DIY Fireplace Mantels That Will Make a Statement

Trista - February 5, 2020

There is something about a fireplace that really ties a living room together. Nothing says comfy and cozy than a beautiful and functional fireplace on cold winter nights. Even if your place does not have a fireplace that works, you can still find a way to make sure the mantle works for the room. After all, the fireplace should be the focal point of the space.

Several do-it-yourself projects will transform a typical spot into your favorite place to relax. Many do not require you to break the bank either. You can warm up to any one of these ideas and create a DIY fireplace mantel that will be a conversation piece.

Mantels have been used in homes for a long time. Pinterest

What Makes A Mantel Special

The mantelpiece is often known as a chimney piece, and its origins date back to medieval times. Fireplaces were equipped with a hood over a fire grate as a way to catch the smoke. It has only been since modern times that a decorative framework has been incorporated.

Up until the 1900s, fires were made in the middle of a home. Whenever the heat source was moved to the walls of the house, it opened up a wealth of warming up opportunities. Architects can use the design and incorporate rich details in the new focal point, and homeowners can add their own personal touch to their rooms.

No longer needed for just heat, the fireplace can now be used for something more. Pinterest

Modern Mantels

The introduction of central air furnaces and other heating options have taken the primary function of fireplaces. However, many homeowners may find different ways to decorate the pieces into the design work of their residence. Fireplaces come in varying quality, style, and materials, and the opportunities are endless. Let your imaginations run wild as you choose between modern, rustic, or something in between!

Many fireplace mantels can incorporate the architecture of periods or cultures, depending on the type of taste desired. The shelf offers the unique opportunity to create a personal statement in the room, and historically, it can also define the direction of other interior design aspects.

A floating mantel looks effortless in any room. Pinterest

Floating Mantel

Make a modern statement with a mantel above your fireplace that looks like it is suspended in the air! This easy do-it-yourself project calls for attaching a ledger board to the brick. Next, you would need to secure six two by fours along with the ledger board in order to support the weight.

The actual mantelpiece is built using one by eight pieces of whiteboard secured together with a nail gun. You can also cut two side pieces shorter to accommodate the end pieces. Stain the piece, hang it on the wall, and you will have a great statement piece above your fireplace.

A bigger mantle can mean bigger items on the shelf. Chatfield Court

A Large Mantel

If what you need is more space, you can easily accomplish this goal with this simple project. Using a large piece of white pine, this task can double the amount of space that you need to really show off your mantel.

Once the wood is cut to size, you can screw it onto the existing mantel using well-placed screws. After a coat of caulk, primer, and paint, your new shelf would not only useful as new but also serve to better your living space.

Some mantels can even be stretched to the length of the wall. Remodelaholic

Longer Wood

Another easily added extension for a brick fireplace is this extra-long option that can be easily secured to the wall. The wooden mantel is able to stretch across the length of the entire wall, giving the homeowner lots of room to decorate.

This project includes two pieces of wood, a two by six front section, for the length of the mantel, and a separate shelf piece that is approximately 10 inches in width. The great thing about this project is that it can also be used over a wood-burning stove.

An industrial faux railroad tie can be constructed out of a few materials. Scavenger Chic

Railroad Inspired Mantel

If you want to create a mantelpiece that is also a conversational starter, consider this project that transforms aged wood into a railroad tie without the weight of using repurposed materials.

The faux railroad tie was assembled using three two by eight pieces picked up from a salvage yard. If one has more knots, splinters and flaws can be situated for the face board, the one that is most visible to the room. After the boards have been sized and cut, use three-inch wide wood screws to secure it all together.

This project provides a clean and simple look. Simplicity In The South

Shiplap Surround Mantel

Another do-it-yourself project for your mantel that will add a wow factor to any room is to incorporate a surround and shiplap feature. This project features a clean and simple fireplace that has a lovely farmhouse feel.

The inexpensive project requires about $200 in lumber, moldings, and electrical work. The trim work is constructed using a sheet of plywood that was ripped down into two and six-inch strips. Fill the edges with wood filler and sand everything before it is painted.

This DIY project is minimalistic and trendy. Inspiring Vibes

Two Hour Project

It does not have to cost an arm or a leg or take a whole weekend for you to install a gorgeous mantelpiece above your fireplace. With a typical board and a few tools, you can put together this project in less than one afternoon.

The wood beam has no seams from the front of it, and it brings in warm and rustic vibes whenever guests walk in. It also looks great across a painted brick wall to transform a primary space into a well-decorated living space.

