Mum Creates Amazing DIY Fireplace So Santa Can Drop Off Presents
A mum has managed to win Christmas by building a very realistic chimney breast in her living room out of cardboard. Why? Well, because her daughter panicked Santa wouldn't be able to deliver her presents otherwise.
Kate Mills, 29, was confronted by her concerned six-year-old daughter, Chloe Braithwaite, who worried Santa 'wouldn't be able to get in' to deliver the family's gifts, as they didn't have a fireplace or, in turn, a chimney.
Kate - who also has two stepdaughters with her fiance Paul Mills, 34 - decided to get crafty to solve the problem without spending a penny, and popped to the nearby shops and her local dump to ask for cardboard boxes.
From them, she managed to create an incredible floor-to-ceiling fireplace and chimney breast, and covered it in leftover red brick-effect wallpaper.
The full-time carer then placed LED lights in the fireplace to give it that all-important glow, before adorning the whole thing with fairy lights, Christmas stockings and a giant Santa hat - which, as luck would have it, she had lying around the house.
At first, Kate considered buying a cheap fireplace, but was adamant she could do a better job herself, while avoiding the £30 price tag.
Two days of arts and crafts with the family later, Kate now reckons their festive fireplace proves the 'best things in life are free'.
And, more importantly, Chloe is no longer worried about the logistics of Father Christmas getting into the home.
Kate, from Andover, Hampshire, said: "We don't have a fireplace in our home and we started to get questions from my daughter asking 'how does Santa get in the house?'
"She was telling me she was worried Santa wouldn't be able to get in and we wouldn't get our presents.
"In all the films, books and TV programmes, Santa comes down the chimney into the fireplace and we didn't have one so I thought 'let's try and make one'.
"We went to the dump and asked if they had any spare boxes and they let us take some home. It didn't take many at all - just three medium boxes and one long one for the chimney breast.
"I knew we had some brick wallpaper left over from when we did a feature wall so I decided to use that to cover the cardboard and make it look like a proper chimney and fireplace.
"Even if we didn't have any wallpaper, it would have been so easy to paint the bricks onto the boxes.
"The lights were just a spur of the moment thing. I had some LED lights I was not really using under my shelf so I put them in the fireplace.
"The lights change colour. It's really effective and looks great. We've also added some fake snow and hung some stockings.
"It only took two days and the girls were getting involved. They absolutely love it and Chloe is so happy Santa has a chimney and fireplace to come down to deliver presents.
"It didn't cost anything and it's priceless seeing the girls faces light up when they look at it.
"It's something that didn't take long and was really simple to do but it can make your child's whole Christmas amazing. It really shows that the best things in life are free."
The creative mum said it was such a hit with her friends and family, that it'll become a new tradition in their household.
Kate also said she'd recommend creating a DIY fireplace to every family this festive season, explaining it's a good way of making 'fun memories'.
She continued: "The fireplace is definitely something we'll be able to take down and bring out again next year. It will be a recurring feature in the house now for Christmas.
"I have had such an amazing reaction from people. I had told my mum about the plan but she wasn't expecting it to come out the way it did. She was really impressed.
"Friends and family are asking if I can make them one too. Everyone really wants one.
"I'm going to recommend doing this to anyone whose kids start asking the same questions about how Santa will get into their house.
"It's such a great idea and it looks amazing, especially for the children.
"When I looked into buying a fake fireplace, the prices ranged from about £26-£34 and they're just cardboard as well. Making it yourself is free.
"It's such a great saving, especially at this time of year when people already have so much to buy.
"And you get the fun of sitting down and making it with the children. It becomes fun memories then as well and those are absolutely priceless."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News