My fall mantel is usually my favorite mantel of the entire year and this one is NO exception! I LOVE how it turned out and I had some much fun adding some DIY wood building projects to it this year to give it lots of character.
I built the rustic wood pumpkins too (tutorial here) and don’t forget you can attend a free workshop at your local Home Depot store TOMORROW, Thursday September 17 at 6:30 to get hands-on instruction on how to make your own wood pumpkins – register and get more information here.
I LOVE the colors of fall. But I also decorate with a lot of white which mixed with the rich browns and oranges of fall just makes them pop even more.
I went a bit simpler with my mantel this year – the top is really just 4 items but I love how it fills up the whole space. I will give sources for everything at the end of the post.
The pumpkins and mums just make me smile! They are so cute! I want to use them on my front porch this year but I hate to move them from my mantel – I may just have to make another one!
Ok, so let me show you real quick how I made the barn wood shutters.
I totally did this on a whim the day I was finalizing my mantel. I picked up the larger white window at the Habitat Restore for $10 a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to use it on my mantel. BUT the 2 old white shutters I had and tried up there were just way too white. So I searched for some ideas on Pinterest and realized that I could probably make some DIY shutters and stain them dark which would bring in the color that I needed. I literally pulled out some scrap wood in the garage and 3 hours later had wood shutters up on my mantel!
Here is what I used but there is really no wrong or right way to do this. You can do your shutters in any width or height that you wish. Adjust them to fit the space that you intend to use them or work with whatever board you have on hand. My shutters are 3 foot high and 14 inches wide.
I used 1 inch by 5 inch boards that I got at Home Depot. I can’t find them online and I got them a while ago for a project that I never ended up doing, but I think they were with the project boards. These 1 x 4 x8 foot boards would work just fine too and they are only $1.99 each for an 8 foot piece! You would need 3 of them.
You could also use these 1 in x 3 in. x 8 foot boards and do 4 boards across instead of the 3 I used. If you did 4 boards across you would need 4 of these boards.
Or for the least amount of cuts or waste in lumber you could buy 3 of these boards 1 in x 4 in x 6 ft boards and use every inch. They are only 6 feet long so cut in half they would be exactly 3 foot and you would need 3 total boards cut into 6 pieces to make 3 board wide shutters.
My boards were already cut into 4 foot pieces so I cut 1 foot off each board with my miter saw. That left me with 6 total boards at 3 foot long.
The cross pieces are 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 foot pine boards which are super cheap and you will need 2 of these (If you do my exact measurements you will only use about 2 foot of the 2nd board. But this is a very versatile board I use to secure all kinds of things – it is used on the back of the wood pumpkins too.)
So since I had paint/stain on hand already this project only cost $8-10 for 2 shutters!
My shutters were 14 inches wide so I cut 4-14 inch pieces of the 1×2 board. I didn’t make mine go all the way to the edges but most barn shutters do. Make sure to account for leaving a bit of space in between each one of the longer boards. Then for the angled piece – I decided to make my horizontal pieces be 6 inches from the top and bottom so the angled piece is 2 foot long exactly. I cut the ends at a 22.5 inch angle to fit.
Then nail or screw it all into place! If you choose to use screws, I would drill pilot holes first so you don’t split your boards.
To stain them I used a mixture of Varathane Weathered Gray wood stain and Varathan Early American wood stain. I LOVE using Rustoleum (sold at Home Depot under the Varathane label) stain. It covers in ONE coat and dried in under an hour.
I first applied the Early American stain – this is one coat!
Then rubbed on a bit of the weathered gray stain to give it a bit of an aged look.
Once they were dry, I sanded them with my orbital sander. I also think sanding them helps to give them an aged look as well.
And here they are on my mantel! I just LOVE them! I think I am going to add the same 1×2 strips on the back and paint the back of the shutters white so they are reversible! Gotta love getting 2 looks in 1. You might just see the white ones pop up on a mantel soon. Again you could finish yours in however they fit in your décor – white, black, stained, turquoise, red…
They were the perfect finishing touch for my mantel. It’s so fun having two of my wood building projects featured right in my living room for me to see everyday. I have to admit I am LOVING working with wood and doing some basic building. It is slightly addictive in a good way!
We have had the most wonderful temperatures this week – 70 during the day and down to 50’s at night. I am so happy that it is finally feeling like fall!
Have you ever done any wood building projects? I would LOVE to see them – share them with me over on my facebook page or send me an email. If not – why not try some wood shutters or some wood pumpkins – these are a great starter project to make for you home with some basic tools.
Sources: DIY shutters, old window-Habitat Restore, wreath – yard sale find, wood pumpkins – DIY tutorial here, mums – Home Depot, red lantern – Pier 1 (details here), large basket – yard sale, plaid throw – Value Village find, brown pillow – Kirkland’s a few years ago, orange pillow – thrift store find, real pumpkins – Wal-mart.
Fall mantels in past years – click on picture for full post and more info: