As promised, here is the tutorial for how the floating fireplace mantle from yesterday’s post was (finally!) hung.
*This post contains affiliate links.
First of all, it was rather heart warming to know that Scott and I weren’t really that off in our initial trial of hanging the beam. We actually had the right sort of idea going- just with the wrong bolts. Ours were way, way too short and weren’t anchored properly into the brick. Luckily, I had asked my dad to come help Scott work on some house stuff while I treated my mother to a garden tour (so fun!!). He was kind enough to oblige and I had told both men that the mantle was my number one thing on my list of things to have. They thought that was kind of funny (seeing as though we have a whole HOUSE full of projects that they could have worked on) but they did it. Here’s how to install a floating mantle!
- Wood beam (we got ours at a local home salvage store)
- Skilsaw to cut beam length to size if needed
- Drill (we used the Dewalt cordless drill)
- Masonry drill bits
- Lag bolts & shields set – I recommend 2″ long at least
- Liquid nails and caulking gun
- White caulk and caulking gun
- Long level
They were also both kind enough to take photos for me to post on here. I took my camera on the garden tour with me but these were taken by my dad and Scott on their iPhones. It makes my heart smile to think of the two of them hanging out, working on projects and reminding each other to take photos for this little blog of mine. 🙂 <3
They started by removing the bolts that Scott and I had installed into the brick last time. I thought they were in there pretty good but luckily my dad was able to unscrew them from the brick.
Since there were already holes at the far ends from where the old mantle had been hung before, they decided to use those holes and measure out additional holes across the stretch where the mantle would be. They predrilled 2″ long holes into the brick, using the 5/16 masonry drill bit, then pushed lag shields into the holes.
The Lag shields were important to have because once they are in the predrilled hole, a lag bolt is able to slip inside of them and be tightened, ensuring that they won’t fall out (like one of ours did). The lag shield itself looks like this when installed:
They ended up installing 5 lag bolts all together to ensure the weight was evenly distributed.
Then they measured and drilled holes into the back of the mantle so they would match with the lag bolts and be able to slide into place.
Of course they measured perfectly and the bolts matched right up! The holes were super tight (which is good) so they ended up spending about 20 minutes or so getting the mantle pushed in. My dad had the super smart idea of getting a piece of scrap wood (surprise there’s a pile in like every room of our house!) and holding it against the mantle and hitting it with a sledgehammer. They would hammer one side about an inch in, then the other, then the middle, then back to the other side and so on until it was almost all the way pushed in. Since they were hammering the scrap wood, not the mantle, there was no damage at all.
They also used liquid nails in the holes the bolts were going into so there was extra insurance that it would stay put. Scott said they used an entire bottle on those five holes! That mantle is not going anywhere!!!
Of course they made sure it was perfectly level before, during and after installation! 🙂
Once it was proven level and super sturdy (trust me, that mantle isn’t going anywhere!) dad finished off the seal with white caulk so the seam would be pretty (my words not his :P).
Then there was pondering and admiring of the beauty of the beam turned mantle. Scott was serious and manly. I, on the other hand, might have kissed it secretly. I definitely did some happy dances. And decorated it as soon as I had some free time. 🙂
Speaking of decorating- I showed you all yesterday the garland I made. When I was laying in bed, thinking of how I would style my mantle (seriously), I realized that most the things on there would be brown and blue. I like those colors but I am a girl and like bright, feminine colors too! So I decided to use some scrap book paper to make a garland. Super easy 10 minute project. I’ll show you. 🙂
Pick colors of paper you like. At first I tried to coordinate, but then I just started getting greedy and grabbing things. There is a mix of card stock, paper and card board in mine.
I gathered my supplies- paper, a circle punch, and wine. Yes, wine is a supply for sure! 😉
Use the punch to cut your circles out while you are watching Wife Swap. Or a highly educational program. Whatever you are in to is fine. I didn’t want the same patterns and colors next to each other so I made sure to mix the pile up before I started sewing.
After this…I used a sewing machine to stitch them all together. I wish I had a better way to explain it but I basically pulled my thread so there would be a “tail” at the end, and then started sewing. At first I would stop sewing and lift the needle foot between each single dot. That took way too long so I basically used one hand to push the circle through and the other hand to grab the next one in line and shove it in. Way easier. And it ended up looking great to me!
And that’s it! Easy AND cute. Win/win. Of course as pretty as my garland is it can only be second to the REAL star of the show…my precious mantle. My precioussssssssssss.
(Special thanks to my dad and Scott for their hard work and for all the photos!)