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How to Make an Inexpensive Wood Mantle

I am so excited to share this mantle with you: it is such an inexpensive method that can be used to make beams, cased openings (as we did in our house, I'll show you!), and floating shelves.

Let's get started!

We used cedar 1x6's for the mantle and all of our cased openings, and left them rough and un-sanded for a more rustic look. Miniwax Special Walnut is my go-to stain that we used for everything.

Now, for the mantle. This behemoth is 8 feet long! There were holes already drilled into the fireplace that needed to be covered, otherwise I probably would have made the mantle a lot smaller.

Supplies Needed:

3 Cedar 1x6's (with extra length to cap the ends)

Brad Nails

Wire Brush attachment for drill, or sanding supplies

2x2, drywall anchors, and screws (to mount the mantle on the wall)

  1. Cut down the 3 cedar pieces to the desired length. Choose which piece you want to be the face of your mantle

  2. Glue one edge of a cedar piece, and clamp it to the back of the front facing cedar piece to form a 90 degree angle, as shown below.

3. Use an air nailer and brad nails to secure together, then do the same thing with the last piece of cedar to make an open "box". We used scrap wood cut down and wedged in (as seen in the picture) to hold the pieces where we wanted until secure.

4. Cut down a small rectangle to fit inside the end pieces to cap off and secure with wood glue and finish nails

5. Rough up the cut edges with wire brush as shown below, or sand down for a smooth finish

6. Stain

7. Mount the 2x2 to fireplace (or wall) with anchors, and then screw the mantle you made on to the 2x2 from the top.

Use this same concept to build floating shelves, add beams to your ceiling, or make a cased opening with beams like we did!

Now Get to Buildin'!

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