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How to Make a DIY Fireplace Mantel & Built-in Bookcases

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to build a DIY fireplace mantel with built in bookcases.

how to make a diy fireplace mantel built in bookcases

Step 1: Do a Mockup with Tape

As you can see in this image, we used masking tape to a mock up of where the mantel and built ins would go before we started the project!



Step 2: Gather Materials

For this project, we used:

  • (3) 4×8 sheets (1/2 inch) of Ecuadorian Plywood – (used for the majority of the project, for the mantel including the mantel posts and as backboard to connect the bookcases & mantel. Jason hand cut these boards for the entire mantel to make a board and batten style look.)
  • (8) melamine boards 1′ x 3/4” x 8′ – (used for the bookshelves sides and shelves. 4 of these boards were predrilled with bookshelf holes and used as the sides of the bookcases.)
  • (2) 1/8th” 4” x 8” melamine sheets for back of bookcases
  • 3/4” x 2” trim board on shelf exteriors
  • 3/4” x 8” x 16′ primed pine wood for mantel shelf
  • 3 5/8” crown for mantel
  • 2 x 4 lumber (used as wood anchors to drill plywood into)
  • Caulk
  • 1/2” shelf tabs for bookshelves
  • crown molding for the top of the entire unit
  • Rotary hammer drill (used to drill into brick to attach 2 x 4 wood anchors)
  • Compressor and finish nail gun (used to shoot in the plywood to the wood anchors)
  • Cordless skill saw(used to cut plywood for the whole project, including making board and batten for mantel)
  • Wood glue(used to join two pieces of wood together before nailing them)
  • Liquid nails Have Duty construction adhesive (used to secure plywood to brick)
  • Tapcon concrete screws (used to fasten the wood to the brick wall)
  • Drill
  • table saw
  • Miter saw and stand (used to cut small board and batten as well and base trim on mantel posts)
  • Oscillating tool (used to touch up cuts)
  • Sledge hammer (used to knock down bricks that were sticking out of brick wall)
  • Level
  • Measuring tape


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