the same way. I rarely see anyone who spells it without the “e”. Who knows….may be related down the line somewhere. Than your for posting this idea. We have a corner heath and have been going back and forth as what to do with it. The prior owners once had a wood burning stove therr but they took it out.

        • Haha, could be related! What state do you live in? Hays is actually my married name but most of my husband’s family is in Texas.
          I hope you get to do a fireplace! This is the insert we bougt-

  12. Thanks for publishing how to create this wonderful job. I like this work. Thanks once again for sharing such a wonderful and innovative idea with us.