Easy Display Shelf or Picture Ledge

9 Materials
2 Hours

My son, like most children, has hundreds of toy cars. We recently gave his room a makeover and I scoured the internet for fun ways to display his collection. After realizing how pricy display cases can be, I decided to DIY these fun display shelves. This style of shelf can also work as a picture ledge.


If you do not have all the supplies you'll need on hand, you'll want to take measurements before you head to the hardware store. I decided on four 36" inch shelves.


To build four 36" shelves you will need two 1x3 common boards, small multi purpose construction screws, L brackets and... YARDSTICKS! To keep the cost down and add a fun spin to the shelf, I chose to use yardsticks for the lip. Yardsticks are stainable and paintable.

You can use your yardstick to measure and mark the common board for cuts. I recommend using a table saw to make the cuts as you'll get a smooth edge and have less sanding to do, but you can use any saw you have on hand. If you do not have a saw, most hardware stores will cut the wood for you.


When all the cuts are made you'll lightly sand your boards and yardsticks to prep them for staining. I used a fine grit sandpaper.

Lip Install

To install the yardstick lip line the yardstick up with the common board. You will then use a small drill bit to make pilot holes, this will prevent the wood from splitting. Use a screwdriver to screw in the small multi purpose construction screws and secure the lip. A brad nailer would also work well if you have one. Wood glue and clamps may also work.

Bracket Install

Measure and mark where you want your L brackets to be. I chose to place them 4 inches in from both sides. To install the L bracket you will use the same small drill bit and make pilot holes. Again, use a screwdriver to screw in the screws.


Now that your shelves are constructed it's time to stain them. I used leftover Golden Oak wood stain and paper towels to rub the stain on. You can use any leftover cloth or your prefered stain brush if you choose. These shelves can also be painted.

Level and Hang

Once the stain is dry you will need a level and drywall screws and anchors to hang them.


My son enjoys these shelves as much as I do, if not more. They are a fun way for him to display his favorite cars. He can also use the yardstick lip to measure how long the cars are. *The cost of this project does not include power tools used*

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3 of 18 comments
  • Goldbeargirl Goldbeargirl on Aug 29, 2020

    So cute and so simple! My grandsons will LOVE this as they have SO many little cars and trains they play with!! Thank you for a great idea

  • MaxMax MaxMax on Sep 20, 2020

    Great idea! I think I might try, but by attaching the shelves to a large peg board, frame, then attach that to the wall.. Love the yardsticks!!