Vintage Mantel Headboard Reveal and Garage Sale Mirror Steal

It’s been two years since we found our vintage mantel.  I had always dreamed of having mantel for a headboard in our master bedroom and after years of patiently searching flea markets and salvage barns we finally found the perfect mantle for our room.

This post has been in the making for a long time.  But today I can claim it to be complete!

It’s finally a real headboard.

Vintage Mantle Headboard -Upholstered Headboard inset for Vintage Mantle in master bedroom

For over a year our vintage mantle “functioned” as a headboard, however it was far from being “functional”, for instance…it wasn’t attached to the wall, which made sitting things on top a bit harry.  Although the bed pretty much kept it stable, it wasn’t safe to set anything on top. And then there was the issue of the huge opening, where pillows or small children were lost if not careful.

RELAX! it was a joke.

No small children were harmed in the making of this headboard 🙂

But can you see the opening?  That got old real quick, but I guess it didn’t bother us too much since it took two years finish.

It was time to get this thing put into the DIY project complete column.

My plan was to cover the opening with a padded insert, but first we had to secure the mantle to the wall.  This we did with a few L brackets and attaching them into the wall studs.    The insert would then nest into the larger opening.

Well actually it would sit on top of the smaller opening but nest into the larger one…make sense?  No?  Okay, see where Jim’s hand is…the insert would sit on that ridge.

Once the L brackets were attached we still went months with no insert.

Seriously….we must be the slowest DIYers in the world.

Or you could say that I’m methodical and take my time meditating on how I will get the pictures in my head onto paper and then get it all completed.

We used three L brackets along the top inside of the mantle. This thing is not going anywhere! It is definitely secure.

We bought 3/4″ plywood to make the insert.  We measured it just right and allowed just enough room for padding and material.  In order to avoid attaching the insert to the mantel, we opted for a really snug fit.

eek! I forgot to close my bathroom door,  you can see my shower curtain reflecting in the mirror, ahh and the dust on the night stand.  nice touch! I totally planned that.

Next came the notching out at the upper corners to allow the padding and material to fit around the trim work.

I fell in love with the detailed trim on this mantel. It was not too ornate but just enough.

Then we wrapped the plywood in batting. We also cut two little mouse holes at the bottom of the board, not for mice though. We did this to pull the cords through for our lamps, phone and Jim’s C-PAP machine. We needed easy access to unplug if we needed to, so the extension cords run through the openings and we can access the plugs under the bed. We didn’t try to make these pretty because no one would ever see them. After we wrapped the board we just cut holes in the material where the mouse holes were.

We used painters drop cloth to upholster the board mainly because I wanted a neutral fabric that would go with any type of bedding and it matched my drop cloth bed skirt. I went with the #10 weight because it was thicker and more durable.

Although I haven’t done it yet, I would suggest Scotch guarding to keep it clean.

Upolstered headboard inset

Now it’s done and I am a happy, happy camper.

I love propping up my pillows and snuggling up with a good book or watch a movie on my laptop. I feel like a queen.

Vintage Mantle Headboard -Upholstered Headboard inset for Vintage Mantle in master bedroom


You probably couldn’t guess that I love pretty mirrors. I don’t love looking in them (LOL) but I rarely pass up the chance to buy one, especially if it’s a great price.

Jim and I headed out one morning on a mission of some sort and saw a garage sale sign.

We looked at each other, smiled and Jim did a u-turn.

I love how he reads my mind.

We found this beauty and bought it in a blink.

It’s big, heavy, beveled, beautiful and…


This is not where it will stay, but until I decided where to put it in our house and what color to paint the frame, I’ll leave it here. Besides, I’ve always wanted a mirror in this spot because our master bedroom is wonky. I can’t put the bed on this wall because of my bathroom door being smack dab in the middle of the wall. So my bed can never be seen from the door way, which stinks because I love looking at my mantel.

Placing a huge mirror here would solve that problem,


then I would see myself first thing every morning.

Not sure that’s a good thing.

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13 thoughts on “Vintage Mantel Headboard Reveal and Garage Sale Mirror Steal

  1. I love it…and I love your bedding!
    the mirrors I think are one of my things too. I have them all over my house. But I don’t like looking in them. I just like seeing them,too!

    1. Thank you Pat…I bought the bedding at Macy’s on clearance. It was a fluke that I found it because I never shop at malls or Macy’s but my daughter received a gift card for Macy’s and I coaxed her in there, I ended up finding this quilt and shams that was perfect for my room.

    1. Oh my goodness! Thank you for the feature. I am shocked and humbled…..and I think I’m speechless. Thank you again for hosting such a great link party so I could share my mantel headboard.

  2. What a great idea for a headboard. I have had old shutters and just completed an upholstered linen one for my spare bedroom but not seen anything like this. I spotted your makeover at the linky party.

    Lee 🙂

    1. It’s been something we’ve wanted to do for many years and we are thrilled how well it turned out. I had at one time used old shutters as a headboard, loved that look too, but I’ve since moved them to other places in my home. I love the look of linen, that was another look I was trying to capture so that’s another reason I went with the painters drop cloth, it has the look of linen, from a distance that is.

  3. Cindi, This is certainly one of my favorite posts. I think that I will copy your headboard, when I finally move. I love the idea of a mantle headboard, beautiful.

    1. Aww Jeannie….you’re so sweet. Copy away, I can’t wait to see it. We have really enjoyed our beautiful mantel headboard. My favorite part is staging things on top of if.

  4. OK, so I saw a post of yours on Pinterest of a rusty doorknob and now I’ve spent 20 minutes looking over your site. Love your cookie jars, love your crosses and am in total love with your headboard! And don’t even get me started on your mirrors. I have plans to making a wall of vintage mirrors in my entryway if I can just find another 15 or so 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just bought an old mantle at the flea market today, and we spent the entire ride home discussing how to attach it to the wall. Now I know what to do.

  6. I love what you did with the headboard, the accessories are perfect with it. Thank you for sharing your idea, it is an inspiration.

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