How to Make a Shelf from a Decorative Stone Fragment
Repurpose sections of vintage marble or slate mantels to spruce up your entry hall, kitchen, or garden
With its elegant carvings and incised details, the center keystone is typically the most decorative part of a mantel. And because it's already routed in the back where a bolt used to secure it to the horizontal frieze, the keystone also lends itself well to artful repurposing as a wall hanging. All you need is a sturdy hook, a little epoxy, and a $10 vintage slate roof tile to transform it into a charming shelf.
1. Measure the width and depth of the keystone's top. Double the dimensions to determine how big its slate shelf should be. Too much overhang at the sides or front can make it unsteady.
2. Mark the desired width and depth on the slate; use a straightedge to trace the cutlines.
3. Clamp the slate to your worktable, and position a grinder's cutting wheel on a line. After a few passes, any overages should snap right off.
4. Flip the keystone facedown and use an awl to remove old mortar inside the hole, where the keystone's original bolt attachment would have been embedded.
5. Fill the hole with a fast-drying, two-part epoxy (such as Loctite's) formulated to bond metal and stone. Position a sturdy steel picture hook over the hole with its screws embedded in the epoxy.
6. Stand the keystone upright (I steadied mine inside a cinder block), spread epoxy on its top, and adhere the slate tile shelf. Now all that's left to do is let the epoxy cure—and hang your new pedestal shelf.