Thursday, February 14, 2013

diy fireplace mantel and surround

Boy howdy, I'm tired.  I'm always thrilled when Valentines Day is over.  It means I've made it through one of the busiest few weeks of my life and now I can begin the recovery process.  The first couple weeks of February include two of my kids birthdays plus a holiday, so add all that up and you can only guess how nuts it becomes around here.  This year, to add to the chaos, I decided to add in a diy project just for kicks.  And finally today, I declare myself finished (except for a couple of minuscule things that need to get done, but may have to wait until I feel like it!).

When we moved into this house nine years ago, I hated the builder grade fireplace mantel and surround.  It was blah, blah, blah and the mantel part itself was very shallow.  I've had rebuilding it on my list ever since then and with the help of my amazingly talented mom, it is now done and I love it.

Here is a picture of what it used to look at.  Boring, no?


So, my mom and I took some hammers and crowbars to it and started demo.  (fyi- demo is hard.  It is not nearly as fun as it looks on t.v.  It is messy and loud and stuff it always harder to remove than you think it will be.)


We ripped the mantel down to the bare bones and replace the nasty beige cheap-o tile with some gorgeous 16x16 travertine tiles.  We had to really shim up one section to make sure the tiles set perfectly level.


Here is is after grout.


We used a lot of different pieces of wood and mdf (medium density fiberboard) to build this thing.  Some of it was purchased from Home Depot, but the most decorative parts (foot piece, thick mantel chunk, and shelf holder things- I'm so in the know with wood terms!) were purchased at Rejuvenation.


Finally, we got to the real building of the mantel.  This was the most fun part of the entire project.  We didn't really know exactly what it was going to look like when we started, all we knew was that we were going for a craftsman look and wanted it to be substantial.  Plus, I wanted the mantel top to be 12 inches deep.


And, after lots of sanding, caulking and painting we have a beautiful finished product.  I'm very happy with the results.  The deeper mantel shelve makes decorating easier and the entire thing is a more appealing focal point for the room.








A big shout out goes to my mom for helping me out.  She is the bomb-diggity when it comes to making something blah into something beautiful.  That little lady has got a lot of talent.  And, a special thanks to Wes for doing a fabulous wood filler/sanding job.  Thanks babe!

As for my next project?  I've got several things on my list, but for now I'm taking a little breather.  This crafty girl has got to rest up before she tackles another diy project.


  1. Nice Job Steph! I love your mom, she is one talented lady, and looks like her children are too! I'm sure Amber is itching to change our fireplace too!

  2. We've been hearing about it for weeks! It is absolutely beautiful! Your Mom is amazing!

  3. Stephanie I love your blog!!! I saw it on Kelly's and decided to check it out - hope you don't mind. :) You are such a great writer! I love hearing your views and stories! Such an interesting blog! And you are super talented! Your projects turn out amazing!! And I totally understand your sleep posts!!! And I love your "Get in shape posts." and I could comment on just about all of your posts! So many of them made me laugh! And nod in agreement... You have such a beautiful family! I love that you can capture the fun of your personalities in your photos!!!

  4. Thank you Trina! I'm very happy to have you stop by. :)

  5. Outstanding job! I am so impressed. What a transformation. Thank you for sharing! For some of my favorite fireplace mantels please check out