Easy DIY wood mantel

by myklist

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!

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!

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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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