DIY Floating Mantel

Meet our new mantel!

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Nope, we definitely didn't buy this guy from the store. We made it ourselves!

This is the mantel we started with:

And I hated it. Even sanded down and coated with new paint, I still would have hated it. It was too big and bulky, and I didn’t like the detailing. I thought we'd just replace it with a pre-made white one, but instead we got creative, sketched an idea and made our own original DIY mantel. And guess what? You can do it too.

Building Supplies
  • 3 8 ft. 1x12 oak boards
  • 1 small can of wood stain (Varathane - dark walnut)
  • Wood glue

Building Tools
  • Circular saw/table saw/miter saw (your choice)
  • Sponge brushes or rags
  • Clamps

Making the Mantel

1.  Cut the three oak boards in half to create six 4 ft. boards using a table saw, circular saw or miter saw (whichever you prefer).

2.  Sand the boards as needed to remove any rough edges.

3.  Following the directions on the can of stain, stain each board using sponge brushes or a wipe-on rag technique.

I personally stained each side and edge, even the ones that would not be showing, with a sponge brush. If needed, you can touch up the stain before or after the mantel is assembled. I did some tiny touch ups once the mantel was mounted.

4.  After the boards are stained and dried, stack the boards in a staggered pattern, leaving a 2" overhang on each side. Arrange so that the best looking sides show.

5.  Once arranged, apply wood glue between each layer of wood. Be careful of using too much glue or applying glue too closely to the edges, or your glue will seep through the cracks and/or drip.

6.  Use clamps to secure the freshly glued mantel. You may even consider placing rags of some sort beneath the clamp hold so that your wood is not dented or scratched. It's also important here to make sure your boards are correctly aligned while clamped because once the glue dries, it's final.

7.  Referencing the wood glue directions, leave clamps in place until glue firmly dries, typically 24-48 hours.

Mounting the Mantel

Our method to installing the mantel was somewhat rigged for the simple fact that we used the hardware from our previous mantel for the new mantel. This means that the bolts were already drilled into the brick wall and that all we had to do was remove the keyhole wall mount hardware from the old mantel and add it to the new mantel. In that case, I don't think it's fair to elaborate on directions that may not even be plausible for you. Safety is another reason why I'm wary of guiding you through mounting your mantel. Therefore, I’ve posted some resources that suggest a couple of different approaches for mounting a floating mantel.

There seems to be a million other resources on the internet as well - videos, instructions, you name it.
    This DIY project went surprisingly well for us (in retrospect to the rest of our DIY house) and will hopefully go well for you too. As long as you buy the right supplies, you can always reassure this DIY how-to by following some of the directions described on the product packaging. If this all seems like a foreign language, grab a handy man, and he'll know exactly what to do.

    As for us, now we have a unique mantel that looks ten times better than our last, was relatively inexpensive and is one-of-a-kind. We are quite the fans and think it adds the perfect touch to our fireplace.

                                          BEFORE!                                                                                                    AFTER!

    Linking up!


    1. I'm so glad that I found you on Transformation Thursday! I love the way your mantle turned out. Simple and clean and modern. Awesome job:)


    2. This is such a great-looking mantel! I love that it is simple with just a little oomph from the uneven edges. It looks great on the painted brick wall.

      Thanks for linking up at the weekend party at Remodelaholic! We would love to feature you and the mantel on Remodelaholic sometime. Shoot me an email at if you're interested in being a guest. Thanks!

      Lorene and Cassity from


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