When the budget on a remodel slowed to a halt, I was asked by a builder to help make a mantle from original trim pieces removed from various parts of the house that had not been reused at this point. We discussed a basic design, I built up a top, scrounged around for a few interesting looking pieces, and built a mantle. The painters touched it up some, but it turned out better than I thought it would.
Old trim pieces cut down and glued up for the top.
Simple design fit with no modification to walls or brick.
Had to add a lap joint on the face due to a knot that wasn't gonna work.
As you can see by the door, it matches a few of the other old trim portions (not the windows here), build in's, and doors kept in the house. Wall still being touched up by the painters.
I dug through the piles of old material to look for interesting pieces and found this funky quarter-sawn speckled piece to use on the front.
Perhaps a few different stain layers and colors between the pieces.. oak.
Mantle done. I still think working with old material is a pain, but it looks ok.