Homemade Rustic Mantel…


I guess this is kind of a sequel to my first post.  Several people have asked, where did we get, or how did we make our mantel?  Well fret not, my friends, I am here to tell you.  My husband actually made it for me using 1×4’s and old pallet wood.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the ease and affordability of this lovely mantel!

You can find 1×4’s at any hardware store in the whole world.  The measurements will vary for each project.  We used three 5 foot 1×4’s to build a long three sided box, leaving the back side open for mounting purposes… (Please note that these pictures are not of our actual project because we built the mantel before we started the blog, so we didn’t take step by step pictures.)

Mantel Box.jpg

open box.jpg


After that, we used a sawzall (with a blade for metal or wood with nails) to cut a few old pallets apart so we could use old pallet wood cover the box we just built.  For those of you who are not yet familiar with power tools, this is a sawzall…Dewalt-20V-Max-Reciprocating-Saw.jpg





Use the sawzall to cut the nails, not the wood.  That way you will have longer boards and you get to keep the cool old nailheads.  I think the old nailheads add character.

cutting a pallet.jpg

After we removed all the boards from the pallet, we simply cut the pallet boards to the size we needed using a circular saw, then attached them to the surface of the three sided box using a drill and screws.  I like to stagger the pallet boards so that none of the seams line up, but you can arrange them however you like.  This is what the box looks like after we covered it with pallet wood… (these pictures are of our actual project)




Now here’s the tricky part… The mounting process will be similar no matter what type of surface you plan to mount your mantel to, but you will need to use care to make sure you mount it to something that can hold the weight of the mantel.  I mounted mine to solid brick (not brick veneer!), so I was able to drill my holes wherever I wanted.  If you are mounting on dry-wall or any type of veneer surface, you need to be sure to find the studs, or the weight of the mantel will cause it to tear right out of the wall and come crashing down on the floor!  EPIC FAIL! We don’t want that!

To start, attach a 2×4 of appropriate length to your mounting surface at about two inches lower than where you want the very top of your mantel to sit.  This will accommodate for the width of the top of your box.  Make very certain you are drilling into studs and that you are using long sturdy screws or bolts.  And, for the love of all that is holy, use a level!  DO NOT “eyeball it”!  Here’s a picture…  (Again, this is a borrowed picture, as we did not take pix along the way.  We didn’t use the pieces of wood that stick straight out, but you can if you feel you need the extra support.)


Once you have your support attached, simply fit your three sided box over the top of your support and drill it in from the top.  Drive the screws or bolts all the way through the top of your box and into the 2×4 support beam.  Here’s a couple more borrowed pictures.  I think they give a good example of the process I am describing…

mounting step two.jpgmounting step three.jpg

And there you have it!  Your very own rustic floating mantel!  Now all you have left to do is decorate!  Here’s one more picture of our mantel just for fun!





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