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You will need the following supplies:
- Thin sheet of plywood
- Black Chalk Spray Paint
- Liquid Nails Glue (YES- get a 2 pack!)
- Wood Chips (I used a few types/sizes mixed together)
- Saw/jigsaw to cut plywood to size AND to cut logs into round slices.
- Bag of green moss
*Step 1* – PRE-PLAN! How will you be placing the log insert inside your mantel opening? Will you be placing it inside with the mantel already up? Or, will you be placing the insert on the wall first, then placing the mantel over it? Each scenario requires different sizing . I recommend nailing the log insert to the wall first, then placing the mantel over it. This way, the sizing can be a bit off and it always guarantees a perfect fit. This is the way I did BOTH of my log inserts (one in entryway and one in Teddy’s room).
Step 2: CUT PLYWOOD. Once you have your measurements, cut your piece of plywood to the size of your mantel’s opening. Again, if you are placing the insert on the wall first, you can make each side 1/2 inch larger. If your mantel is already up and you need the insert to be a perfect fit, you will need to measure the opening PRECISELY and test it out! Make sure the piece fits nicely in the opening BEFORE adding the logs.
Step 3: CUT LOGS. Cut the birch logs and pinon wood to round slices using a saw.
Step 4: SPRAY PAINT. Spray paint your piece of plywood with black chalk spray paint. Great news: you can be as sloppy as you want with this step – almost all of the plywood will be covered with your log slices.
Step 5: ARRANGE! Arrange your wood slices on the plywood. This takes a while but I loved this step. You can play around with different arrangements. Once you like the arrangement, it’s time to start gluing.
Step 6: GLUE. Using liquid nails glue, put a glob on the back of each wood slice, and press it down firmly onto the plywood. LET IT DRY FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS before picking it up!
Step 7: ADD MOSS. In the bare spots, you want to glue down some moss to add greenery. I did this randomly – NOT in every bare spot.
Step 8: INSERT YOUR INSERT (ha!). When I did mine, I nailed the insert to the wall first, then placed the mantel over top of it.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you decide to try this out, make sure you send me pictures of your mantel @christineonlex 🙂