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A “Faux” Mantel to hide those ugly cords – Woodworking Tutorial How-to!

Sep 18 2017 -
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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!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

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!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

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!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

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.

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

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!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!

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30 Comments

  1. September 22, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    This is brilliant. I loathe cords all over the place and they are absolutely a headache for most women I know. Not sure about most men but the men in my live couldn’t care less. This is a simple project that most of us could handle on our one. Great solution and thanks for coming up with it.

  2. September 23, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Ahhhhhh! I can’t stand cords! Why can’t everything be wireless 😀 Your fix for hiding those unsightly cords is genius! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday! Pinned

  3. September 23, 2017 at 2:28 am

    What a great idea! I hate cords showing and now I have an answer. Thanks so much for sharing your idea with us at #BloggersPitStop and have a lovely weekend.

  4. September 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Ah man Tarah, there’s nothing worse than seeing cords running all over the place. This is such a brilliant way to hide them.

  5. Jann Olson
    September 24, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Cords showing is really a pet peeve of mine. What a great solution for the problem! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  6. barbie
    September 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Although I’d never have use for this personally (off grid and waaay out of range-of ANY reception- lol) I LOVE your solution! The mantel is a focal point, and the rest just fades into the background of the wall. Kudos! BTW, LOVE the buffet! (Mine is mission, and I envy the SPACIOUS, middle drawer of yours!) Mine is slender, not much space. (But I digress!) I enjoy your posts, keep it up!

    • September 25, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you barbie! The buffet was one of my grandma’s and is so totally one of my very favorite pieces!

  7. Mom Joubert
    September 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Please, please come show us how to do this. It seems simple enough, but for some reason I don’t understand where you plugged in the cords now. I didn’t see that explained. Love your and your posts though.

    • September 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      So glad you come by and read and comment! It is just basically a power strip that I attached into the wood, it plugs in to the wall 🙂

  8. September 25, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Love your solution! You two amaze me fixing things!

  9. JaneEllen
    September 25, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Your tv stand a.k.a. buffet is gorgeous, so lucky to have such a wonderful piece of furniture, an antique.Was that your Granma’s? I so love wonderful old pieces of furniture like yours, it’s a keeper.
    Your and Joe’s home has turned out so well, so glad it turned out well about the tv your dad gave you. Your shelf under tv was smart solution to hide those cords, don’t you hate how cords look?This Spring we bought an old 6 drawer wood dresser at our local thrift shop for $20.Cost more for the paint and the casters than it did the dresser. Since the dresser was heavy wood I decided would be much easier to move it across carpet with casters, Mr.Furry didn’t want to get the casters but when we were bringing it into house, getting it located he decided was good idea, me too so Mr.Furry wouldn’t complain when I got urge to move furniture. After almost 49 years together have learned a little bit, lol. Always love your posts.Have wonderful week

    • September 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you JaneEllen, for coming by, reading and commenting! I hear ya about those castors! Almost every piece of furniture my grandparents’ had had castors on them lol so handy! Especially with the big old pieces that are solid wood, they are gorgeous but they are also really HEAVY.

  10. September 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Nice! I wish we would get our tv hung up on a wall mount. I hate our stand. lol Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight Party @DearCreatives Pinned & Sharing

    • September 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Hey Theresa, surprisingly the wall mounts are really inexpensive, I purchased ours on Amazon for less then $20! Thanks for coming by!

  11. September 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    What a neat idea!! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  12. September 30, 2017 at 4:18 am

    This looks so much better than the white cord tubes along the walls. Great job and thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  13. Deborah W.
    October 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    What a great idea! Love it so much! You are amazing!

    • October 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you so much Deborah!

  14. October 2, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Such a good idea for hiding all of those cords. You did a great job! Thank you for sharing on Party in Your PJ’s! Pinned and shared.

  15. October 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I love it. Can’t wait to try this. Great idea.

    • October 18, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks for coming by, reading and commenting!

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Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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