Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wood Fence Board Mantel Backer

Do you sometimes wake up with that little tickle in the back of your mind knowing that you're going to flop out of bed to search for an unnecessary project just to keep your hands busy?  We're probably BFFs then, so come on over so we can work on something together.  I was sewing something with Fixer Upper in the background when it hit me that I absolutely had to do something with my mantel.  The equivalent of needing to put pants on before leaving the house.  Necessary and should be done immediately!  Just kidding, we're in Portland, pants totally not required.

I adore Fixer Upper and all the banter that goes on between Joanna and Chip.  The playful little comments going back and forth between husband and wife as they work together on big remodel projects suits me perfect!  One of the episodes that I was rewatching, Joanna came up with this idea to reuse some wood to create some depth and texture to the space above a mantel they were remodeling.  She painted it white but when they went back through the finished house and it panned to the new fireplace and the big wood panel above the mantel, I was like "YESSSSSSS".  So that is where the seed of inspiration for this framed wood panel started.

My good friend, Jay provided me with some dirty old fence boards so I scrubbed them down, had the sun bleach them out a bit and got down to drawing up my idea.  The drawing really was just a matter of taking the measurements for the height between the mantel and ceiling and mantel width.  The super high tech drawing I made was sketched out with a lumber yard pencil on the white mantel top because I knew I was repainting it.  Ha, but it got the job done.

What I was really going for was a framed-in look.  I wanted something with clean lines because it was to serve as background for all the decorating and pictures I love to change out through the seasons.  Like can you imagine how freaking awesome that is going to look with a giant picture of Santa for Christmas or a flock of crows for Halloween.  Oh I can taste sweet, sweet success!

The frame was created first with big metal squares stabilizing the corners that I bought at the hardware store.  I tried using the flat metal L brackets because I was familiar with the hardware and seemed to make sense.  But they crept into the space where the back boards were attached and I didn't want the back boards sitting on top of the metal brackets, giving them different heights.  

Everything was screwed together with a cordless drill and some wood screws.  I really don't feel that much pressure when working with found and scrap material.  The creativity of the situation and not following a template or tutorial gives the brain and creativity room to play.  Ideas with little structure exercise the brain through their failures and successes to build experiences you don't always have the opportunity to learn when always looking through Pinterest and blog tutorials.  I absolutely love the ability to retrieve just about any imaginable project tutorial but sometimes I forget that the replication can stunt true satisfaction in the heart of what your brain and hands were able to create.  With that, sometimes, not always, give yourself the room for failure so you can appreciate a well earned, successful project without comparison.  That's the wonderful thing about creating your own projects, they don't have to look like anything you've ever seen before.  



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