My mantel has always driven me nuts. Our house was built in 1999 and back then TVs were still those big boxes that you needed a hole to put it in. Our mantle had too many things going on and I could never figure out what to do with it. So last year I did a little DIY fireplace mantel makeover. This was my first big DIY home project. I still have ideas on changing it again but for now it works and it was a cheap fix. I know you’re dying to know what it looked like before, so here it is:
The bottom left cut out was originally for a TV. How people can sit and watch TV that is that low to the ground seems so weird now. I had put a shower rod and a fabric curtain up to hide all the toys behind it but that’s the only thing I had done. The top left housed our large stereo system, cassette player and all… mind you, we still have this hidden in a cabinet to use with our outside speakers!! Shhh, we are really old school!
The top right was an inset in a weird shape for who knows what. Then we have the fireplace that hasn’t been used in 10 years. I would love to have an insert with a switch to turn it on but I have to prioritize what I can talk my hubby into spending money on and that is on the bottom of my list.
I put out the question to friends and asked for ideas on what I could do. The idea that I thought I could take on was to cover up the two insets on top!
Here’s what I did. I bought a big piece of foam at Lowe’s and had them cut it to the size that would cover up both insets. I then found some fabric I liked and used liquid nails to glue it on. You can check out my tutorial on how to do it here. You can use a glue gun or liquid nails. The quote is adhesive vinyl that I stuck on the fabric. I hung the whole thing up with Command Picture and Frame Hanging Strips.
I made the wood box and painted it with chalkboard tinted paint so my kids could write messages on it. The artificial flowers are all stuck in green foam so we can switch them up for holidays. I love hydrangeas and cala lilies so I had to put some of both in it.
Since we never used the fireplace I decided to cover it up with a chalkboard. I bought some plywood and had it cut to the size of the fireplace. I painted it with the same tinted chalkboard paint I used on the wooden box. I cut another piece of foam the size of the the board and glued it on. I cut out the foam where the handles of the fireplace so that it would sit back. My little one loves to draw on it all the time.
That’s it! What do you think??? I do have an idea of covering up the insets with long fence boards and then putting burlap over it with the quote on that but I have to pace myself and enjoy this one for the time being.
Here it is with a little Thanksgiving decor.