How to Build and Hang a Mantel on a Stone Fireplace

Hey guys! I have been dying to share this tutorial with you all! I built and installed this mantel for about $100!

Rustic-DIY-Mantel

Open Concept on HGTV Fireplace

This is a project that I have had planned since we were building our house but it seemed like it was going to be such a pain and I was worried that I would mess something up and ruin our stone so I put it off. I finally couldn’t take it anymore. The blank space over the fireplace seemed to be getting bigger and bigger so I stopped all of my projects and focused on this.

I wish I had done it sooner, it was SOOOO EASY! I’ll show you how I built the mantel and attached it to the stone! If you have built our floating shelves, it’s basically the same idea.

My mantel is 61 1/2″ long but this can be easily modified to fit your space!

Supplies:

1 – 1x10x8

2 – 1x8x6

1 – 2x4x8

2 corbels (link to corbels in the tutorial)

3 Red Head 1/2″ x 4″ Sleeve Anchors

ryobi-miter-saw cuts

I started by cutting the 1×10. I cut one piece at 61 1/2″ and two pieces at 7 1/4″.

drilling-pocket-holes drill-pocket-holes-in-sides

Next, I drilled three 3/4″ pocket holes in one end of each of the short 1×10 pieces.

apply-wood-glue

I applied a thin line of Gorilla Wood Glue to the pocket hole end of the short pieces

attach-side-pieces-with-pocket-screws

and I attached them to the ends of the long 1×10 piece with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

attach-sides

This will be the front and sides of the mantel.

pocket-holes-on-long-boards

Then, I cut two 1×8 boards at 60″ and drilled 3/4″ pocket holes on one side of each board and both ends.

attach-front-board

Next, I attached one of the 1×8 boards to the top of the mantel with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Now for the bottom of the mantel!

corbels

I found a great deal on these 18″ corbels from Amazon for only $60 for the set! You can see the corbels I purchased in the box below!

mark-for-corbles

I marked where I wanted the corbels to be on the last 1×8 piece. Mark on the side that does NOT have pocket holes. I marked my line about 5 1/4″ from the end of the board. My corbel will sit to the left of this line (leaving 2 1/4″ between the corbel and the end of this board).

wood-glue-on-corbel

To attach the corbel, I applied a wood glue to the top of the corbel

attach-corbels-with-wood-screws

and drove several 3″ wood screws from the pocket hole side of the 1×8 into the corbels.

corbels-attached-to-bottom-board

Now to attach this bottom piece to the rest of the mantel.

attach-bottom-board

I used some scrap pieces to keep the bottom level with the mantel and attached it with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

ready-for-paint

Now she’s ready for the finish! I decided on one of our favorite finishing techniques. We like to use Vaseline, stain and paint to get a great chippy, distressed look.

Varathane-Carrington

I applied one coat of Varathane Carrington stain all over and waited for about an hour for it to dry.

distress-with-vaseline

Once it died, I applied a thin line of Vaseline around the edges and smeared it around the main part of the mantel too. Do this wherever you want the stain to show through your paint.

apply-paint

Then, I immediately painted one coat of latex paint all over. (Paint color is Seine by Valspar)

distress-with-corner-cat-sander

When the paint dried, I used my Ryobi Corner Cat Sander with an 80-grit pad to sand the entire piece. You will see the paint peel off pretty easy where the Vaseline was applied.

Now to hang it on the stone! (I did this while the stain and paint were drying to speed things up).

anchors-for-stone

I bought these Sleeve Anchors at Home Depot. They are 1/2″ diameter and 4″ in length.

drill-holes-in-2x4

I cut the 2×4 down to 59″ and drilled a hole at each end (about 3″ from the ends) and one in the middle (just off center). I used a 1/2″ forstner bit and my 18-Volt drill (1/2″ bit was chosen because that is the diameter of the anchors). Also cut 4 2×4 pieces at 5.75 and drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes on the end of each piece. Save those for later.

mark-centers

Then, I marked the center point on the 2×4 and the center point on the fireplace to make sure my mantel would be centered on the fireplace ;). Next, I used a black marker to mark inside each of the three holes onto the stone, so that I would know where to drill the holes into the stone. *Make sure to keep a level on the 2×4 as you are marking the holes on the stone!