Decorative molding can provide a classic look to your living space. Pinterest

Decorative Molding

Another way to update your mantel is to add some decorative molding to your fireplace. These unique pieces of trim can provide a classic or traditional field to the ordinary mantel. For example, a quarter round can be achieved on the underside.

Other molding ideas include overlapping artwork to make the mantel stand out, work out a theme to match different elements of the room, and create a slightly off-balance. The possibilities are entirely up to you and what you want your living space to look like.

Brackets are more industrial in look, but they can add volumes to your room. Pinterest

Decorative Brackets

A floating mantel can also be given more style with the introduction of non-functional brackets. These brackets can be made from a wide range of materials, depending on what you have available. Stone, wood, or iron are just a few of those examples that would make great brackets for your mantel.

When you install them onto the mantel’s underside can add a rustic element to your fireplace. The standalone details are another unique addition to your living space, and there are different kinds to complement the overall decor of your room. Brackets are also great because they can add a certain toughness to the area.

Spruce up your space with a live edge wooden mantel. Remodelaholic

Live Edge

If your fireplace mantel is a tad bit on the dull side, you may want to consider this simple project that adds a fresh coat of paint and a live edge wooden mantel for a gorgeous makeover that is appealing in any home.

The do-it-yourself project calls for removing the old mantel, polishing the stone, and a piece of live wood that will be attached using a construction adhesive. The result is something that is both rustic and modern for your room.

Rustic is a big trend in home decor. Lovely Etc

More Rustic Examples

More fans of the rustic look may also want to make their mantel makeover using this unique idea. This easy project produces a product that is both rustic and polished, and it will look good in a variety of homes.

Use a 10-inch wide board for the mantel at the top of the fireplace. For the bottom, make sure there is not a big gap underneath. After you have cut the boards to length, attach them with wood glue and finishing nails — stain and finish for a gorgeous new look.

A wood beam distressed can add more rustic elements to any room. Sand & Sial

Rustic Wood Beam Mantel

Another rustic wood beam option creates another fireplace surround that is assembled by creating three boxes to be placed around the fixture. Instructions also include distressing the oak beam to make it look weathered and rustic.

Another step about this project is that the beams are secured with two by four pieces to the wall, which act like cleats when the surround is secured a second time with a nail gun. You will treasure this unique take on the trendy home decor staple.

A faux fireplace adds charm to your living space. Rocky Hedge Farm

Rustic Nonexistent Fireplace

You do not have to let the fact that there is not a fireplace in your home stop you from enjoying this stylish aesthetic in your living space. The freestanding farmhouse faux fireplace mantel has both a surround and a mantel that can be placed anywhere in your home.

After choosing the place in your home, cut the board to size and position two more boards side by side. Once you decide on the width, use a nail gun to secure the top board to each of its sides. After you secure it to the wall, determine how you would like to decorate your new piece.

This clever idea would be a tremendous wooden addition to any home. Bless’er House

Another Faux Option

Another fireplace upgrade without the actual fireplace is to create a cute statement piece that guests will swear it is real. This idea is devised from making the statement piece with wooden pieces inside the hearth.

The craft project includes two-inch wood pieces situated together to cover the middle section. With a white coat of paint and a few more decorative elements, the blank wall was transformed into a warm and welcoming area.

Framework in home decor is vital, even in fireplaces. Pinterest

Contemporary Style

One of the best ways to make a statement is by using colorful and straightforward pieces that complement each other and other elements of the room. Take this familiar feeling that the mantel projects in this room because it is constructed like a picture frame.

This simple frame is built using pine wood and sanded to get the smooth edges. Feel free to add other woodwork features and elements to give the room a more friendly feeling.

The character in barn wood is a charming element to living spaces. Pinterest

Barn Wood Beam

Many kinds of wood exhibit their own types of character, but this gorgeous barn wood beam looks as though it has a story to tell. The imperfections, dents, and scratches add a certain rustic charm to any room.

The mantel depicted can be nicely paired with mirrors and bold pieces to help tie the room together. You can also add other playful elements after securing your beautiful barn wood mantel to your wall.

The concrete option creates clean lines for your space. Pinterest

Concrete Fireplace

Another excellent example of a fireplace is to construct a real focal point in your home. For relatively cheap, you can make a do-it-yourself concrete fireplace that has clean, simple lines and other beautiful elements to your home.

