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Winter Coming In HOT! DIY Fireplace Mantel – How To!

Ellie Stevens DIY Mantel

Hello 2020, and boy did you come in with a BLAST.  Literally.  This past week was windy beyond belief, hats were flying off, power outages were plaguing us all, and as soon as you finished shovelling your driveway, the snow swooped right back in.  It was clear that it must be a inside day!  The cold comes with some harsh problems as we found out – our pipes that bring water into the house FROZE, so at 5:30am Behn had the blow dryer working it’s magic to thaw the water lines.  It’s just another day!  I was glad it was a Sunday.  Warming up by our fireplace has always been amazing, but this past couple of months I couldn’t get over the lack of life my fireplace seemed to have!  It needed something…a MANTEL!  How on earth do you get a mantel to attach to boulder-style rocks?  When I started, I really didn’t know how we were going to attach it but we figured it out.

Here’s how…

With some spare fence panels from the yard that blew down past fall I got to work on creating the actual mantel piece.

First, I sanded the panels down and cut them to length. Next, I stained them very lightly to keep the original tones of the wood and finished with a couple coats of varathane!  Et Volia!  Beautiful. I attached them together in order to have them slide onto a 2×4 frame, similar to a floating shelf.  I glued one side at a time, added a few pin nails and clamped them together to dry.

DIY Wood Mantel Piece

To finish the ends, I used wood veneer and attached it to the sides.  I was going for a flush finish on the ends.  After sanding down the corners to create a seamless finish, this baby was ready to mount.  That apparently was the easy part… moving the TV up higher to accommodate the new mantel….now this was tricky.  It took the father and Behn about two hours to get this sorted.

Fireplace Makeover

A lot of drill bits and curse words later, everyone was impressed and maybe a little tipsy. But hey, it was well worth it because we are all obsessed that it really didn’t cost us anything since I up-cycled all of the materials!

Here is a photo of the fireplace when we first moved in, clearly it is just gorgeous (NOT!)  I call this “Rust Rock Crap Colour”.  I HAD to paint it.  This was a challenge and I definitely got paint on the floor.  (Sorry Behn!) But I must say, it was all worth it! Before and after:

Rock and Wood Mantel Before and After