/ / Easy DIY wood mantel

Easy DIY wood mantel

DIY | Interior Decor

You guys…I did it!  I built this whole fireplace mantel all by myself!  I gave myself a high five when I was finished…I felt so accomplished!  This wood mantel was such an easy DIY project…you are going to love it!

I’m absolutely thrilled with how it turned out! I think the mantel is a nice break from the white tile and white shiplap.

The wood adds some much needed natural texture and warmth!  Of course a real chunk of wood would cost hundreds of dollars.  So naturally, I chose to make my own.  It was actually way easier then I imagined! It came in just under $35.

So many times I start a project and think, can I really do this?  I’m not a carpenter or a tiler or a professional…I’m a mom!  But then I think… YA, I AM A MOM…you bet I CAN do this!  BTW, this is my first tiling project ever…its not perfect, but I was excited to tackle something I’d never done before!  More on that later!

Long story short, my goal for this basement fireplace mantel was to spend as little as possible!  I used the penny tile scraps from my master bathroom reno (HERE) for the fireplace surround.  I even had left over grout! The shiplap on top was finished with extra wood strips from my daughters room makeover.  You can find my faux shiplap tutorial (HERE).

The wood mantel was a pretty basic construction.  1” x 8” pieces of lumber, cut to 68″ long, and then a couple of pieces for the ends.  I love how it turned out, and I can hardly wait to style it!

floating shelf, wood mantel

It certainly is more impactful in the space don’t ya thing?!

Here’s how to build your own wood mantel!

DIY Wood Mantel Materials:

*These materials and instructions are for a mantel that measures 8″ x 8″ x 68″ wide. You’ll need to make adjustments according to the measurements of your own mantel.

One pieces of 1″ x 8″ lumber,  12 feet long

One piece of 1″ x 8″ lumber, 8 feet in length

Two pieces of wood veneer

Special walnut wood stain


2-3 blocks of wood ( I used a 2″x4″ board cut into pieces that would fit inside the mantel) *These will be used to hang the mantel

Shop the Materials (click on image)

DIY Wood Mantel Tools:

Nail gun with 1.5″ finishing nails (if you don’t have a nail gun, you can use finish nails & hammer)

Miter saw

Wood glue

150-grit sandpaper

Rag or sponge for stain application

Stud finder

3″ construction screws

drill or screwdriver


*Note:  When selecting lumber make sure to stand each board up and inspect it for warping and imperfections.  Choose carefully!

Shop the Tools (Click on image)

Wood Mantel Tutorial:

Using my miter saw, I cut my 8-foot piece of 1″ x 8″ lumber down to 68″ and my 12-foot piece of 1″x8″ into 2 boards, each measuring 68″.  Save the extras!  If you don’t have a miter saw you can always have the boards cut to size at Lowe’s or home Depot when you purchase them.  I ended up with 3 boards all measuring 68″ in length.

I balanced two boards on their edges, and placed one board on top, as shown below.  Since I was building inside I used a couple other boards to balance the 1×8’s on.  February is cold in Utah!

Using wood glue and my nail gun, I secured the boards together.

I used the remainder piece of 1″ x 8″ 8-foot board that I cut down to 68″ to cut smaller pieces to fill in the ends of the mantel. This cut measured 5.5″ wide. (Be sure to double check your own measurements. They could be different then mine.)

I secured the new pieces to the ends using wood glue and my nail gun.

You can see it wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t concerned because this is where the wood veneer comes into play.  Remember when I said this was easy…well this is why!  The wood veneer covers the ends and hides all the imperfections!  I love and easy solution!

I placed the sheet of veneer on the side and traced the shape of the mantel side onto the back of the veneer sheet. I cut it out and adhered it to the side of the mantel.  Pretty simple when its a peel and stick veneer!

At this point I sanded all the edges of the wood veneer and blended them to the wood.

After wiping the mantel clean, I applied the special walnut stain to the mantel one side at a time.  Be careful to not to allow drip marks!  Once its dry, apply 1 or 2 coats of Polycrylic to prevent scratches!

Hanging the Wood Mantel

To Hang the wood mantel I secured 2 pieces of 2×4’s cut down to fit inside the mantel.  First find and mark the studs in the wall using a stud finder and pencil.

Using my level, I marked where each block should be placed in relation to the stud marks.  I screwed each block in place using my drill and  3″ screws.

Once the blocks were secured firmly into the studs, I laid my level across to double check my handy work!  Perfect!  Time to hang the mantel.  I marked on the wall exactly where each end of the mantel should be placed so that it was centered above the fireplace.  I also marked where the blocks would be on the top of my mantel so I would know where to nail it.  I hung the mantel from the blocks on the wall and nailed it into place using my nail gun!.

Sorry I didn’t photograph this step, but I had to use all my hands (and legs haha) to hold it up and nail at the same time.  You can imagine right!?  Anyway…This is the final product!

$50 Sliding barn door tutorial (HERE).  That was a fun project too!

Shop this post (Click & Slide)

Thanks so much for joining me today!  You can find me on Instagram @Remingtonavenue where I share spaces in my home and diy projects daily!  If you liked this tutorial, please pin the image below and help me share it with more friends!






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  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I don’t like the color or size is my current one, so I am going to make one like yours to go around mine. I’ve been worried about how it would look on top, though, because the edge of the front piece wood would show, if you know what I mean. My fireplace mantel is pretty low. What do you think? Do you think, would that top seam bother you if the mantle was low enough to see it?

  2. YOU ROCK! I love that you tackle such great projects. I found you by searching for painted tile and I finally painted my bathroom floor a few weekends ago. It is quite the transformation, but I don’t love it. Everyone things I’m nuts, but I’m going to RE-DO it. I found another stencil that I like better and am going to have a different color scheme this time. You are a constant reminder that MOM’s can pull off crazy cool projects all by ourselves!!!

    1. Im so glad you found me and welcome Lara! I’d love to see a pic of your floor when you redo it! I’m sure it will look amazing

  3. This turned out so well! Great job. The tile that you used really nicely ties in the runner for your sliding barn door! Also, it is nice to have your mantel hollow, makes it less hard for the wall to support. I would love to see pictures of how you choose to decorate the mantel. They are one of my favorite pieces to decorate. Personally, I usually style mine with a few books, a candle stick, and a fun vase with fake flower or reeds.

  4. Aw wow! I have such an ugly old fire so anything to improve the look is great. Looks beautiful well done you!

  5. Looks great! What type of wood did you use? When I do projects I typically use pine because it is so inexpensive, but it never stains well. Yours looks like it took the stain awesomely, and I’m just curious what you used because I have some upcoming projects that require staining.

  6. Tried to link to the wood veneer sheets which takes me to Amazon and Product Unavailable. I’ve looked everywhere locally including Hobby Lobby, the big box stores with no luck. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi cathy, thanks for letting me know. I just updated the link with another source. Should be good to go and good luck. If your on Instagram please tag me with a pic @remingtonavenue for a feature.

  7. Thank you for giving me the courage to try this! I’m a recently divorced, after a LONG marriage, just-turned-sixty, lady getting a kick out of learning power tools. My family bought me a chop saw for my birthday and I picked up a brad nailer. I just came in from the garage and, after a lot of instruction reading and a bit of practice, I have a gorgeous box mantle!! I am SO excited! I have the stain on it and will finish it tomorrow! It’s VERY empowering, not to mention a ton of fun, to build stuff!!

    1. Ok jean…I am so proud of you! Thanks so much for sending me this note. I feel so lucky to have great friends out there. Cant wait to see the finished mantel. Please tag me @remingtonavenue on instagram with a photo or post one here.

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