Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Make a Fake Fireplace Mantle

I have been reading the Nester and she's all decoratee and stuff and she has these mantle parties where she asks people to send in pictures of their decorated mantles.  Now she is nice and says that you don't actually have to have a mantle, you can use a shelf or whatever.  But I don't want no stinking shelf.  I want a mantle. 

So I made one.  Here is how I did it.

Do you have a wall?  Well good then, that's the first step.  This is my wall.

Now the next two things you need to go out and get.  I had this shelf in my kitchen holding my cookbooks.  I forgot to take a before picture of it.  But it was brown and boring and pretty dang ugly.  The next thing is a mirror frame.  Now for some reason I buy these at auctions all the time.  They are cheap and pretty and ummm, cheap.  I think this one came in a lot for which I paid $5.00.   You could probably find one at an antique shop for pretty reasonable. 

Can you see it?  Do you see what I'm going to do?  Well let me show you.

See, I removed the mirror and am only using the frame.  The clothes basket full of toys isn't permanent, so don't worry about that.  It is just holding the frame up on the wall.  VERY professional.  

I painted the mirror frame and the shelf white and screwed both to the wall.  

I distressed the white paint because it was a little too pristine for my house. 

Now it doesn't quite reach the mop board but I wanted the shelf to line up with my trim.  I cut a board to place at the bottom to box it in, but it is still wet and I'm impatient, deal with it. 

So while the bottom board was drying, I shopped my house and storage for a mirror.  I found this one.  It is the first antique that I ever bought, 16 years ago.   I love it and it looks pretty good here.

I tried different items up there, first overflowing it and getting frustrated.  Then I just took everything off and only put back what I truly loved.  No plastic, no competing colors.  Simple.  Well sort of, it's hard for me not to swag shiny gold garland and tinsel from it.  I held back.  It's hard to see but I made a sign that says PEACE from card stock and jingle bells and THEN I walked away. 

I like it.  I like that everything is vintage and natural. 

Then I moved on to the table in front of the door.  This is where I would usually put the big animated Santa that waves and nods his head and everyone complains that his icy blue eyes folow them around the room.  We'll keep him in the bin this year.  Vintage ice skates with a gold bow, a french horn and some red berries from the backyard. 

Now I'm walking away. 

Sorry I forgot this was sort of a tutorial.  Did you get it?  A shelf, a mirror frame, some screws and paint.  Pretty simple. 



  1. I so admire your creativity, and a little jealous too. You could put me in the middle of Jo Anne Fabrics and say, "Hey make something", and I would struggle. That mirror is just exquisite. Your home is looking so festive and elegant, Lisa!
    Hugs, Kathleen

  2. OMG I love it! See... this is why I need you, when I wanted a mantle, I went to home depot and bought an eletric firplace. :)

  3. Wow. You're so smart you could have invented the Peanut. Amazing. Just amazing.

  4. Now that's amazing how you figured out how to make that piece into a mantle. I absolutely love how it turned out. Your natural decor with that antique mirror and your vintage touches are so perfect. I hope you submitted this to the Nester, this should be a guest post on there! ~Lili