I've not always wanted a fireplace, though I'd enjoy one if we had one.
But, I've never understood why I couldn't have a mantel even if we didn't have a fireplace. Why should the two be mutually exclusive?
Well, they're not.
When we moved into our new home a year ago, I had already planned a mantel project in my head. Within a few weeks of living here, I painted the wall blue on a whim. Seriously. On a random Tuesday night I got a burst of energy and just painted the wall.
Once that was done, I talked to my grandpa about helping me follow through with my mantel project plan and last summer through fall, we finally got it done!
The process from start to finish took a few months. Time and energy played a big part (I was working through my first trimester filled with wonderful fatigue and nausea).
But in the end, I'm so happy with it.
I'll spare you the initial steps, ya know, like measuring, shopping for the wood and all that. Basically, Grandpa had some spare wood in his shop for the end pieces and front beam.
By the way, this is how my Grandpa organizes his screws and such, using baby food jars. He's so smart.
Grandpa and I went together to purchase the wood planks from Menards for the top and the bottom. Shopping at Menards was fun with Grandpa!
|(Don't mind the old mattress in our garage...)|
I had a couple different stains to choose from, but I settled on the one I liked and got to work. For those concerned, yes I did wear a mask to protect babe and me from the fumes.
I ended up doing two coats, no top coat, though. I wanted it to look rustic.
Once I made the call to Grandpa that I was happy with the stain job, he came over so we could mount it on the wall. (This was when I got really excited. It was all really happening!)
We left the bottom off so we could secure the back to the wall into the studs.
Then Grandpa did a fine job of attaching the bottom beam.
I was so happy that it was done in plenty of time for Thanksgiving and especially . . . Christmas.
I couldn't wait to hang our stockings from it and marvel in our handy work!
I'm very happy with how our living room wall looks and especially the mantel. It means so much more that my grandpa and I were able to make it together. I told our realtor that if we ever move, I'm taking it off the wall and it's going with us.
I'm not kidding.