I have been wanting an old chippy mantle for quite some time. I’ve had this old antique headboard up in my spare room ever since I found it at a thrift store for $30. My plan was to use it in one of my daughter’s rooms for their bed. Well, after lots of begging and pleading from my daughters to NOT use it in their rooms, I decided to use it for something other than a headboard. I’ve seen lots of old mantles and I thought, “I could totally make my own mantle” and what better than to use this amazing headboard where I had almost all of the pieces that I needed for a mantle. This was a last minute decision project (as most of mine are) so please excuse the shabby cell phone shots of the process. I will add a room source list at the end as well as some affiliate links throughout to help you with supplies you might need to make your own mantle.
I started out with this gorgeous headboard. I was nervous to cut it up but I knew that I would be so happy with the end result and it was either, sell it, or make something out of it. Keeping it won over this time. I flipped over large this headboard piece and started to disassemble it from the back.
This photo is actually a screen shot of my little video that I had on Instagram because I forgot to take a picture of the back. I unscrewed all of the long pieces here and pried it apart. I was stuck pretty good since they used glue to put it together as well as screws. My reason for taking it apart was that I wanted to have a shelf on my mantle and the bottom half of this large piece was the perfect size. After I had it taken apart, I cut the remaining legs off of the “shelf” piece to allow it to sit flush against my mantle.
As I didn’t have anyone to help me hold the boards while assembling my mantle, I shoved it up against this table for support and held up the headboard piece while I drilled the shelf into the large piece from the back. I used these amazing screws that don’t require pilot holes. These are the same screws we used for our barn door assembly. They drive right down into the wood beautifully, which is great when I had no one at the time to help me with the process. Just make sure your screws are the correct length where they will not go all the way through the front of your mantle.
I drilled the screws in all along the bottom of the piece here. I used a lot of screws to make the shelf more secure, as it was going to eventually have things sitting on it. It still won’t be able to support super heavy things but I’m ok with that.
After my shelf was in place, I laid it down on the floor and lined up my side boards from my bed frame to see what it was going to look like assembled.
I cut the metal parts off of the side boards at each end with my chop saw to allow them to sit flush when the mantle was completed.
This next part was a little tricky to complete on my own but I made it work. I flipped the piece with the shelf over and laid it on a table to allow space for the shelf to sit along the side of the table while I was drilling in the long mantle side board pieces. I measured each side to make sure I had equal sides before drilling and then drilled in each piece while holding firmly to the large headboard piece. You can see 6 holes here but I actually used about 12 screws to make it secure as most of the weight of the headboard would be on these two boards down the sides when it was stood up.
Before I stood it up, I added this piece of plywood in the center between the two side boards to allow for more of a “faux fireplace” look at the bottom. I stained the plywood with dark walnut stain so that when I distressed after painting, the dark color would show through rather than the light plywood look. I filled the areas that I needed to with wood filler and sanded them down with 100 grit sandpaper after they were dry for a smooth surface.
Before I started painting, I used a little this amazing wax on various areas to keep the paint from sticking to those areas. This allows for a chippy look after the mantle is painted. After I rubbed the wax onto various areas on the headboard, I painted it with two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove that I made into chalk paint. You can find my chalk paint recipe here.
After I was done painting, it was time for distressing. I used this scraper to get the chippy look for the areas where I had added wax. I also used 100 grit sand paper to distress the edges and to get rid of any of the marks that my scraper had made. I finished it off my sealing it with the same clear beeswax from Old Barn Milk Paint.
I just love they way that it turned out! AND that I didn’t have to empty my life savings to afford an old chippy mantle. I hope this helps you think of alternate ways that you might be able to use old headboards that you have lying around.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you have a wonderful day! I would love to hear what you think of my new/old chippy mantle.
Glass Coffee Table: thrifted and antiqued after painting sides with my chalk paint recipe here
White Chairs: Second Hand Pottery Barn and Slipcovers from Ikea
Fluffy White Pillows: Home Goods
Other Pillows: Ikea
Chunky Knit Throw: @whitknit
Wreaths: Target a couple years back
Frames: thrifted and painted with my chalk paint (recipe above)
Trunks: thrifted and painted with my chalk paint (recipe above)
Wine Barrel: Garage Sale
Antler: Local Antique Fair
Chippy posts: Garage Sale
Chippy Dresser: Craigslist and painted with @oldbarnmilkpaint
Ornate Rug: @wildshamanpdx
Jute Rug: Amazon