I am so excited to share with you how I made this awesome (or at least I think it's awesome) mantle. Technically it's more like a faux mantle, but who's keeping track?!
To start the story off, I will tell you what brought me to this situation. We have this big wall in my formal living room, since we moved in 3 years ago I have wanted a mantle, but didn't really want to fork out the big bucks to get one! As I was brainstorming different ideas, I came across this HUGE pile of old barn wood at my in-laws farm! You can't even image the thoughts that were racing through my head at all the possibilities that lye in that pile! My in-laws were using it for firewood, until I was like uh-uh, and grabbed a few of the beams! I don't think they realized how much people love old wood now days, especially beams! I need to take a picture of it so you can all see for yourself.
Okay, whoa, sorry for the tangent about that..geeze. Back to the reason of why you're here.
Anyway, I knew now that I had a huge beam for the shelf part, and then I thought that I would just buy some big corbels and bam..I would have my mantle! Not so fast, have you ever bought big corbels? They are expensive! (The real hefty wood ones, the only ones that could actually hold up a huge beam?) Yeah, that wasn't going to happen for under $300, so back to the drawing board. Until I stumbled upon this genius woman's post about how to make your own corbels. Stacy from Not Just a Housewife, posted THIS post on Tatertot's and Jello.
I followed her tutorial and made my own...okay well actually the hubby made them mostly...but again, who's keeping track?!
We made them a lot larger than she made hers, the pictures don't really show how big everything is! We went back to that pile of scrap wood so that we wouldn't have to go buy plywood. Then once
I we my hubby was done cutting them out, I filled in holes with wood putty, painted them 4 different colors until I reverted back to white, then I distressed them.
I was going to leave the large beam in the natural state that it was, but then once I put it against my wall, it just wasn't as pretty. So I slapped some walnut stain on it, but the natural color still peps out along with some other old paint colors from it's previous life.