You can even make the concrete resemble a wood finish. After you lay your corners over the wall measurements, you would just need to install a hearth and cover the installation with plaster. The finished product is something you can then treasure for years to come.

The tile in a hearth is a crucial decision to make. Pinterest

Finding The Right Tile

When you are looking at installing a fireplace hearth, the same consideration for the mantel needs to be thoroughly looked over. You will want to be sure that the tile is complementary to the overall design of not only your fireplace but the entire room itself.

When looking to make both the fireplace mantel, surround and hearth cohesive, you will want to find sheets of tile that lean more toward a neutral or white with bits of gray and beige to disguise any soot or wood debris from the fireplace. This lovely geometrical pattern provides a good contrast with the rest of the room.

Glass doors are fashionable and functional. Pinterest

Add Glass Doors

Nothing says cozy on a cold winter’s night than a cozy fire, but it is not something that should be taken lightly. Wood fires that are left unattended could be very unsafe, and the only way to leave a wood fire closed off is with a pair of glass doors.

If you have a working wood fireplace, consider a fashionable yet functioning set of doors as an accessory to your room’s focal point. Doors can come in a variety of standards that can fit in any firebox opening.

Salvage materials like bricks can be a charming addition. Pinterest

A Salvage Mantel

When considering other elements to add to your fireplace mantel, think about how to treat the hearth. The shelf is the architectural anchor to the room it is in, but the hearth is the heart of the fireplace. A charming brick treatment like the one pictured here can also be a beautiful touch.

If you find a salvage mantel or materials you want to use for your project, you will want to find one that has a functional shelf on which you will be able to display your prized possessions and decorations. Refurbishing a project can help new materials find new purpose, and they could be a great talking piece at your next dinner party or gathering.

Vintage wood provides classic charm. Pinterest

Vintage Wood Mantels

While there are several mantels at salvage yards that are mass-produced, you can find gorgeous pieces to create your own handmade pieces for your living spaces. Consider the age and style of your home when you are picking out what kind of mantel to include.

For example, if your style is Greek Revival, you may want to pick pieces for a mantel that has squared-off corners and dentil moldings. If you are unsure of what kind of style your home is, try to match details with the interior moldings that are located around the room.

Fireplaces real or fake do not have to just be in the living room. Love Grows Wild

Bedroom Mantel

Not all mantels are meant for the living room. Some homeowners have created some unique spaces for their master bedroom. This rustic mantel is designed with a clean and polished look. The pocket holes allowed all the pieces to be attached from the back with hidden screws.

In discovering the shape and structure of the mantel, this one, in particular, featured a few more decorative elements than one for a living room. To add these details, you can visit the wood trim section of your local hardwood store.

Farmhouse decor is a popular option. Pinterest

Barn Inspirations

Another contemporary style is taking some design elements that may have been popular in rural homes or the west and mixing it with other design aesthetics. The coastal decorating look here is achieved by a sandy palette and incorporating gentle hues of blues and greens. This beachy country chic is something to take note of.

You can have a lot of fun, incorporating different kinds of designs within your living space. You do not have to just go with one or the other. Mixing and matching what you think looks good can be a great way to play with ideas and finding something that speaks for you.

Box beam mantels can be hung on any kind of wall. Pinterest

Box Beam Mantel

If you have a wall that is exposed brick, it can be difficult to hang anything. But that does not mean it is impossible! The box beam mantel can provide the needed space and look that you are going for in that room.

One thing to take note is that if you are hanging corbels, you should hang them first before securing the mantel to the wall. Many corbels are equipped with a keyhole hanging mechanism that needs to move up to slip over the necessary screw.

Stone fireplace with a large wooden mantel is wow factors in any room. This Mamas Dance

Stone Fireplace

A stoned fireplace is immediately impressive, and in order for you to incorporate this do-it-yourself project into your home, you would need to make sure that there is a platform for the firebox to sit on.

You can also build the fireplace out of reclaimed wood with boards that are about one foot thick. When you are setting up the stones for the fireplace face, be sure to choose the size and colors that you need to match the rest of the room.

Simple can be just as elegant as a complex project. Blue Roof Design

A Simplistic Design

If you are new to the do-it-yourself scene or this is one of your first projects, you can still find a simple design to help build your skills. This mantel is made up of pine boards that were buffed and then attached to the wall with studs.

The top was then secured after the other pieces were put into place. When using pine, you may have to putty knot holes to achieve a more clean and polished look. After your primer, choose a color that best suits your interior.

