Fire screens block embers and burning wood from escaping the fireplace box. Metal or glass fire screens can be both decorative and useful for a fireplace, but wooden fire screens are for decorative purposes only when the fireplace is not in use. A homemade wood or metal fire screen is not difficult to make with the proper tools and materials.
Tools and Materials
Certain tools are necessary no matter which type of fire screen you are making: a drill and appropriate drill bits for either metal or wood, and a circular saw with a diamond blade to cut metal or a wood blade for wood.
In addition to the standard tools, making a metal screen requires strap metal, rivets, wire mesh and a rivet tool. Four metal hinges can connect three metal panels together at the seams. You can use a metal adhesive designed to withstand high heat to attach the wire mesh to the outside of the frame.
The type of wood that you select for the homemade fire screen is a personal choice. As with the metal fire screen, you'll need three panels that are hinged together with two hinges along each seam. A screw driver is the only other tool you need to make a homemade wooden fire screen. Most decorative wooden screens have painted images on the front of the panels. Templates, stencils acrylic paints and artist's brushes will help decorate each panel.
Make the Screen
To make a metal fire screen, first make a metal frame from the strap metal. The frame consists of three panels, each having two sides and two cross pieces that join them together.
Cut the strap metal side frames longer than the desired length so that you can bend and decorate the frame. Strap metal is bendable by hand; you can add decorative scrolls at the top of each side frame and angles at the base to help the frame stand. After the metal pieces are cut to size, drill holes for the rivets that will connect the cross pieces to the sides.
After you make each panel, connect them together with two metal hinges attached to each side of the centre panel and the side panels. Attach the wire mesh onto the outside of the frame with heat resistant metal glue.
To make a wooden fire screen, cut three sheets of wooden plywood to the desired size of the screen. Paint the panels as you like and connect the panels together with the hinges. Remember that the wooden fire screen is decorative; do not use it when burning a fire in the fireplace.