Dining room faux fireplace mantel

The Cottage

A few months ago I started searching for a mantel for our dining room! For the last two years we’ve been in our house there has always been something not quite right to me in the dining room. The wall on the right side of the room is so large and no matter how I decorated it, it felt off. One day I was browsing through Pinterest and saw a faux fireplace when it hit me – that’s what it needed! Right away I hopped on Facebook Marketplace and started searching. Surprisingly it only took two days to find one in my budget. This mantel was chippy and gorgeous and only $100! Most fireplace mantels were priced near $350-$400 so when I saw this one I immediately made plans with the seller to purchase it.

We drove over an hour to pick up the gorgeous piece and as soon as I got it home and leaned it against the wall, I knew my brain could finally rest because this was what this space needed! I loved it but in order for it to match the style and decor in our house, I knew it needed to be lightened up a bit. Off I ran to Michaels and purchased Folk Art Milk Paint! This paint was perfect because it wasn’t a thick coat of paint, just enough to give it a “white washed” look.

Once the mantel was complete we mounted it on the wall by attaching heavy duty picture frame brackets to the back of the mantel and hung it on the wall. We kept it low enough so the legs would still touch the ground and help support the weight of the mantel. I knew right away I wanted to build an insert and had just the perfect idea in mind.

I have seen book page inserts floating around Pinterest and Instagram but never any tutorials on how to make one that I’m aware of, hence the point of this blog post. This may have been the most simple DIY project yet and looks like a million dollars! Here’s how to make one yourself!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 piece of hobby board or 1/4 inch plywood

1 book – I recommend a novel or a book with all words

Glue gun

Glue sticks


Nail and Nail gun

Here’s how to make a book page insert:

First start by ripping lots and lots of pages out of the book you will be using. I love the look of ripped pages so the more tattered the better.

I started gluing individual pages at the bottom of the hobby board and worked my way up. In my opinion, making them look different and mixing up the way they lay on the board gave it a much more textured look.

Don’t overdo it with the hot glue or you will have lumps and bumps behind the pages. I typically did a thin line on 2 sides and small dots on the others.

I did overlap the pages on the hobby board so it would have a clean line to cut the edges with. I recommend making your board about 2-3 inches bigger than the space so you don’t have to make it look perfect since it will be tucked in behind the mantel.

Once it was all dry, I tripped up the edges with scissors. From there we used a nail gun and attached it to the back of the mantel. If you don’t want to attach it, you can always just slide it in behind the mantel.

That’s it! Pretty easy peasy! There are lot of other ideas for faux fireplace mantel inserts as well I will link here for you to get more inspiration!

Thanks for reading and as always if you try this out, please tag me on instagram @ourgatheredcottage!



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