This is a wood working tutorial on how I built a “faux” mantel and floating shelf beneath our flat screen television to hide those ugly cords. When I ran the electrical for this house I almost put two holes in the wall so we could run the cords behind the sheet rock however, we didn’t own this television at the time and I really didn’t want to put them in the wrong place! And it turned out to be a good thing that I didn’t because this tv would have required two separate holes – one for the power cord and one a mile away where the majority of our electronics get plugged in. Which means that for the past two years of living here those cords have been driving me crazy!
It was time to come up with a solution that (apparently) did not include taking our massive television down from the wall because, after two years, that was clearly not going to happen and I just had to face the fact that I didn’t WANT to put holes in our wall because if I had I would have done it by now! I decided the least conspicuous thing would be a shelf that also looked a little like a mantel that would even kind of look like the television was sitting on top of it a little bit. It needed to be just far enough out from the wall that the cords could be run behind it. I got to the drawing board!
The back of my mantel is a brand new 1×6 cut to length that I painted white. Then I cut a rough-sawn oak 2×4 (from the stash my wood working grandparents’ left me out in the barn) at the same length which I then cleaned up and stained to match the buffet. (The stain is called Dark Walnut by Minwax.) With the stain dry I attached it down the center of my 1×6 using several 3″ screws. I was not shy with the screws here, they are what allows this piece of wood to look like its “floating” and they are all that is keeping in there!
I cut four pieces of scrap 2×4 and screwed them to the studs along my straight line that I made with a level and a pencil. Using 2x4s meant the mantel would be 1 1/2″ out from the wall – plenty of room for the cords. With that done I tucked my cords along the brackets and I hung my mantel. I screwed it to the 2×4 braces by putting a screw in each brace below the “shelf” and then filled the screw holes with white caulk and viola!
I love that (at least to me) this doesn’t look like something I added to hide the cords but, instead, a deliberate design feature. The bouquet of hydrangeas is one of several left from our wedding and the old jar is, of course, left from my grandma. I think the hydrangeas even kind of help tone down how huge the tv is.
Did we really go out and buy such an enormous flat screen tv? Of course not. Joe and I are so frugal we would still be using his old box set. My dad had this tv for several months and then stuck it in our garage because it “quit working” and that we could have it. I ignored the big thing for a good year because I had no idea what it was going to entail to get it fixed (though I did figure it would be worth it) and the darned thing was so huge and heavy I just didn’t want to mess with it. Eventually I purchased a new power cord for it, plugged it in and the darned thing worked fine for quite awhile. A few months goes by and the picture starts flickering and going black – it proceeds to get worse and worse and worse and my dad confirms that that was what had happened to him too. So, after a whole bunch of searches on youtube, Joe and I took the plunge and did surgery by taking the whole thing a part and cutting what’s called a “jumper” line in the back and, by some kind of fricking miracle, it worked! So we’ve got this amazing tv for the cost of a $20 wall mount 🙂 And now, thank the universe, no more cords to stare at!