Picture Ledge

7 Materials
2 Hours

This simple and inexpensive picture ledge was my first DIY! It is such a great way to spruce up a blank wall. What I love most about it is that you can display pictures and art SO EASILY. You don't have to worry about putting holes in the wall and you can switch them out whenever you'd like!

I love how minimalist this ledge looks! See below for the before picture. My living room felt so bare. Now it's perfect!

Before Picture Ledge

Now, lets talk about supplies...

I used wood from the common board section of Home Depot. This is the most inexpensive option! You could also use pine board in the same sizes, but it will cost you a little more. The benefit of getting pine board is that is looks much nicer and you wouldn't have to sand quite as much as you do with the common board. But I personally love the knots from the common board and don't mind giving them a little extra love! You will need:

*Two 1x4x8 pieces

*One 1x2x8 piece

Luckily 8ft was the perfect size for my living room, so no cutting was necessary. These boards come in other lengths as well.

Before I started building the ledge, I sanded these boards down with 3 different sanding sponges in this order:

  1. 80 grit
  2. 120 grit
  3. 200 grit

The first step is to attach one of the 1x4s to the 1x2 using wood glue. Use a couple clamps to hold it together. We only had two but that did the trick. The wood glue is really just extra reinforcement because I then used a nail gun to really secure it in place.

This nail gun is my favorite purchase! I used 1 1/2" brad nails.

Now you'll add the last 1x4! Just like the other piece, you'll use wood glue to attach it initially and clamp to hold it in place.

Instead of using the nail gun for the final piece, I used 2" screws. (This needs to be a little stronger since it will be bearing the weight of whatever you display) You'll drill the screws in from the back and you don't have to worry about them showing because this part will be attached to the wall!

Side note: My original plan was to paint them, but then I started to really love the natural wood so I held off!

We attached the ledge to the wall using 2 1/2" screws (the only reason we used screw that long was because we had to go through the wood, the shiplap, and the drywall! I'm sure 2" would be just fine!)

The screws will be visible, however, I just cover them up with art and pictures so it didn't bother me!

Update: this December I decided to make another picture ledge and paint them both white! I just love this project so much and I hope you enjoy it too

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

Make Your Kitchen Beautiful With These 15 Inexpensive Ideas
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
13 Bird Feeders From Upcycled Items
15 Totally Doable Makeover Ideas You Can Finish In One Day
31 Update Ideas To Make Your Kitchen Look Fabulous
32 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
18 String Art Ideas That You'll Want To Hang In Your Home

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Bgray
    on Jan 13, 2021

    Great Job! I've thought about doing a couple shelves like this in my family room at maybe 8 feet up (I have an 18' ceiling), to display pictures...said pictures are currently hanging on the walls but I like the overlap look (like in your first pic) and could add a couple pictures that way but worry about a picture falling, due to a door slam or such, and hitting someone in the head or breaking. Have your pictures ever fallen off the shelves? I realize there is a 2" lip in front but with a bigger picture, like say 20x15...20 being the vertical length, I figure it would flip right over that lip. Any thoughts?

    • Elisha
      on Jan 14, 2021

      Hi there! Thank you SO much!!

      That sounds like such a great idea for your family room wall! Great question! I have not had any issues with pictures falling EXCEPT when my cats knocked one down in the middle of the night. LOL they can reach it from my couch. Unless you have a crazy cat that can reach, I don't think you should have a problem, even with the larger pictures! :)

Join the conversation

4 of 9 comments
  • Lesle Stunkel
    Lesle Stunkel
    on Jan 16, 2021

    Definitely would add to the wall in our living area and so much easier than creating a faux fireplace surround. If one is worried about pictures falling (we have been experiencing earthquakes) one can use a product called “glue dots” or “command strips” to secure the tops of each picture.

  • Cindy Rubin
    Cindy Rubin
    on Feb 1, 2021

    I LOVE this. About 5 years ago I found 2 8ft long book shelves (with corbels on them) on the side of the road leaning up against garbage cans. Of course I stopped...lol. They were in PERFECT condition. I somehow got them into my minivan and brought them home. My husband asked why and of course my response was "because they are in perfect condition!" He asked what i was going to to with them; I answered honestly, "I have no idea, but they are in perfect condition ;). So for the last 5 years they have been in the garage... i mean every part of the garage. If we leaned them somewhere they inevitably fall over; if we layed them flat we were constantly tripping over them etc. My husband almost got rid of them several times and I came close to doing it as well a couple of times. NOW I GET TO USE THEM!! I have the perfect wall too! Simple but BRILLIANT!!

    • Elisha
      on Feb 2, 2021

      Ahhhh!!! That is SO exciting!! What a great find and now you can put them to use :) YAY!!

Your comment...