When we first bought our house I was excited that we had a fireplace but one thing it very much lacked was a mantle. It was floor to ceiling brick, and while I do like brick it definitely needed something to lighten it up a bit. My wonderful husband built it all himself. Here is what we did, it may not be the most “right” way to do it, but this is how we did it.
This is the before
At first I drew out a sketch of what I wanted it to look like, then I took chalk and drew an outline on the brick of how big and where I wanted the mantle. Then my hubby took the measurements and purchased mdf and made a frame like so:
he first made two columns like so
This is a close-up of the column
It is hollow inside and the back side does not have a board
He then added another board to the front and and on top between the columns
After this my husband finished when I wasn’t home so I didn’t get pictures of the rest but its very simple, you just take a longer and wider piece of mdf and and if you have router you can finish off the edge with the router bit of your choice.
Then add a piece of crown molding between that piece of mdf and the frame, add a baseboard to the bottom and add molding to your desired design.
Give it a coat of primer and paint, attach to the wall and add caulk around it.
And because i love taking pictures here is some more.
I really need to get a coffee table.
Here are some of the nick-nacks I have on the mantle right now.