makeshift mantel

I totally love having a fireplace. It’s one of my favorite features of my new house {I had plans to get one installed in our old house eventually}. So cozy. And I actually rather like that ours is so plain-looking as opposed to ornate and not our style.

{Random observation… wow our house looked plain back in June!} Eventually, we will completely revamp the wall and fireplace surround, but that wasn’t high on our priority list in our first year here. But when Christmas came along, I was kinda bummed that I didn’t have anything to hang our stockings from!

So, I came up with the idea to make a temporary mantel. This project requires a piece of 4×4 lumber cut to length, sandpaper, some wood stain, sealer, and 2 keyhole brackets like this:





The stain I used was Ebony and required 2 coats, then about 8 coats of sealer. Then we mounted the finished board using the brackets above, to the studs of course, so no visible L-brackets are required. It’s nothing super pretty, but it does the trick for a temporary shelf.

Pretty handy place to line up all the Christmas cards. 🙂 Here’s a close-up. I like that it’s rough.

After Christmas I’ll be fussing with styling it and looking for something to hang above the fireplace, but for now it’s a nice little addition to that blank space for a total cost of maybe $20 {we already had the stain, sealer and sandpaper}. When we get around to putting up a proper mantel, I will reuse this as a wall shelf in the extra bedroom.


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