Christmas Crafts, Handmade Holiday Cards & Gifts

Easily Construct a Faux Mantel for the Holidays

Not everyone has a fireplace mantel for hanging stockings, so why not make one? This shelf is easy to build with some basic tools and can be customized in color, style and size to fit any family and decorating taste.

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Materials Needed:

  • 36" x 8" pine board (back)
  • 36" x 4-1/2" pine board (shelf)
  • 6' length of chunky crown molding
  • 1-1/2" wood screws (4)
  • D-ring hangers (2)
  • clear adhesive-backed spacers (4)
  • cabinet knobs or hooks (4)
  • desired paint finish and color (and primer, if necessary)
  • 2" sash brush
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • wood filler
  • brad nailer or hammer and 3/4" brad nails
  • miter saw or hand saw and miter box
  • drill and driver bits
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • router and decorative router bit (optional)
  • safety glasses

Cut and Rout Boards

Cut pine boards to size or have them cut at a local hardware store. If routed edges are desired, use router bit in desired design (ogee bit was used for this project), rout both sides and front of top of shelf (36-inch x 4/5-inch board). For back of shelf, start routed edge approximately 1 inch down on both sides to allow for crown molding. Rout front of both sides and bottom of back board. Sand edges and faces of each board. Tip: Routing is optional and the shelf will still look great without it. Thin detail trim can always be glued or tacked onto shelf edges for additional detail.

Join Shelf and Back

Lay shelf with top side down and front facing away from you. Stand back of shelf on top end with front facing away. Tack into place with brad nails. Reorient shelf on work surface, so back of shelf is flat and shelf is hanging off surface. Drill four pilot holes sized to wood screws through back of shelf into shelf. Insert four wood screws to securely join boards.

Cut Molding

Use miter saw or miter box to cut molding to 36-inch lengths with both sides beveled and mitered in. Cut return piece to join molding to shelf for both sides. Sand cut edges smooth with 100-grit sandpaper. Tip: Cutting crown molding isn't as simple as cutting a 45-degree angle. It needs to be beveled, as well. The saw or miter box should come with a guide to follow for outside left and outside right cuts, which were used for this shelf.

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