My inspiration came from this blog: www.addicted2decorating.com/diy-rough-hewn-wood-fireplace-mantel.html
And I'm sooooo happy with how it turned out! Here is a walk though of how I did it.
I filled in all the nail holes with wood putty and then I stained it :)
Because I had to wait for the stain to dry this is a 2 day project. I used Dark Walnut from Minwax and did approximately 2 coats.
Next step was to screw a 2x4 into the studs above my fireplace. This is where measuring the size of your mantle that you made is important. The mantle slides over this piece and is nailed in. So measure 2x before you screw in the 2x4! The little pieces in front are just for extra support for the top piece of the mantle.
And here she is! Because I took the pic almost straight on it looks like it hangs over, but it is flush with the little corner. It doesn't hang over the sides :)
It really wasn't too hard and it wasn't very expensive. Total came in under $45. So go ahead! Give it a shot!