Simple DIY: “Man”tle Up!

Jun 10

For those that have been reading over the last year, you know I’ve spent a little money furnishing the new house. A lot of furnishings from the Little Rock home work here, but a few things had to be sold and new items purchased. I’ve always been an admirer of those talented bloggers with a knack for building their own furniture and decor. And been leaning into the idea myself in order to save money for big projects (read = the eventual kitchen remodel). I’m definitely a handy girl – not crafty – but certainly handy. I love to DIY my own organization systems, but take on furniture and decor? It’s a personal challenge and something I’m interested in. I have a few bigger projects planned, but wanted to start small…and start with something that was a much-needed home item.

A mantle!

No, there wasn’t a mantle here. A huge brick wall and fireplace? Check. A mantle? No check.

Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane. This is where I started when the house was purchased. And this was only 1 year ago this month! I’ve come so far….

Then there was paint, which was a huge improvement alone…

Walls are Behr Silver Drop, fireplace is Benjamin Moore Metropolitan. These colors are beautiful together…

Then brought in some furniture and things to sit around the fireplace…

All of those decor items are from the Little Rock house. But what was missing was something over the fireplace. At one point I thought about just hanging something big and pretty on the brick, but after living here a while, a mantle was in order. When I saw this adorable DIY floating shelf / mantle plan on the Shanty Girls website, I knew this was going to be my first build…

I’m not going to bore you with the build details, because you can find all of that on their website. Their plans were straight forward and easy to follow. What I will tell you is what was different for me.

* I used a different stain – Minwax Dark Walnut – and only needed one coat.

* My install was different because I was securing this mantle into brick. Which ended up not being easy because I have old brick and fried through a number of masonry drill bits in the process.

* When you go to the hardware store to buy your drill bit and screws, make sure you check with an experienced employee about their recommendations. My local hardware guys were helpful pointing me to cool masonry screws that each hold up to 150 pounds…

Needless to say, this baby isn’t moving because I used 4 of them.

Once I had the wall mount prepared, I started by pre-drilling the holes into the brick. I knew where to pre-drill the brick, because I first pre-drilled the wood mount to know where I wanted my screws placed….


All I did was level the mount, drill a little mark into the wall through the pre-drilled mount holes, put the mount aside and finish drilling into the brick. Once the brick was pre-drilled, I put the wall mount back up, with the level in place again, and drilled the screws in.

Hope that makes sense!

Once the mount was secured to the wall, I slipped the mantle over it…



Then drilled the mantle into the wall mount, from the top so the screws aren’t exposed. It’s the same thing the Shanty girls did with their plan…

Then I added decorative wall hooks…

And that was it!…



This particular mantle plan worked so well because the measurements worked perfectly with this brick wall. I didn’t want a mantle that spanned the entire length. Just a mantle over the fireplace. It’s about 60″ long and works perfectly, I think!…


After the mantle was up, I enjoyed my hard work for a few days, then got to decorating. By chance, I ended up finding the most amazing piece of art. I’m not an art gal, but this one jumped right into my heart and therefore…right into my car. It’s from a local artist. Since we live in California and the pool is outside this living room space, I went for a beachy theme. The piece was the final touch needed to really bring it all together.

Check this out…

I LOVE this!!!….


This piece of art needs to be the center of attention, so I added just a few other things I had around the house…



The artist used an old window frame, paint, broken glass and other natural elements to create this piece. Isn’t it amazing!? I love it!…


How about this for a before and after…

I am SO pleased with the outcome. Thank you to the Shanty girls for the inspiration. Not only is this mantle perfect in here, but they have inspired me to get on those other DIY build ideas I have.

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  1. Melissa says:

    Oh my goodness… I love, love love the mantle! It looks professionally done! That artwork is gorgeous too! I am definitely a beachy girl in my decorating style so I can totally appreciate what you've done with the mantle! Love the painting too!

  2. Simply LKJ says:

    Love how it turned out! It is perfect in that room.

  3. This is Amazing. The entire post was well done; from the vivid pictures to your explanation of the process! And i loooove that picture on the mantel!

  4. Oh MY! I love how this turned out – you have talent girl. Love the color contrast and the beautiful overall look. (And your dress is cute too.) 🙂

  5. Love the mantle!!! Love the art too. You are amazing Sam.

  6. ReneeM says:

    Beautiful mantle!!

  7. Aunt Linda says:

    can i ask where you got the painting?

  8. Sarah says:

    You do such a great job explaining the projects you tackle. I love that about your blog. I was wondering if you'd do a post (if you already haven't) on just basic, simple hanging picture ledges, frames, just anything you might try to hang on the wall. Things always sit around waiting for my husband to put up because I'm too scared to mess up the walls and it not be straight or secure enough. I would really appreciate it!! 🙂

  9. That look so great! I love that painting, where is it from? And the brown leather couch just makes the whole room look rich. Great accents 🙂

    • thank you!! i just found the artist and am hoping to feature her on the blog soon. her work is amazing! her name is Stephanie and her website is

  10. Beautiful transformation! I love it! Pinning now 🙂

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