DIY + Projects

#DIYsWithClur: Floating Mantle

Hello! Glad you stopped by to read about my most recent DIY.

So I recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment. Super cute, decent size, I’m cool with it. One thing – it has a wood burning fireplace. A few thoughts continually run through my head when I think about a WOOD BURNING fireplace in an apartment complex.

1. I’m going to burn down the whole building.

2. Someone else is going to burn down the whole building.

3. S’mores, anyone?

4. If only it had a mantle I could decorate….

So here it is, in all of its plain, white, glory.

I’m really glad I tackled this project. I think it adds warmth to not only the wall, but the entire living room.

Usually a large chunk of wood would cost around $200, or I could search for a shelf that probably wouldn’t meet my design inspirations. I wanted a big piece of wood that looked like it was straight out of a barn or rail road tracks. So naturally, I turned it into a #DIYsWithClur.

The construction was pretty simple… I bought three 1″ x 8″ x 6′ and cut them down to about 5 1/2′. I’ll use the extra pieces to cover the ends later, or I might go down the wood veneer route and fake it 😉

I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out! A few (4) trips to the hardware store, lots of curse words, and a swollen finger from pour aim while hammering is all it took.

I threw (ok more like very gently placed, I’m still nervous about it) a few things on top – but I can’t wait to decorate it more! It definitely has come a long way.

Want to build your own floating mantle? Here’s how…


  • Three 1″ x 8″ x 6′ boards – I just got the cheapest kind. You could use pine or any kind but I’m trying to save $$!
  • Wood stain – I used Minwax Jacobean 2750
  • Rags / paper towels
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Sander or sand paper – I used ToolShop 1/4 sheet electric sander
  • Finishing nails – 1.5″
  • Some kind of saw – I used Stanley FatMax
  • Drill
  • Corner Brackets – got some at Walmart because hardware stores are not open late on Sunday nights 🙃
  • Toggle bolts


After you get the wood of your liking (I tried to pick out ones with cool markings,etc), beat em up! If you want them to look older or have more wear, use a hammer, nails, gravel, whatever you can find to tear em up a bit.

After I distressed the wood, I used my saw and cut them down to 5 and a half feet. (Don’t go off of my measuraments – unless your wall is the same length!)

I have never used a saw before. FYI.

I used the corner of my balcony as a stand to hold the wood. Guys – I am honestly faking it until I make it with this project. You just gotta make things work. I am not doing everything the correct way- oh well!

After I cut them down, it was time to stain. Should have I sanded before I stained? Probably. *shrug* That’s probably one of my favorite parts about DIYing, there are no rules to follow 🙂


After they dried, I sanded out a few places and the ends to make them smoother. Don’t go too crazy! It’s hard though, because like, electric sanders are so fun to use.

I then took two of the sides and put them upright while putting the ‘outer’ piece on top. I then nailed away and probably made all of my neighbors hate me. *shrug*

And unknown to me, I was not almost done. *sweat smile* *insert cursing and frustration*

After this, things got ugly. I was drilling holes with too small of a bit and widening with a screw driver kind of ugly. I had to FaceTime my dad while in Walmart at 9:30 PM because who the hell knows what a toggle bolt is and how to use them??? The toggle bolt screw heads were too small for the corner bracket holes and a washer wasn’t anywhere in sight. Or at Target. Or at Super Saver. BACK to Walmart I went and finally found some washers.

I ran into many difficulties figuring out how to secure the wood on the wall. I went with some corner brackets and slide the mantle’s open back onto them.

I am still working on the end pieces to close out the whole mantle. I will either use excess wood or fake it with wood veneers!

The finished product is a chunky mantle that warms up my blank apartment and I can’t wait to decorate!

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