how-to-drill-into-stone

To drill the holes into the stone, I used my Ryobi 18-Volt Rotary Hammer Drill. It looks intimidating but it is so easy to use and makes drilling into masonry a piece of cake! You will need a special SDS Masonry drill bit for this. I bought one in 1/4″ and another in 1/2″. You can see the kind I purchased HERE. I started by drilling with the 1/4″ bit first and worked my way up to the 1/2″ because I didn’t want the stone to crack. Not sure if it would but better safe than sorry 😉 using-a-larger-bit

That black rod to the right of the bit is the depth rod. You can slide it back and forth according to the depth you need to drill. I set mine to hit the stone when I was 3″ deep. My anchors were 4″ and I had to allow for 1 1/2″ from the 2×4 and the instructions on the anchors suggest allowing and extra 1/4″ so I settled on 3″.

hammer-anchor

Once all three holes were drilled I held the 2×4 up and hammered an anchor into the 2×4 and stone. This is better as a 2 person job but the hubs had to coach our sons baseball practice and of course I was too impatient to wait 😉

You can hammer all three anchors before you go back and tighten them.

tighten-anchors

To tighten them, just twist the bolt with a wrench.

2x4-cleat-attached-to-stone

That’s it!

attach-small-pieces

Now, attach the short 2×4 pieces to the 2×4 on the stone with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

ready-to-hang-mantel

Put one on each end and the other two splitting center.

It’s time to hang the mantel now!

attach-mantel-to-cleat

I slid the mantel over the cleat that I built on the stone and drove 2″ wood screws from the sides and top of the mantel into the 2×4’s underneath.

DIY-wooden-mantel

That was it! I’m in LOVE!

how-to-hang-a-mantel-on-a-stone-fireplace how-to-build-and-hang-a-mantel How-to-build-a-mantel DIY-rustic-mantel Rustic-DIY-Mantel

For about $100 and an afternoon of work, I’ve got a custom mantel that makes a huge impact in my living room! And, with the way it is attached, I can swap it out for another one if my style changes!

Links to the cute finds that are hanging out on my mantel:

Artichoke Finial – from Save on Crafts

Driftwood Ball – from Save on Crafts

Herb Planter – from Save on Crafts

Votive Holder – from Hobby Lobby

Coffee Table

Floating Shelves

Rolling Console Table

Triple Leg Console Table

Thanks so much for stopping by!

~Ashley

  • Fight 4 America

    THAT IS SICK! but is this to fire code? I thought you had to be 15″ from the firebox with any combustible material, like wood?

  • Renee

    Hello – Did you cover up the screws, that were on the top and side, with anything?

  • Lindsey Coulter

    Help! I’m having trouble drilling into our stone. Using a hammer drill and masonry bit and getting NOWHERE.

    • What kind of stone?? Is the bit going in at all?

      • Lindsey Coulter

        I’m not sure what kind of stone it is. The bit was not going in at all though. I ended up remeasuring everything and anchoring it into the grout & that worked 👍🏻

        • Misty Ford Pack

          LOVE THE FRAME DECOR ON THE MANTEL, WHERE IS IT FROM?

  • momof2princesses

    Mantel w/out the corbels… and working on floating shelves, 1 down, 5 to go!

    • momof2princesses

      Here’s the final!

      • Morgan Kaleiwahea

        I just have to ask, how are you hiding all your cords for your TV and DVD player??? We are so puzzled!

        • Our tv is slanted down so set the cable box behind the tv, towards the top (it rests on the mounting bracket) and I wrapped the cords up and hung them on a command hook that I attached to the back of the tv. When we built the house we had an outlet installed where we planned to put the TV.

          • Morgan Kaleiwahea

            Ah I see! Well that is clever! Unfortunately we will have to think of something else for the actually plug in to the tv but at least I found a way to hide some of the cords. Thanks for your reply, your shelves and mantel look amazing!

  • Lonelle

    Here is the picture

  • Lonelle

    That is beautiful. I have been wanting to build one for our fireplace, but it is 60+ years old and I am scared to drill into the stones!

  • Rob Fiscus

    Built one based on your how-to yesterday and today. I used poplar and some oak trim with Golden Oak stain. I did not elect to use the corbels and only went with 8″ instead of 10″ for the height. Your exact dimensions worked perfectly for our 72″ wide rock wall. Thanks for posting, I think my wife will be happy.

  • Jay

    Well spent afternoon …

  • Jeannie Garcia-Buechele

    Absolutely stunning 🙂

  • Gail

    This is absolutely beautiful.

  • Priscilla Galbreath Madore

    Go on with your big, bad self!

  • Sharla N Sometimes-Eric

    You are just…DA BOMB!! Lol