Curbly Original
Amazing Fall Decor Ideas for Every Style, Budget, and Room

A cozy fall scene with a plaid blanket, hot chocolate, and fall leaves on a wood tray

It may or may not feel like it yet where you live, but I'm sure you don't need to be told that summer is nearing its last days. After a long, hot season, many of us are ready for cooler weather, colorful leaves, hay mazes, and apple picking. It can be fun to bring some of that fall flair into your home decor, too. So whether you want just a touch of fall decor, or want to kick summer to the curb and go all in with your fall decorations, we have tons of ideas for ways to turn your home into a celebration of autumn.          

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Curbly Original
Easy Mantel Idea: Colorful Paper Tree Forest

by Faith Provencher
Easy Mantel Idea: Colorful Paper Tree Forest | By Curbly #diy #paper #christmas
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Ever since I built a mantel a couple of years ago, I'm always on the hunt for fun new ways to decorate it. So as I browsed the paper aisle at my local craft store, it hit me - a folded paper tree forest! I'm a big fan of non-traditional colors, so I bought a few of my favorites and got to work. Click through to check out the full tutorial.   

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Curbly Original
Charming Paper Flowers for Your Spring Mantel Decor

by Faith Towers

Curbly Original: Charming Paper Flower Easter Mantel

Photo: Faith Towers

Now that springtime has officially arrived, that means that those of us who celebrate Easter are probably starting to think about decorating our homes for the holiday. My mantel has been empty since I removed my winter décor, so it was begging for some festive embellishments. So I whipped up a few paper flowers to add some beautiful pastels to the room. Click through to find out how to make your own paper flower Easter...

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Curbly Original
How To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel from Scratch!

by Faith Provencher
How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

I recently tackled a big project for my dining room - a DIY wooden mantel - and today, I'm pretty excited to share the process with you. If you have a fireplace without much character like mine used to be, this project might be the perfect solution for you. And let me be clear ... I only have basic woodworking know-how, so this is feasible for anybody with a bit of crafty know-how and a willingness to try. Click through to check out the new mantel and to find out how to make one yourself.   

 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

The mantel gives the fireplace more presence in the room, creating a beautiful focal point on which to add seasonal decorations. The dark accent wall has such a unique vibe that the tiny fireplace felt lost against it. Not anymore! 

 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's what you'll need for this project:

 

  • Lumber (see below)
  • White latex paint
  • Tape measure
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Paintbrush 
  • Hammer
  • 1" nails
  • Awl (not pictured)
  • Wood glue
  • 5" wood screws (not pictured)
  • Electric screwdriver
  • DAP Alex Fast Dry Caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • Miter box (not pictured)
  • Dremel Saw-Max or similar (not pictured)

Begin by cutting all of your wood. Please note that you may need to adjust the measurements if you already have existing trim around your fireplace or if it is much larger or smaller.

The larger moulding was 3" wide when measured on the diagonal (since it is crown moulding) and the smaller moulding is 1" wide. The measurements shown on the white pieces are taken on the top and side (so the bottom measurement will be longer due to the 45° cut).

Make sure to account for about 1/8" that will turn into sawdust when you make your cuts. Use the miter box to cut all of the angles that are noted with a 45° above. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Here's some of the lumber leaning against the wall (y'know, just lounging) to give you an idea of how everything will be laid out. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

We'll assemble the front face of the mantel first. Arrange the 57.5x7.5" piece and the 35x9.25" pieces as shown in the image below. Use two pieces of scrap wood (about 3x10") to attach the pieces together. Apply wood glue to the back of it and then flip it over so it spans the distance between the two pieces. Hammer in two nails on each side as shown below, and then repeat for the opposite side of the mantel face. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Next, lay out the side pieces. You'll notice that some of my pieces have small notches in the corners - these are to compensate for the strange construction of our fireplace which was built back in 1830. I also made notches to accommodate for the moulding because I didn't want to remove it for fear of ruining the accent wall. You may need to do this as well, but it will depend on your particular moulding. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

The 44x3.5" pieces will go on the outsides, while the 35x2.75" pieces will go on the inner parts of the sides. The 40x2.75" will go horizontally between them. Glue everything in place and all them to dry for a couple of hours.

Flip the mantel over and glue the moulding down as shown below. You will need something to prop up the larger piece of moulding so that it does not fall off while it's drying (I used a cardboard box).   

