Building a Mantel Shelf!

Eeekkk!  Can you hear the excitement?  I just built my first mantel shelf from scratch.  I mean my first build project period.  What a sense of accomplishment, to build something out of raw wood.

How to Build a Mantle Shelf


I purchased a  2 x 6 x 8, 1 x 8 x 8 and decorative molding.  I had Lowe’s cut the large pieces in half so I could make 2 of these shelves, and it is easier to fit into the car.

supplies needed for a Mantle Shelf


I trimmed down the 2 x 6 x 4 so it would be the same distance on the 3 sides of the 2 x 8 x 4.  Meaning, make both pieces of wood flush on the back side, measure the distance from the front top piece to the front bottom piece.  I think mine was 1.75 and I made sure that my sides were the same distance.

tools needed to build a Mantle Shelf

I used my favorite tools to secure my wood pieces together.   I used Gorilla wood glue and then place a few screws with my Ryobi compact drill to help hold things together.  I did use some wood clamps until all things were dry.

Gorilla Wood Glue for a Mantle Shelf-

Ryobi compact drill to build a Mantle Shelf-


Next was to cut and add the trim pieces, this is where I needed help.  I have never cut a 45 degree angle with the table saw, and needed Mr. DD’s help.  I wish I would of paid more attention in shop class.  Yes, I took shop class in middle school, not because that’s where the boys were, but because I wanted to learn how to use tools.  I have a very talented father who built things and uses tools all of the time and I think I wanted to be handy like him.  I think I have inherited his talents, thanks Dad!  I think I can do this the next time, thanks honey!

Minwax stainable wood filler

Once we cut the trim pieces, I used Gorilla Wood Glue and some finishing nails to secure in place.  I countersunk and filled nail holes with my Minwax 42853 Stainable Wood Filler, 16-Ounce.

Minwax stain products used to stain a Mantle Shelf-


Now to make this mantel shelf pretty.  Before I stain any wood, I always use Minwax 61500 Pre Stain Wood Conditioner, 1 Quart  The wood conditioner helps the wood take the stain evenly and prevents blotchiness.  I used Minwax Dark Walnut as my stain color.  I love the look of the dark wood.

spray painting the brackets for  a Mantle Shelf-


I spray painted the metal brackets black.

Building a Mantle Shelf-


Isn’t she so pretty?  Now she is ready to go to my shop and be decorated.

decorating a mantel shelf ~


I love to decorate mantels and change them for the seasons, and I needed a mantel shelf at my shop so I can decorate for our customers.  Do you have a mantel in your home?  If you have a mantle, do you change it often or do you do it once and forget it?

signature gradual grey

Mantle Shelf-pinnable

3 Responses to Building a Mantel Shelf!

  1. Dede,

    Thanks for this tutorial. I really like to learn more about working with tools and getting my hands into more home improvement projects instead of paying an arm and a leg to get it done.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Gobble gobble!!!!


  2. I love it!!! I want to make one but I’m trying to convince dear hubby. I even showed him yours! I think I got him where I want him now. A mantel may be foreseeable in the near future. Perhaps before turkey day!

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