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How To Repurpose A Vintage Mantel – When You Don’t Have a Fireplace

How to Up-Cycle A Vintage Fireplace Mantel is a creative way to use a mantel when you don’t have a fireplace for it to surround or the space for a faux fireplace mantel. The repurposed fireplace mantel is now a unique part of our bedroom decor.

In addition, you will see how to repurpose the left over pieces of the mantel. I’m a waste not kind of girl and every piece of the mantel was put to good use.

Why Repurpose a Mantel?

We don’t have a fireplace in our farmhouse. However, a vintage mantel surrounded a faux fireplace in our previous home. Y’all know I get attached to my vintage finds, and when we sold that house, I didn’t want to sell the mantel.

Therefore, the mantel was repurposed in a unique way.

How to Repurpose a Fireplace Mantel?

Since we didn’t really have a place for our vintage fireplace mantel, I 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.

In order to make the mantel into a shelf, it was necessary to cut the legs off. With a little maneuvering, we were able to chop the legs off with a miter saw.

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

We originally tried to hang it with the top of the mantel up. It just didn’t look great so we flipped it over. Ta Da! I was loving the upside down mantel.

How to Repurpose A 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 start to decorate the fireplace mantel, we were concerned about the stability of the old wood and decided 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 over all appearance of the vintage mantel.

How to Repurposed a Fireplace Mantel into a up-cycled wall shelf. Filled with fall decorations and blue plates.

Fall Inspiration for the Fireplace Mantel

First, I didn’t want to completely change my color scheme for a Fall Mantel. Therefore, instead of the usual golds 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 repurposed fireplace mantel

I gathered my thrifted wooden candle sticks, old glass bottles and a couple of DIY projects to pull the mantel together.

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 on old mantle upcycle

DIY Projects on the Vintage Mantel

One of my recent projects was an Easy Spray Paint Update on these old lanterns and I love how the copper looks for 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 repurposed fireplace mantel decor

Props for Varying Heights

One way to assure 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. I have a good collection of blue books which were perfect for this display.

Dried Hydrangea arrangement with decoupaged pumpkins on upcycled vintage mantel repurposed 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.

Repurposed Fireplace Mantel Up-Cycled 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 Mantel Legs?

In order to use the legs, we built a cabinet for over the toilet. The fireplace mantel legs were used for the side of the cabinet 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.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how we repurposed the vintage fireplace mantel and up-cycled the legs as well. Get ready for more mantel inspiration.

Click Image for Details

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
Repurposed Mantel up-cycled 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.