Basic boards are quick and easy to assemble. Thrifty Decor Chick

Basic Boards

Here is another simple design for a do-it-yourself mantel piece assembled with basic baseboards that can be purchased from hardware stores. The design is easy, with one board across the top, mitered at the corners, and then two side pieces descending downward.

The middle section was also simple to make, with a bunch of 42-inch boards nailed in place. The size comes to about 12 feet in length and 5.25 inches wide. This project is perfect for the novice designer wanting to add something new to the room.

Shutters are perfect frames for fireplaces. Stone Gable

Repurposed Shutters

After assembling your dream fireplace mantel comes the fun part in figuring how to decorate the new space! One of the easiest and popular options is finding repurposed shutters to frame the center of the mantelpieces.

This farmhouse look is warm and welcoming. You can also paint the shutters to match the mantel or add a pop of color. You can often find these shutters in thrift stores, yard sales, or other places for next to nothing.

Windows repurposed for fireplaces are worth looking through. Shabby Chic Cottage

Window Settings

Another unconventional and decorative way to jazz up your mantel space is to reuse an older style window as a centerpiece. Windows have been used in several do-it-yourself projects, and they make a great way to draw attention to the focal point in the room.

The trend can be easily adapted to most kinds of spaces. You can also find the windows in salvage yards, yard sales and other places for cheap. Also, consider using other elements into your decorating. This example also uses an antique birdcage for its faux fireplace feel.

Let your mantel tell your story with trinkets from your past. Setting For Four

Travel Trinkets

While the mantel is often used to display family photographs, it is not the only way to immortalize your memories. In addition to pictures from your family vacations, you can also show off little trinkets and treasures from your travels.

Whether it be seashells from the beach on your honeymoon, balls from collected driftwood, or pieces of concrete from the place where you became engaged, the personalized touch can be a nice touch and a great conversation starter for your guests.

The repurposed fences are open for all kinds of possibilities. Pinterest


Another recycled approach to redecorating your mantel would be the placement of an old piece of fence. Just like other decoration ideas, this repurposed item can be picked up for next to nothing at yard sales and salvage yards.

The great thing about this idea is that it is an unconventional way to bring the farmhouse look to your living space. It could be paired with a rustic mantel or other rural aesthetics like this star to tie the room together.

Wicker is excellent for those who want to make their own statement. Pinterest

Wicker Baskets

If you are wanting to make a statement piece that is off-the-wall and easy to construct, consider putting all your ideas in one basket — a wicker basket that is! This neat idea can be picked up and executed quite easily. All it takes is the right kind of fasteners, and you are good to go!

You can pair this idea with fake greenery and wreaths for another take on the rustic look. You can also use similar colored wicker baskets along the sides to bring the whole aesthetic together. It will be something different and unique to offer in your living space!

Mixing and matching different items can be part of the decorating fun. Pinterest

Lots Of Layers

When accessorizing your fireplace mantel, an excellent rule to follow is finding pieces that layer well together. A well-dressed shelf incorporates items that you already own and a few more to create dimension.

Trust your eye when you are positioning each piece and hanging the items on the wall behind the fireplace. You want to freshen it up to your ideas but still leave room for seasonal additions or other things you may want to add when the inspiration strikes.

Plants are simple things to add to your space. Pinterest

Easy Being Green

A great way to liven up your fireplace is to add artificial or fresh greens to the mantel or nearby the hearth. A couple of palms or vines may be just what you need to brighten up the spot and welcome any living room.

One great reason to use greens in decorating is that it never goes out of style. You can use moss terrariums, potted plants, succulents, or others to take your mantel to the next level. Feel free to also add the greens to the side for a new, natural look.

Have your mantel say something, literally, with chalkboard art. Pinterest

Chalkboard Art

One of the latest trends brings back something from old school days and puts them in a whole new perspective. Chalkboards have become a fashionable addition to kitchens and mudrooms, and they have now made their way into above the fireplace as well.

The great thing about this idea is that chalkboard can be purchased at any arts and craft store for cheap. You can place it above the mantel with an inspirational quote or inside a faux fireplace as this homeowner did for a quaint and cheeky look.

Your fireplace should reflect who you are as a person. Pinterest

Make It Your Own

If you feel like your fireplace or living room is lacking something, then you can find tons of inspiration in the making over your mantel. The great thing about investing in your home is that it can help you fall in love with your residence all over again.

Take pride in what you have and construct something using any number of ideas from this list. It will also give you the chance to relive your intuitiveness each time guests come over and compliment your creativity.