DIY Mantle….or shelf

I love Fall.  I love the colors of the leaves and the cooler weather.  I’m normally a sunshine girl but when the weather turns in November and I feel the wind start to blow, I get excited.  I get to wear my boots and scarves, and sip hot tea on the weekends.  I look forward to family time at Thanksgiving and then of course, Christmas!!  Oh how we all love Christmas!  There’s something about those tiny twinkling lights and snuggling on the couch with a warm blanket watching a cheesy Christmas movie.  Awhhh, I can’t wait.

And then one day you’re walking around the house in your super soft fuzzy socks, you stop to look at your cute little fireplace and you realize you will be hanging your Christmas stockings above that fireplace with red and green thumbtacks.  And depression sets in.

This is not happening, not this year!  I want a mantle.  I want that Santa and Snowman and Reindeer stocking to hang from cute little stocking hooks in front of that fireplace.  So what happens when I want something?  I find a way to get it.

Don’t take that last sentence as me being some spoiled brat.  I’m a bargain shopper and a DIY’er.  I find ways to save a penny because that’s how I was raised.  You work hard for what you want.  Simple as that.  And when you can’t find what you want, you make it.

So anyway, I knew I couldn’t afford an actual mantle.  Did you know you can actually buy those?  Like, actually buy something already made to put around your little fireplace and it looks so grand and awesome.  How cool!  I always thought they were custom built.  But anyway, they’re like hundreds of dollars, so no thanks.  I found that the easiest and cheapest way I could solve my problem was to just make a, well, basically a shelf.  And that’s what I did.  It’s not at all perfect but it does the job and I’m happy.

First, I went to Lowes.  Well, hubby, Andrew and I went to Lowes.  We bought a $17 pine board and had a Lowes employee cut it to size.  I needed it to be 63″ by 9 1/2″.  I already had white spray paint at home from when I repainted all of our bedroom furniture.  I thought I had screws, but it turns out I didn’t, so the hubs had to go back to Lowes the next day for me.  Thanks hunny!  I bought some $16 shelf brackets off of Amazon and I was good to go.

On Saturday I started in.  The wood was already cut for me so all I really had to do was sand it a little, paint it and attach the brackets.  The board took 3 coats of white spray paint and I let it dry overnight.

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The brackets were surprisingly hard to attach, mainly because the screws I started out with were too long so I drilled them in at an angle (because I was too impatient to run back to Lowes myself and get the correct screws).  Once Kyle ran out to get me the screws, things went a lot smoother.  Again, thank you!

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So that’s really it!  I sanded it, painted it, attached the brackets and Kyle helped me hang it over the fireplace.

Here’s what things looked like before we hung the “mantle”.

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Here’s what it looked like after (don’t mind the diaper genie and other goodies- hehe).

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And here it is all decorated to my liking and just waiting for those stockings!  I won’t decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, it’s a rule of mine.  All in all, including the $5 box of screws, total cost was $38.  I wrote that down on my budget sheet for the month (yes we are each on a strict budget this month trying to save money).

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Yay!  Although it’s just a tad bit crooked, it still looks pretty good.  And Instagram makes everything look better!

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Talk to you soon

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