Another Fall mantel project {sort off}

As promised here I am on this beautiful Monday evening to show you what I have been up to this weekend. I made a dream come true and ended up with a new Fall mantel decoration.


Fall mantel decoration lantern pinecones wicker heart via songbirdblog


As beautiful as my romantic Fall mantel was, it needed to go for the realization of this wish on my wish list. As you can see I have a planked background above my mantel now and I am loving it. 


Fall mantel decoration in brown lantern pinecones wicker heart via songbirdblog


I have probably always loved planked walls – as long as it are not those knotted pine planks from the seventies – but ever since I have seen so many beautiful white wood walls go up all over blogland I have wanted one. 

Really wanted one. 

I once suggested it to my Love, “honey I have an idea, how about I cover that wall in white boards”……

He needed just one look, and I moved right on with that idea.

One look was what he gave me, and I gave up the idea of a planked wall.

One deadly look……


mini pine cone wreath via songbirdblog


But he has a point. As much as I don’t want to admit it, to put a wall of planks up in our house is somewhat of a lifelong commitment.

Let me explain. As you know I live in Europe, in the Netherlands to be precise and houses are built a bit different over here. When you live in an apartment building or even in a newish home (say built in the eighties or later) your interior walls are probably solid concrete. And when I say solid I mean rock hard solid. I have lived in several of those apartment buildings and I needed a heavy duty specialty drill and a very strong powerful man to drill even the tiniest of holes in a wall.

Now I live in a house that is over 70 years old and built right in the middle of WW II. We have brick walls. Drilling a hole to hang a little picture usually goes something like this:

I take the tiniest of drill bits we have, specifically meant for brick. I put the drill at the highest speed. I start drilling and the plaster starts flying everywhere, resulting in a gaping hole. The red brick will start to crumble resulting in an ever bigger hole. And then before you are even deep enough for the screw you will hit a pebble in the brick and there is no way the drill will go in even further. 

Drilling in our walls is an art form, that usually results in catastrophy. A plank wall would mean serious drilling and therefor serious holes. No nail gun action in this house. 


faux planked wall mantel via songbirdblog


So a planked wall was out of the question, especially in the living room. Especially since the need for avoiding drilling holes was so intense that my love has installed these picture rails all around the room. If I wanted to hang something above my ‘mantel’  then I needed to use that one wire with a big hook to hang it. 

You can imagine that that seriously cramped my mantel decorating options.

But the dream of simple wood planks never completely left me.

And now I have this.

A planked wall above my mantel.


Fall mantel decoration pinecone wreath pumpkins and  lantern wicker heart 2 via songbirdblog


Let’s zoom out

See it is a faux planked wall. 


faux plank wall mantel background via songbirdblog


I rigged up a bit of a wall. It might look a bit odd in this picture all zoomed and cropped, but trust me, it looks really nice in real life.


planks for mantel background test run

I actually used those same boards that are used for those seventies cabin-look walls, how is that for irony :-)

As you can see from this test run, I made it so that the pipe with the electrical wire on the right hand side will be hidden now. And on the left hand side the the frame lines up with the boards to make for a nice side view.

The making was quite easy, especially with an extra set of hands. 


planks for mantel background


This picture basically shows it in one image. A simple frame that the tongue in groove boards were nailed too. As you can see I didn’t cut that right hand beam until last because it was impossible to accurately measure the final height of the planks. 

The last board extends a bit beyond the top cross beam, that way I could add some ring hooks that I could use with the hooks from the picture hanging rail. Although it is pretty light weight and rests on the shelf, I still wanted to anchor the whole thing to the wall, without drilling of course. 

Then I painted it all white. Took three quick layers.

 faux planked wall mantel via songbirdblog 1

You can not  imagine the joy I felt when I hammered in a nail to hang my little heart. Heaven, it was heaven.


I already have so many ideas for mantel decorations that I could never do before. I love it.

Do you love it too?



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  1. says

    What is NOT to love about it? I’m dreaming up a million ways to get this incorporated behind my wood stove.
    …and maybe on the wall of my bedroom (correction 2 outside walls)
    pphsssh! do I love it too…
    silly, girl.
    I love just about everything you do!

  2. says

    I do love it. I’m hankering over some beadboard wood paneling like that for my bathroom. But we don’t have the trouble nailing stuff to the walls like you do. Great adaptation.