How to Build a Simple Mantel

I shared our recent fireplace makeover earlier this week, and now I’m going to give the promised tutorial for our DIY mantel.  These things were so easy to make, and I think they were just the thing to bring a rather dated gas fireplace insert into a more classic, timeless style.

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

Another great thing about these little “mantels,” is that you don’t even have to have a fireplace.  You can make a faux fireplace or even just a wall shelf, and you can make them in any width you want.

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

We made two (since we have a double sided fireplace), and ours were made to fit a fireplace box that was 40″ wide.  We chose to have the actual shelf extend past the box slightly on either side.

I love this fireplace makeover! Some paint, a simple mantel, and a total transformation of this formerly dated black box fireplace | maisondepax.com

Obviously, your dimensions may be different, so be sure to adjust accordingly.  Using our measurements, here is what you need for one DIY mantel shelf:

  • two wood corbels like these*
  • one 1×8 cut to 40″ (or width of firebox)
  • one 1×6 cut to 41.5″ (or width of firebox + 1.5″)
  • one 1×4 cut to 37.75″ (or width of firebox – 2.25″)
  • one piece** of 3/4″ cove molding cut at 45° to 37.75″ on the inner edge (*you are going to trim your 1×4 with the cove molding, so make sure you cut it to fit the length of your 1×4)
  • one piece** of 3/4″ cove molding cut straight on the right and 45° on left to 3.5″ on the inner edge (this is also to trim your 1×4 which is actually 3.5″ wide)
  • one piece** of 3/4″ cove molding cut straight on the left and 45° on right to 3.5″ on the inner edge (this is also to trim your 1×4 which is actually 3.5″ wide)

*I was given these cute little wood corbels by Osborne Wood at the Haven Conference this past summer.  They are perfect for this project, and the rubber wood ones are very affordable!  I also spotted these very simple ones at my local big box store.  If you prefer something more elaborate (and a bit pricier), you could try something like this or any other number of options from hardware stores or online providers.  Just remember, they must be < 6.5″ tall and < 3.5″ deep to fit within this plan.

**these sound complicated… don’t be intimidated.  Just remember that you are framing your 1×4 with the cove molding.  If my instructions are not clear, just use common sense. :)

Unfortunately (or fortunately…), Mr. Pax made these so quickly that I didn’t even get any process pictures.  So sorry! But the process is very simple.  Using carpenter’s glue and finishing nails, attach all your pieces as seen below.

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

Most corbels have a spot on the back to sort of hang them on screw heads.  We did not use these; we actually removed the brackets and then simply attached the corbels using wood glue and finishing nails.  They lay flatter that way.  Then, of course, we secured the entire shelf to the fireplace.  How to do this will depend entirely on the structure of your fireplace, so I’ll let you figure that one out. 😉 We used four giant screws which we countersunk into the 1×8.

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

Then I used wood filler on the nail holes, caulked all the seams, primed the raw wood, and painted the whole thing with two coats of oil based trim paint.

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

And I love them!  As I shared earlier this week, I think it’s a rather dramatic makeover.

I love this fireplace makeover! Some paint, a simple mantel, and a total transformation of this formerly dated black box fireplace | maisondepax.com

So do you have a fireplace that could use a simple mantel?  Or can you think of a spot in your home that could use a faux one?  Where would you put it?

NOTE: At the moment, we are only using this fireplace for decorative purposes.  PLEASE be sure if you have a working fireplace to read all safety precautions and manuals on your fireplace to ensure that you are not putting combustible materials in an unsafe area!

pin it image

I love how this simple diy mantel changes the fireplace! Find out how to build a simple fireplace mantel (or faux fireplace shelf!) with this easy to follow tutorial | maisondepax.com

Did you enjoy that?  Subscribe to Maison de Pax so you’ll never miss a post!
Follow along on PinterestGoogle+Instagram, and Facebook for more fabulous ideas!

 MORE DIY PROJECTS:

Industrial Spool Table

Love this project! How to make a table from an industrial spool via maisondepax.com #diy #outdoorliving #tutorial

How to Reface Cabinets

Awesome budget idea - how to reface cabinets | maisondepax.com

DIY Stairwell Bookcase

great use of space! bookcase in the stairwell | maisondepax.com

Did you enjoy that?

Have my best tips on home decor, DIY, and life delivered directly to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit

Comments

  1. It’s lovely my dear! You always inspire me :)

  2. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Thanks Rachel i will find out how easy this is,it does look easy.

  3. Seeing how you constructed your mantel helped me figure out how to DE-construct ours! I’ve always complained that the top of our mantel is too narrow. After comparing yours to mine, it looks like it was constructed the same way. So hopefully I can simply pop off the top board and install a wider one! Fingers crossed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *