21 Tips to DIY and Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel Shelf

Having a fireplace without a mantel is like owning a sofa without the throw pillows. The opportunity is there and it is clear that the sofa would look better with the throw pillows, but all you have to do is add them. If you’re thinking that you lack the carpentry skills for installing a fireplace mantel, you should be pleased to hear that you don’t need them. There are many ways to install a shelf-like mantel on your fireplace and even more ways to style them. Take a look at these 21 tips to DIY and decorate your fireplace mantel shelf and you’ll have your living room looking like a whole new space in a weekend.

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Just take a minute to swoon over that live edge mantel shelf. It would be the easiest thing to install and give you a reason to splurge on that live edge wood piece that you’ve been eyeing. (via Houzz)

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You’ve probably seen the project for faux wood beams floating around Pinterest. Use the same method to create a lovely wood mantel for your fireplace. Such a classic look will match with any style your living room could possibly have. (via Addicted 2 Decorating)

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Is your fireplace inside the wall? Don’t believe that scenario leaves you out of the mantel shelf game. Build one from pretty moulding pieces and it will complete the fireplace picture. (via Designer Trapped)

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Putting up a mantel shelf really only requires the shelf and the brackets. Find yourself some lovely large vintage brackets that show a little wear and tear to bring some life into your fireplace mantel shelf. (via @magnolia)

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Maybe you’re looking at your mantel in disdain but you’re without the funds to do a big mantel shelf makeover. With a simple can of stain in your favorite shade, you can give your mantel shelf a whole different vibe. Go dark or go light, either way go the opposite of what you have for a new look. (via Sarah Sherman Samuel)

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Looking for a big mantel change? You can’t go wrong with something that’s black and bulky. Find the biggest brackets you can and add trim to the bottom for interest. (via Home Bunch)

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Some fireplaces possess the awkward orientation of having a set of shelves on one side instead of both. What do you do with that? You install a mantel shelf that spans across the fireplace as well as the shelves to the side. Suddenly the whole wall is brought together in perfect harmony. (via HGTV)

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Just because you have a stove instead of a fireplace doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a mantel too. Place one in the corner behind the stove and you’ll find that having that shelf helps you fill an otherwise awkward space. (via The Painted Hinge)

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Large art is one of the best things ever created. With one simple piece hanging above your mantel shelf or even just leaning against the wall, you can give your space a makeover and with something that makes you smile each time you look at it. (via Unskinny Boppy)

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Of course, a large mirror is also a great way to fill your mantel without making it seem cluttered and super decorated. Plus, it will bounce light around the room and make your space feel bigger so it’s basically a win win for everyone. (via Rachel Bishop Designs)

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If you aren’t into the decorated mantel movement, that’s okay. Add a pinch of greenery and a photo of your favorite place or your family for a minimal yet chic mantel shelf look. (via Centsational Girl)

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Many people say posters should always be framed. We say different. Using whatever method you see fit, hang it above your mantel shelf and no one will think the worse of you or your fireplace for using twine. (via HGTV)

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Even on a mantel shelf it’s pretty easy to create the feel of depth. Layering framed photos or artwork, stacks of books in different sizes, small trinkets with sentiment in the front of it all, the different layers will help you give interest to your mantel in a snap. (via Emily Henderson)

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Are you in love with the chipping paint and weathered look of vintage pieces? Use your mantel shelf to display a simple empty windowpane for a fun and minimal farmhouse feel. (via The Lettered Cottage)

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As you change your decor with the seasons and the holidays, don’t forget to include your mantel shelf. Display your favorite flowers in the spring, a chalkboard quote in the summer, bright leaves in the fall and mini evergreens in the winter. (via Duke Manor Farm)

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Mantels are usually great places to display houseplants too. If you’re a collector of leaves and cacti, place your very best pots with plants at different heights along your mantle shelf for a greenhouse look. (via @shophesby)

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Some fireplaces are in desperate needs of extra lighting but don’t have the mantel space to accommodate lamps. Now is the chance for you to install your favorite sconces to provide that light without taking up any mantel space. (via House of Jade)

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Television screens are a rather ugly yet necessary element of the living room. Many times that means mounting it above your fireplace. But you can help improve your mantel view by framing your screen so it looks like a black canvas instead of an unsightly screen. (via Remodelaholic)

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While you’re picking and choosing what your mantel shelf should display, make sure you’re making your decisions based off the theme of your living room. Pink flowers won’t work if there isn’t any other pink in the space. (via A Pretty Life In The Suburbs)

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Don’t have the money for a mantel shelf makeover? That’s okay. Hang a banner that you’ve bought or even made yourself to distract your eyes from the mantel you don’t like. (via Dining Delight)

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You know that you don’t even need a fireplace to have a mantel shelf? Install one above your sofa or above your piano or above your TV, wherever you have a blank wall that would just look better with a mantel shelf. (via @angelascozyhome)