Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Favorite DIY! *Updated*

When Hubs and I bought this house I had one thing that I really, really, really wanted before the holidays made their way around. If I had to save up all my extra money and count pennies, I was gonna have this.

A Mantel.

We never had one at our other house because there just wasn't a fireplace anywhere. We hung our stockings on the wall and it was fine, but a home to me screams a cozy fireplace....

And then I saw how expensive they could be if you bought them ready assembled. No thank you.

I'd have to do it myself. Which actually worked out so much better for me because I didn't have to scrimp and save. One Saturday morning doing nails paid for the wood, paint, nails, etc. Even if it didn't pay for the manual labor that hubby put in.

We went from this:

To hubs and his brother (thanks!) building me a half-cubby-wall:

To this (the rest I did myself!):

I took the molding off the cubby holes to frame above the mantel. The actual mantel is made up of a small molding piece and then a 1x4 above them that is screwed and nailed into the studs in the wall. Then, I nailed and glued piece of crown molding (it had a perfect angled edge) to the bottom of the 1x4. Then, I topped it with a 1x6 that was cut down to a 1x5 and then trimmed in small molding that creates little lip on the mantel. Then I Kilz it with primer and painted...and wah-la!

Now, my biggest issue is that I don't have anything to put on a mantel because I've never bought anything to do that! I'm thinking some apothecary jars filled with autumn leaves and fruit and then some orange and red berry picks. We'll see! I don't really care for mirrors above fireplaces, but for now, this will have to do! Yes, it's unbalanced, yes, it's a mirror...yes, it's not my favorite and yes I really need something larger up there to break up all the white (and now that I've taken a picture, I realize that streak-free windex doesn't mean streak-free at all!) but I'm so stinkin' excited to have a mantel!
(oh...did you all notice that I painted my walls? I love the color and it looks great with all my black/white stuff).

In all, it cost me about $40 for the molding (not counting the molding above it because that was FREE!) and $15 for the primer and paint, about $20 for the 2x4 and drywall to build up the half wall.

Considering mantels start at $175 for 6', we did pretty darn good!!!

Check out DIY Day at Kimba's!


One shopping trip to Goodwill and $5 later:

Not perfect...but much MUCH better.


  1. GREAT job! I looks so much better! I have no idea why that hole was there (and off center) in the first place, but it looks great now!
    And thanks for stopping in...

  2. Wow, it looks guys did an awesome job! Enjoy all your future decorating of that beauty!

    Happy Thursday!
    ~Michelle :)

  3. You are freakin' fantastic! My DIY does not even I didn't post, I'll wait...more or less cause I don't have time to post about it! But hey, you are the creative one and you rocked this one out of the ballpark here! At least I can brag that MY sister did ya CarrieBerry! B:)

  4. Great job you did! You have to have a mantel if you have a fireplace! I like the color of the walls to. You are always so busy, where do you find time?

  5. Atta girl! I am lovin' this new mantel. I had no idea you were working on it. Great timing for those rockin stockings. Now to find some goodies to decorate. Is that what your new frame is for? I'm still messing around with our mantle finds too. Great job!

  6. Great Job! Your mantel looks terrific.

  7. Love what you have done! Great job!

  8. Love it, love it! It looks so good. Your hard work paid off. :)

  9. So much better! That was such a wierd space and you made it work. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I'm having a giveaway today, so make sure you come by!

  10. Wow~it looks so much better! Great vision with this one!

  11. Sooo awesome! Better than I could've even imagined it from when you said you were gonna do it!

  12. I love 'from scratch' projects like these! What a great transformation!
    Awesome job!

  13. you are A W E S O M E !!!!!!!!!!!GREAT JOB

  14. Great job! You're amazing. I love it.

  15. Oh way to go!! I'm so impressed and that cubby wall will be fun to have too!


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