There are so many darling things you can do with a mantel – but sadly I don’t have one. Actually – that is a lie. I do have one -
or should I say I have a half finished one that has been sitting uncompleted for about two years. sad right? and to make decorating matters worse – we went and stuck a big ole’ TV right above it so I couldn’t decorate it even if I wanted too.
But I didn’t let that ruin it for me! This past summer I did some painting and remodeling (Still working on some details before I reveal it) and along the wall in my living room I decided that I wanted a long shelf to use as a décor shelf/pretend mantel. Using crown molding, my pin nailer and the assistance of my hubby – I made my own shelf for about $20 – and it was super easy!
First you need to get your wood from a hardware store. I bought mine from Home Depot. The awesome people who work at Home Depot will cut the wood for you if you don’t have a saw - My shelf is 5 feet long and is made out of poplar - Poplar Wood is great for paint grade projects because it is really soft and easy to sand.
To make this exact shelf you will need:
8 feet of 5 1/4 inch crown molding
5 feet of poplar 7 1/4 inches wide
5 feet of poplar 4 1/2 inches wide
Mitre the ends of the long pieces on a 45 degree angle both ways – The top of your crown molding will measure 59 1/2 inches. If you are making your shelf bigger or smaller than five feet – your crown should be 1/2 inch shorter than the length of the the top board.
For the sides, you will need to mitre one left and one right at 45 degrees and the backs should be straight. The side pieces will be just long enough to cover the end of the bottom board (mine was 4 1/4 inches on the bottom and 7 inches on the top) When you cut your pieces you will see what I mean.
Your 5 foot piece is going to be sitting on TOP of the crown molding.
Lay your 5 foot piece on the ground – then using wood glue, glue your crown molding pieces to each other – then pin nail the crown together. The nails will hold your pieces in place until your glue dries.
Then glue and pin nail the crown molding to the 5 foot piece (the top).
Next, you want to put in your bottom piece – my bottom piece is 54 inches long – but you can measure from the inside of both crown pieces to get your exact measurement. Then just like before, you will want to glue the whole thing and pin nail it.
We also made corbels – but that is a post for another day (coming soon!) It is really detailed so it is best to have it all by itself.
Then fill your holes with wood filler and sand it down where needed -
(TIP: If you want to, caulk the seam from the crown to the top with paintable caulk – then your shelf will be totally seamless)
Then go ahead and paint it – I used Glidden Antique White. It is the same color as my wall and base and casing in my house. When it is dry, hang that baby up and get to decorating!
To Hang the Floating Shelf: The back of your shelf is hallow – so take a 2x4 that is cut to fit inside your shelf and laying it flat against the wall, find your studs and drill the 2x4 into the wall. Make sure your 2x4 is level!! put your shelf on the 2x4 and on the top – drill in screws – left, middle and right – The screws hold your shelf to the 2x4 and the 2x4 holds your shelf onto the wall!
I love it!! And love decorating it for each Holiday!! So be looking for more “Holiday Shelf Décor” posts from me!
P.S. Would it be helpful to have a tutorial for how to hang the shelf? Sometimes I wonder if other people can understand what I am saying! haha!
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