As you know we moved over the summer Where we currently live (which should only be temporary) we do not have a fireplace. We had a yearly Christmas tradition of hanging our stockings on our mantel after reading T'was the Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve. It was something we looked forward to every year. This year with our official stockings in the back of the storage unit, and no place for Santa to leave goodies in our stockings, I wanted a temporary mantel for he holidays. I did see some I could buy online like this one, but not having a lot of extra money and a lot of moving boxes, I knew I could try to make my own.
I started with four small moving boxes. You can find these at Lowes for less than $1 each. They are 16 x 12 x12. I taped them shut and stacked them to make the fireplace columns. I did not put anything in them but if you could if you want to weight them down.
I bought two rolls of plain red paper at the dollar store. Each roll wrapped two of the boxes with just a little bit left over. I wrapped the all separately, but if you are feeling really ambitious you could tape the together and wrap in two big pieces. I made sure that the tapes side faced the wall, so it would not be seen.
I almost forgot to take a picture of this stage, so I apologize that the picture if so off center. The quickest and easiest way to make bricks is with a roll of masking tape also from the dollar store. I really should have measured to have more precise lines, but I had procrastinated so long in making my mantle, I was in a hurry to get it done. Uneven bricks just gives your fireplace more character.
I then cut smaller pieces of tape and tried line up the bricks on both columns of the fireplace. I did add a few more pieces to the top section and made bricks on all of the visible sides.
For the mantel of the fireplace, I decided to use foam board from the dollar store. It was pretty sturdy and light enough for the cardboard boxes. I bought two pieces, because I had planned on making it a double thickness. Since we are so close to Christmas, and I do not plan to put a lot of weight on top, one was enough. Yes, the mantel is a little off center in this picture. I had not secured it yet. It was just laying on top to make sure it fit. We (Kara nd I) had to cut about 6-8 inches off lengthwise, and add a 4 inch piece widthwise. Once it fit, I secured it to the boxes with masking tape underneath the foam board.
Somewhere in storage I have a snow blanket which I think would look good on top. Since I really don't have the time to go searching, I came up with another alternative.
I found our woodland themed blanket and laid it on top. The Santa wreath I had tried to hang above the fireplace. Since we can not drill holes and the temporary hooks do not stick well to the textured walls, it would not stay put. For now it is siting on the mantel. I also found Buddy and Joy enjoying a little snuggle. Since pretty much all my supplies to make the mantel came from the dollar store, we also hung dollar store stockings.
While it might not be the beautiful big wooden mantel we are used to, we are happy with how it turned out. It cost only a few dollars and a few hours to make.