How Do You Make A Mantel Shelf?

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Mantel shelves are the focal point of a fireplace and set the tone in many decorating schemes. Building your own mantel shelf is an ideal way to get the look you want at a fraction of the cost. The process is really nothing more than building a box and attaching crown molding. Crown molding determines the look of the mantel shelf, so choose a style that fits in your décor. Cut four pieces of 1/2-inch-thick plywood, 4 inches wide and the length of the mantel piece. Cut two 4-by-4-inch squares. These pieces will serve as the mantel shelf box. Cut six pieces of 1-by-2 lumber the length of the mantel piece. Cut four 3-inch-long pieces of 1-by-2 lumber. These pieces will serve as braces inside the mantel box. Apply wood glue to the back of a plywood piece and stick it above the fireplace. This is the back of the mantel box. Put wood glue on two of the 1-by-2 strips and align them with the outer inside edges of the plywood. Attach a 4-inch-long strip at the end. Sink finishing nails evenly ... more
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