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Creative Ways To Use A Reclaimed Fireplace Mantel

Don’t you love the character of an old reclaimed fireplace mantel? Want to learn some creative ways to repurpose a vintage fireplace surround into unique home decor? Then, take a look at how we upcycled a vintage fireplace mantel to decorate our bedroom and bathroom.

The vintage mantel traveled with us from our previous home, but we didn’t have a use for it as a fireplace surround. However, I’m a waste-not kind of girl, and every piece of the mantel was put to good use.

Side view of vintage fireplace surround shelf filled with Fall Decorations and vintage decor.

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Why Repurpose a Reclaimed Fireplace Mantel?

Y’all know I get attached to my vintage finds, and when we sold our last home, I didn’t want to sell the mantel. Although I didn’t plan to use the vintage mantel for its original purpose, I knew that the character of the reclaimed fireplace mantel could be upcycled as stunning architectural salvage decor. Therefore, we would repurpose the vintage fireplace surround in a unique way.

How to Repurpose a Vintage Fireplace Surround?

Since we didn’t really have a place for our vintage fireplace surround, we began looking for alternative uses for this piece. Since we had a large amount of space above our bed, we decided the mantel would make a great shelf.

To turn the mantel into a shelf, the legs needed to be removed. With a little maneuvering, we were able to use a miter saw to do this.

We originally planned to hang the mantel with the top of the mantel up as it was intended. However, it just didn’t look great, so we flipped it over. Ta Da! I loved the upside-down vintage mantel.

How to Repurpose A reclaimed fireplace mantel into a Farmhouse Style Vintage Shelf with Fall decor.

Pinterest Challenge

In addition, I’m joining Cindy at County Road 407 for her Fall Fireplace Mantel Pinterest Challenge. Each month, Cindy and her guests use a Pinterest pin as inspiration for a blog post. Be sure to see the links to all the Fall Mantel inspiration at the end of this post. If you are popping over from Cindy’s creative post, I’m so glad you stopped by.

This month’s inspiration comes from Janelle Trinette lovely Fall Tour 2020.

How To Stabilize The Vintage Mantel?

Before we started decorating the reclaimed fireplace mantel, we were concerned about the stability of the old wood and decided that before adding any weight to the shelf, it needed to be secured. Therefore, we added iron anchors to both ends of the mantel.

They were not only functional but added a decorative touch to the overall appearance of the vintage mantel.

How to Repurpose a vintage Mantel into a upcycled wall shelf. Filled with fall decorations and blue plates.

Decorating the Upcycled Fireplace Mantel For Fall

First, I didn’t want to completely change my color scheme for the Fall Upcycled Mantel. Therefore, instead of the usual gold and rust colors, I decided to use some of my dried hydrangeas that still held a touch of blue.

Dried hydrangea in a vintage vinegar bottle sets on wall shelf made from a reclaimed fireplace mantel

To put the mantel together, I gathered my thrifted wooden candlesticks, old glass bottles, and a couple of DIY projects.

I also added three mix-matched old mirrors to reflect the beautiful blooms.

Decoupage Pumpkin on wood candle stick and dried hydrangeas with vintage mirror

DIY Projects To Decorate the Upcycled Vintage Mantel

I love to incorporate as much vintage and DIY into my seasonal decorating. Therefore, the reclaimed fireplace mantel is filled with an updated lantern and DIY pumpkins.

One of my recent projects was an Easy Spray Paint Update on these old lanterns. I love how the copper looks, giving them a warm fall touch.

Instead of adding a candle, I filled the lantern with faux pumpkins.

Repurposed lantern filled with pumpkins set on vintage blue books on repurposed old mantel

Last fall I shared How to Napkin Decoupage Pumpkins and these small blueish ones are a perfect accompaniment to the dried hydrangeas.

Vintage Mirrors, dried hydrangeas, vintage tray combine for fall on the vintage fireplace surround decor.

Props for Varying Heights

One way to ensure your mantel decor is appealing is to vary the heights of your decor. This allows the eye to move around your vignette and is more pleasing.

I like to use vintage books to add height where needed. My collection of blue books was perfect for this display.

Dried Hydrangea arrangement with decoupaged pumpkins old mantel

The muted blues and wood tones still work perfectly with the bedding and vintage dishes I added in the spring.

Dried Hydrangeas, decoupaged pumpkins decorate the repurposed vintage mantel for fall.

The blue euro shams from Piper Classics will continue to work in this room into the fall.

Reclaimed Fireplace Mantel UpCycled as a shelf with vintage blue plates and dried hydrangeas for fall

In addition, the Olivia quilt can be paired with other colors during the holidays. Even the DIY twig hydrangea arrangement works perfectly on top of the Flea Market Flip Chest.

Recycled Fireplace Mantel repurposed as a wall shelf decorated for fall in Master bedroom.

What Happened to the Vintage Fireplace Surround Legs?

You know I couldn’t resist using every piece of the vintage fireplace surround. To upcycle the legs, we built a cabinet over the toilet. The fireplace mantel legs were used for the cabinet sides, and shelves were added to hold the legs together.

Then, a cabinet door that had previously been removed from our bathroom corner cabinet was added to the front.

The reclaimed fireplace mantel has been put to good use, and all the character of the old craftsmanship remains intact.

Click Image for Details

Additional Articles of Interest

Continue on the Pinterest Inspiration Tour

Up next on the tour is Angie from Postcards From The Ridge. I know you will love her Fall Mantel Decor ideas.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? Hover over the images you’d like to save and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button.

reclaimed fireplace Mantel upcycled to make a unique shelf for master bedroom.  Fall Mantel Decor.

~Chrissie O.

Monday 29th of January 2024

This idea is lovely; as contractors, we frequently remove items when homeowners are updating and, God help me, I rather hoard them when they're old, have quirky architectural details or are simply cool! I adore the black iron "corbels?" "anchors?" that you used and I wonder if you'd share where you found those? Thanks so much!! ~Chrissie


Monday 29th of January 2024

Chrissie, Thank you for stopping by. Those were found at Hobby Lobby.

va in nc

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

I am always inspired by all your creative ways to use things. Although I have downsized and downsized again; I love all your ideas and pass many along to my friends and grands. Please keep them coming!



Thursday 4th of August 2022

I'm so glad you found this inspiring. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wendy McMonigle

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

What a beautiful fireplace you have created. I love how you added one when you did not have one. They are also so fun to style and you did an awesome job.


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Wendy, I appreciate you sweet comments.


Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Love the mantel make over. Where did you find those hooks for shelf supports?


Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Karen, I found those at Hobby Lobby. Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

I just love your style and love all the updates!!!


Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Sue, I really appreciate this.