Some years ago we had an extension built on the house. Just a small room, but enough to give us some quieter space away from the living room and the kids. At the time we had a gas fire installed but no mantel. No problem we said, we can do that.

Well, you know how it is. Somehow it kept dropping down the list. In fact, it became a bit of running joke in the family, didn’t it dear?

This year was different, this was the Year.

One of the reasons everything had taken a while was sourcing the lumber for the top of the mantel. None of the big box hardware stores (you know who you are) hard anything we wanted. Eventually I went to a local lumber yard, asked for a big ol’ piece of pine. Surprisingly we got all the wood for a very decent price. About $60 if I remember.

Of course, the wood still stayed in the corner of the garage for a few months. Don’t rush things, that’s my motto.


Eventually it took two coats of staining and three coats of varnish to get it looking like this. We did cheat a little and got the fancy carving from a store. No way I was doing that.


I think it all worked ok in the end though.


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