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Hammer in a couple of nails along the bottom of the moulding to make sure that it is secure. Use an awl to ensure that it goes in all the way without denting the moulding with the hammer. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Move the mantel to an upright position. Apply the small pieces of moulding to each side and glue them in place. Use blue painter's tape to keep them in place while they dry. This includes the moulding up by the top of the mantel, the one pictured, and the pieces around each base. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Now it's time to put the top surface on. Attach it with a healthy dose of glue. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Sand everything thoroughly.

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

If there are any gaps between pieces that shouldn't be there (mine were mostly in the corners), fill them in with the DAP caulk and smooth it out with a paper towel. Let it dry for half an hour.

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Now it's time to paint! I used a basic white paint and primer combo from Behr. It will most likely take two coats because you're painting bare wood ... let it dry for a few hours in between coats. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

The last step is to attach it to the wall. Apply wood glue to every back surface that touches the wall, and then move it into place. Insert a couple of 5" wood screws through the front of the mantel and into the wall behind. Screw them in so they are flush with the front surface. Cover them with DAP caulk, sand and touch up with a bit of paint. Let the glue dry for a couple of hours before you place anything on the mantel.

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

And you're finished! It's not the quickest project, but it makes such a huge difference. And now you can go decorate it for the holidays, which is pretty much the whole point of a mantel, right?!

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

You could even make one of these if you don't have a fireplace at all, and attach it to a bare wall. Then you can get creative with the faux fireplace area inside (perhaps using an arrangement of candles). 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

There are lots of different types of moulding available too, so feel free to dress it up in any way you'd like. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

You could also stain it instead of painting it if you prefer a more natural look. 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Photo: Faith Towers

Happy woodworking everyone!

 

How-To: Elegant DIY Wooden Mantel
Share this article on Pinterest! [Photo: Faith Towers]

 

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Curbly Original
IKEA Hack: How to Make a Simple Mantel from a Wood Shelf

by Lexy Ward

IKEA Hack: How to Make a Simple Mantel from a Wood Shelf

For me, a mantel is a must. Where else will I share all my fave holiday decor items and hang the garlands?! Our new apartment came with a fireplace, but no mantel above! Crazy, right? I wasn't about to enter the holiday season without one, so decided to make my own with a piece of plywood found at IKEA and some other basic pieces of hardware!      

 

 

Look at that top photo. Isn't it just sad and empty? We were definitely in need of a special space-filler. Like this!

 

Here's how to make it:

DIY Wooden Mantel

1. Materials 

  • plywood the length of the fireplace (mine was a the IKEA Ekby plywood shelf)
  • wood corbels (various sizes and shapes found at your local hardware store, mine are 6.5" x 4" basic corbels)
  • wood stain
  • washcloth
  • 4 long metal screws 
  • 2 drywall anchors
  • drill

2. Start by staining the large piece of wood. It's easier to apply the stain evenly when you use a washcloth instead of a paint brush. Do as many coats as your heart desires until you've reached the desired shade. Once stained and dried, paint a thin layer of clear polyurethane seal over the surface. Allow 24 hours to dry completely.

3. Stain the corbels following the same steps in step 2.

DIY Wooden Mantel

4. Prop the long piece of plywood over one of the corbels. Use a pencil to mark where you will drill two holes. 

5. After you've marked the holes, use a drill to create two small holes the size of your screws.

6. Attach the plywood and corbel together by drilling two long screws into the top of the plywood.

7. Follow steps 4-6 to attach the second corbel. Use a measuring tape so that each corbel is attached the same distance from the ends of the plywood.

DIY Wooden Mantel

8. Corbels attached! Now it's time to hang the mantel!

DIY Wooden Mantel

9. The corbels come with mounting hardware already attached to the back. Using a measuring tape, measure the distance between each corbel and mark that same distance on your wall. Use a level to keep it straight! 

10. Mark the two holes where you will be drilling screws for the corbels. 

11. Drill a hole over each marked spot. Place a drywall anchor in each hole and then drill the screws in, but not all the way. They'll need to be slightly away from the wall to allow the corbels to hang on them.

12. Hang the mantel! Gently line up the backs of the corbels with the two screws in the wall and press firmly to attach. Use a level to make sure the mantel is hanging straight.

DIY Wooden Mantel
Once the mantel is hung, style as you see fit! I've had a few chalkboard frames laying around that will be showcasing my favorite lettering this fall. Can't wait to share later on!

Much, MUCH better. Don't you think? Our apartment feels a bit more complete and home-y! Mantels come in all shapes and sizes and typically cost a pretty penny. After all was said and done, I paid less than $40 including all the supplies! I call that a win. 

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