Mimi's Faux Mantle

Build your own faux mantle with free DIY plans from Ana-White.com!


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Good luck building! I hope if you build this mantle, you'll take a second to come back and share the photos with us!

Author Notes: 

Have you looked out your window and noticed fall happening around you yet? Up here in Alaska, the leaves have turned bright colors of orange and reds, and are starting to fall off the trees. It's frosting on some nights, and the sun is setting while we are still awake. Fall is definitely here for us in Alaska.

And although we are a long way from the Holiday season, I'm already thinking of the festivities to come.  

As a builder, we need weeks if not months in advance to DIY our gifts and Holiday projects, so thinking of where to hang the stockings in September is not too early.

Like many of you, I live in a house without a mantle.  And each year, finding a spot to hang the stockings is a challenge.  So when my friend Mimi from the Blue Roof Cabin wrote me, asking to draw plans up for her much loved faux mantle, I had to say YES!!!  

Mimi built this mantle out of 1x boards, and reached out to me to share the plans with you so we can all have a beautiful mantle this Holiday season.  

Are you excited?  Mimi took step by step photos of building her mantle, and also shared the details on this so beautiful finish - so please take a second and stop over and visit Mimi.  PS - Mimi has lots more projects that I think you will love too!

Thank you Mimi!

And of course, we got you covered with free plans right below!

Shopping List: 

1 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x10 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x8 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x6 @ 10 feet long
1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long
3 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
1 - 6' long stick small crown moulding
1 - 8' long stick edge moulding (for inset square - see last step)
Optional 1 1/4" pocket hole screws

2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Cut List: 

1 - 1x12 @ 48"
2 - 1x10 @ 32 3/4"
2 - 1x6 @ 44"
4 - 1x3 @ 44"
1 - 1x4 @ 33 1/4"
1 - 1x3 @ 33 1/4"
1 - 1x8 @ 51"
4 - 1x6 @ 3/4"
2 - 1x6 @ 7"

Cutting Instructions: 
This plan assumes the following 1x12 is 11 1/4" wide 1x10 is 9 1/4" wide 1x8 is 7 1/4" wide 1x6 is 5 1/2" wide 1x4 is 3 1/2" wide 1x3 is 2 1/2" wide All are assumed 3/4" thick.
Step 1: 

Lay out the top board and legs. If you have a pocket hole jig, you can attach together on the back side as well.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Then add the front decorative pieces. NOTE: If you have a PH jig, see step 4 first.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Then to give the mantle depth, add the 1x3s to the back. You can also block between the 1x3s with 1x3s @ 7 3/4" long.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Now we'll add the front decorative pieces. You will want to lay your crown moulding on to adjust where the 1x4 is attached so 2 1/2" to match the 1x3 is revealed on the front.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Add the top.

Step 6 Instructions: 

I recommend just gluing these guys on. Nails will split out.

Step 7 Instructions: 

But you can nail these on.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Cut moulding to fit, mitering around the outside corners.

Step 9 Instructions: 

And then if you desire, cut moulding to fit inset and glue in place.

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Skill Level: 


I love the new look on your site Ana! This is such a great idea. We use a freestanding bookshelf to hand stockings from...I think we'll have a mantle this year instead!

Love the mantel piece. On my list to make. Just so you know, the pdf version did not work for me. Perhaps you should try it.


Hey Anna,

Hope all is coming along on the Momplex.....tried opening the PDF for the fireplace mantel and received the following error message:

TCPDF ERROR: [Image] Unable to get image: /usr/share/nginx/ana-white.com/sites/default/files/alaska-mountains-fall.jpg%20

What I am planing on doing is build this on the side of our house as another outside gathering area. Back in 2004 I walking into work at San Francisco State and saw a homeowner outside whose home was to be featured on HGTV. Any hoot, this homeowner build a faux fireplace mantel on the side of his home where he had a cafe table set up with some chairs. Thought I would duplicate that.

If you go to Mimi's site in the link that Ana gave, she address's how to mount it to the wall as well. She created a cleat by ripping a 1x4 at a 45 degree angle down the middle. Attaching one side to the mantle itself and one side to the wall. Then just slide the mantle onto the wall mounted cleat and it stays put. It's a pretty neat way to mount it with no screws showing. Mimi's site has pics as well.

Look at step # 3....attach blocks to the wall that will fit within legs and the upper mantel area...from there there side nail the mantel to the blocks...

Hi everyone, we are aware of the PDF issues and are working on trying to fix. Seems we did fix and then the PDF is again broken - I apologize for the inconvenience. Please know that it is very important to me that the plans are accessible as possible for you.

Thanks so much for the positive feedback on the Mimi's Mantle plans!

Hi, Everyone!
I have a brick fireplace that has no mantle. Needs some "jazzing up". See any reason this mantle would not work over a wood burning fireplace? Changes that would need to be made? Thanks!

great to see another faux fireplace from ana! this one is very elegant, but i have to say, i have a soft spot for the first one she designed (http://ana-white.com/2010/12/fireplace-anywhere) and its gentle arch. my request for a fireplace to bring some soul into our apartment was the motivation behind those plans, and i was so grateful to see her actually take it on! while it's neither the first nor only piece of furniture that i've built, it's the one i'm most proud of -- with good reason, i think! =) http://doctorsterry.com/2011/11/08/success/

Hello, Tracy! I am new here and saw your comment. I have a gas sealed fireplace and built a fireplace mantel and surround. I do have tile around the gas fireplace and then the mantel and surround. No problems.

I recently posted the building process and a link back to my blog for more specific details. Hope this helps if you still have not built your own fireplace mantel / surround. :)



I just love the design. but what do you mean "fill all holes" @ the finishing part? I'm not sure what you mean by it... Should it look like it's been carved out of one gigantic piece of wood...??? I just don't get it.