We recently moved into our new apartment in Nevada and really lucked on the unit. Updated kitchen, high ceilings, and my favorite part—a fireplace. A fireplace is one of those things you didn’t know you wanted but now that you have it…you can’t go without. While the fireplace stone and unit itself isn’t very attractive, I thought it would be cute to add some sort of mantel. Doing this would add a little height to the room and offer another place for seasonal decor.
Rentals are tough, however. The place isn’t yours and you end up having to pay for EVERY hole, scratch, stain, etc. upon move out. That being said, a heavy-duty, authentic mantel just wouldn’t work. Plus, it’s way too expensive for what we are looking for. My next thought was a floating shelf. Perfect. Done. Not really. We measured the width of the fireplace and found that the mantel needed to hang over just a tad for it to look the part. The hard part was finding a shelf long enough (54-inches.) I scoured Target, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and came out empty handed. The longest shelf was about 48-inches and that just wouldn’t do.
So I put my DIY pants on and set out on a quest to make my own. Back to Home Depot I go, but this time on the hunt for a board to custom cut.
I headed straight for the lumber yard area and found the closest worker in an orange apron. I’ve found it’s better to consult with them on your project rather than guessing and wasting your time. Had I not done that I would have ended up with a bowed piece of wood. I asked him to custom cut my piece of wood to 54-inches. You’ll have to pay the full price of the entire piece of wood, but it makes for less work when you get home. Plus, they give you the remainder piece (I’ll definitely use that for a custom wood sign later.)
He also pointed me in the right direction towards the brackets and recommended that based on the anticipated weight my shelf would be holding, that I pick up some wall anchors. I picked some up and didn’t end up using them. I’ll keep you updated on how the shelf holds up with different weights. All in all, I walked out of Home Depot with a $29.26 receipt. Not too shabby.
You should have walked away with one large custom cut board, a smaller extra cut, and two brackets to hold up your board (with the included hardware.)
The hardest part was being alone and trying to make sure it was level. We don’t own a leveler. I painfully have to admit that I eyeballed the entire project. After deciding where the mantel would sit, I started to screw the brackets into the wall. I was planning on staining or painting our faux mantel, but I kind of fell in love with the natural look. So, I screwed the brackets to the board and called it a day.
I love the final product. I can’t wait to hang stockings and seasonal banners this year. What do you think?