Sunday, December 11, 2011

DIY MANTEL

Just because a girl doesn't have a fireplace doesn't mean she cant have a mantel right?  I mean who really builds a fire that often anyway? 



I really wanted a mantel & obsessed about it for months talking myself out of it then wanting it again.  I couldn’t shake it, I must have one.  The ideas fly in and out of my brain, some stick some don't, my to do list constantly shifts.  This time the thing that pushed it from I want to I must build was a piece of molding I found at the Restore.  An eight foot piece of dentil molding for $4.  Score.  I also had in my stash some fluted trim that I got at the Restore as well.  I go there almost every Friday on my lunch break and if I see a deal I pick it up even if I don't have a use for it.  I decided to keep the design very simple to let the two moldings stand out. 


  
I needed to finish this thing fast since I really wanted to decorate the mantel for Christmas.  I decided to use pine boards and make it work with the boards measurements so I wouldn't have to spend a weekend making fancy cuts.  I mostly just butted the boards up to each other rather than miter cutting everything.  The only cuts I did miter were for the trim.



The first thing I did was decide approximately how wide I wanted the mantel to be and then cut the dentil molding first.   With this type of molding you need to plan for where the little squares will end up.  This way if I made a mistake I could just cut a little more off and make the whole thing smaller.  If you used a regular piece of crown molding you wouldn't have to worry about that.  Once I had that cut I then had the measurement for the front piece.


I attached the front piece to the side pieces using my Kreg Jig Jr to make pocket holes.  I could have used glue and nails but the pocket holes make it square and tight so that you can move it around without waiting for the glue to dry.  You can see I left a gap at the top.  The trim covers it and I liked the proportions better this way.


Next I cut a notch in a 1 x 6 so that it would stabilize the sides and also stick out a bit beyond the front piece.  I attached it with glue and my nail gun.

Then I flipped this over and set it on top of a of 1 x 12 top piece.  I screwed the sides to the top using pocket holes again and glued and nailed the molding on.  



The 1 x 10 is glued and screwed with pocket holes to the 1 x 8.  The rest are attached with glue and nails.  For the 1 x 2 & 1 x 6 shown above I actually ripped a 1 x 8 board to make the 2 boards.  I did this because a 1 x 8 board actually measures 7.25", a 1 x 6 is 5.5" and a 1 x 2 is 1.5" and I needed it to equal 7.25". (does that make sense?) 




I decided to set the fluted trim back a couple inches to give it a little interest. 

I used 1 x 8 and some molding from my stash to make the beefy bottom trim.




To attach it to the wall I screwed a 2 x 2 into studs then screwed through the top into the 2 x 2.  It makes it very stable.



The inside just in case you wanna see it.


  

Here's how the measurements came out.  When you start the way I did you get some pretty random measurements.


I really love it.  Total cost for wood including trim was less than $40.  It pays to go to the Restore every week now doesn't it.  The paint I had.  I definitely had to putty a lot of knot holes and seams since I used pine and do some sanding.  I can't believe how many knots were in the boards I picked, what was I thinking?  

Oh all the mantel decorating I can do now.  I just need to figure out what to do about that window above it.  I may cover it with shutters, maybe a mirror or DIY art piece.  Problem is it has a twin just to the left of it above the monster TV who shall never be seen on the blog.  For now I'm happy with it.



Thanks for stopping by!



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25 comments:

  1. This looks amazing, Mimi! Love your attention to detail! I like your idea of shutters or a big mirror to cover the window. Merry Christmas! :)

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  2. Good for you! I like to see innovation and renovation together!
    Brenda

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  3. I'm in love with your mantle! Thank you for sharing how you made yours! I would like to make one for our fireplaces, so I'm saving your post in my idea file!
    I'm your newest follower! Stop on by sometime! I have a weekly linky party called Terrific Under Ten Tuesday. It's for projects made for $10 or less. I would love for you to link up sometime!

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  4. Wow, your mantle is absolutely stunning! You did a beautiful job putting it all together, and I love the way you've dressed it, it's perfection! I'd be thrilled if you came and joined the Head to Head Showdown link party going on right now at www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

    ~Jen

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  5. Very impressive project! The mantle looks great! The box of wood is the perfect touch!

    Sharon

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  6. OMG! I love this idea. I could totally see my hubby buying into this project. Pinning this on pinterest... :)

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  7. Mimi - what a GREAT job you did on this!!!! I luv it! A gal can never have too many frantels in her house! lol!

    xoxo laurie

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  8. Wow, I love this. You did a fantastic job with easy to follow instructions. I have a small electric stove in our LR and have wanted to build a mantle to fit around it as it looks kinda lonely by itself.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Okay. I am officially impressed! That is a wonderful mantle and I can't believe you built it! Great tutorial!

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  10. How very clever and it looks beautiful, just in time to so you could dress to impress. Thank you so much for sharing. I have enjoyed looking around your special place. I will follow on my way out so as I can keep in touch. I hope you will find the time to pop over to my place soon and do the same. Whilst I am here I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and look forward to engaging and supporting you more in the New Year! Cheers SpecialK XoXo

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  11. This mantel is FABULOUS!!! I've been wanting to put one around my propane fireplace and wasn't sure just how to start. I may be emailing you :)
    Thank you, Thank you for the tutorial. Patti :)

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  12. This looks freaking amazing! Had to pin this too!! Love your projects, oh my word!

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  13. You are the bomb! You do amazing work! Keep it up

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  14. This is genius, and it adds a nice architectural feature to your room. :D

    Linking from An Anglo in Quebec!
    xo,
    RJ

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  15. I know it's nearly a year later - but I have been searching EVERYWHERE for a DIY FREESTANDING mantel. They all have "lean-to" mantels or something you have to screw into the wall.

    Thank you Thank you!

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  16. Great mantel, but my true reason for commenting is...what paint color do you have on your wall? Love it! It appears to be a green/blue/gray color on my monitor. I would love to paint a wall that color in my living area.

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    1. Hello, the wall color is actually a dark charcoal. I am sorry I don't have the name anymore, it was pre-blog. It looks different in every photo often times it appears dark navy. One of these days I will learn to photograph dark colors.

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  17. Love this idea, why shouldn't we all have mantels just because we have modern homes, great result :)

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  18. This is beautiful and my favorite DIY mantel I've seen!! I know it's been a while since you wrote this, but I'm wondering how it sits against the wall with the baseboards. I would like to make one, but I don't like the idea of there being a gap between the mantel and the wall because it has to sit a tiny bit away from the wall. Does that make sense? Any advice would be wonderful!

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    1. Hi Mariel! I would suggest cutting your baseboard so that your mantle sits flush with the wall. Unless you have fancy old mouldings or cant do that because of a rental situation. If that's the case I would suggest making a cut to the back corners of the mantle with a jig saw. Then you can use caulking to help disquise it. Since I am always changing my mind and wasnt sure how long I would keep my mantle up, I just cut the mantle to fit around my tiny baseboard trim. I still love it though and it's been two years.

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  19. I love this mantel, but am having trouble following the tutorial all the way through. Any chance this can get up on Ana White? How would you deal with putting the mantel up against a wall with chair moulding? Would you try to remove a piece of it, or cut out the side pieces to the shape of the rail and caulk around it? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kimberly,
      I would say answer this the same as Mariel's question above. As for plans I will see what I can do.

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  20. Great tutorial! Stopped over from Our Vintage Home Love, love your style! We did our own DIY mantle also, it's amazing how much that shape, woodwork, & detail adds to a room. Love it!

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