It’s chilly and rainy here today and I’m about 5 minutes away from starting a fire in the fireplace. Before lighting up the gas logs (haha!), I’ll need to remove my handy, upholstered cold air stopper from the opening. This was created a while back for my weekly newspaper column, DIY Journal that runs every Saturday in the Home & Garden section of The Indianapolis Star.  So many people have emailed me requesting to see the tutorial, but but we can’t find it on the website.  However, there are  of  tutorials if you Google IndyStar DIY Journal, you can find just about anything.

So, I’m just going to share the fireplace cold air stopper here exactly as it ran in the newspaper, with the understanding that it all belongs to The Indianapolis Star, ok?!  Since we can’t locate it, I hope they won’t flip.

This has really helped with our winter heating bills, as well as keeping the hot air at bay in the summer, and it’s so easy to make.  Plus, it’s another good reason to go fabric shopping.  Here you go:

Fireplace Cold Air Stopper


Shelly Miller Leer

Star Correspondent

 Sitting next to a warm fire blazing in the fireplace has been a lifesaver these past months.  But when the fire is out, the cold air pours in while the heated air rushes out and up the flue. Thanks to one very resourceful reader who sent me photos of a fireplace stopper she designed to eliminate this expensive and chilling problem. She said it worked like a gem. I decided to make one for myself and sure enough, it’s 100% effective. Throw in an interesting fabric print and now it becomes an instant design element in the room.

Materials and Tools:

  • ½” or ¾” plywood cut ½” smaller than fireplace opening
  • Enough fabric and batting that will cover the wood plus  5” extra all around
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Yardstick
  • Marker
  • 2 pieces of cut 10” ribbons

What you do:

    1. Measure and mark the center of the cut wood
    2. Place the wood on top of the fabric and batting, trace a line 5” beyond the edge of the wood on each side and cut out
    3. Fold the batting and fabric around to the back side of the wood and secure with staples
    4. Pull evenly and smoothly all around attaching the fabric and batting so the padding rolls around to the back side.
    5. Cut excess batting at corners to make nice corners
    6. Fold ribbon pieces in half and attach to the back and top of the fireplace stopper
    7. When there’s no fire, place the stopper into the fireplace opening. Grab the ribbon pulls to pull the stopper out when you’re ready for a fire.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but one notable thing is that this is one time you DO wrap dacron around to the back side and staple it in place. You want that extra padding o fill in the gaps. But don’t do it when upholstering chair seats. Not right, nor does it give a professional look!





This photo below is just finding center.








Add two loops of ribbon to use as pulls.




*Be careful where you place the Cold Air Stopper after removing it. There may be soot on the edges.