My wife never had a fireplace and for Christmas, her family would assemble a cardboard replica. It can be seen in the background in this picture from approximately 1972. She's in the middle between her older brother and their dog. Her younger sister is on the left.
It was still in it's original box and had it's instructions. It was missing a few of the cardboard clips that hold it together, but fortunately those are easily reproducible.
The back of the box has a Santa and Reindeer that can be cut out and mounted through slots on the mantle. Luckily for me, the previous owner hadn't done this and the box was still intact.
Here is it assembled next to my aluminum Christmas tree.
The mantle decorated with other finds from this past year
Missing from the fireplace was the light cord that mounts in the cardboard flames to simulate fire. I stole one from one of my blow mold figures and put in a red flicker bulb. It works great. I received a tip from another blog that you can purchase the replacement cords at Ace Hardware. It's also missing the spinner which creates "realistic fireglow effects". It looks like this: