If you’re someone who loves displaying their pictures and art, a picture ledge can be a great way to do so while adding architectural interest to your space. But if you’re lacking the money or time, you might be thinking that it’s something that you could never DIY yourself. That’s not true! In fact, making your own picture ledge is actually quite simple! Here are the steps that you’ll need to follow in order to create your own DIY picture ledge at home.
Step 1. Gather supplies
This step is easy! You probably have everything you need already lying around your house. You’ll need some wood (2x4s, 1x4s, or other dimensional lumber) and nails. We used 3-inch nails for our project, but you can use longer ones if you want more support. After you measure how much material you’ll need (which depends on how wide your ledge will be), head out to your local home improvement store or hardware store and get all of that stuff. Also buy some paint, primer, and sealer if you plan on staining your frame instead of painting it. And don’t forget about construction adhesive! It helps hold things together nicely and makes for a sturdy ledge when all is said and done.
Step 2. Choose your wood
A picture ledge is an easy project for any woodworker. You can use any wood you want, so long as it’s sturdy enough to handle hanging frames and other decorative pieces of art without bending or warping. Common woods used for picture ledges include oak, maple, pine, and poplar. Use a circular saw to cut your wood: If you’re going with plywood instead of solid lumber, use your circular saw with a guide attached to make straight cuts along each side of your desired width; leave about 1⁄4 inch extra all around when making these cuts. Use clamps to secure your wood together
Step 3. Measure
To create your ledge, you’ll need three wooden strips, each measuring 4×24. You can cut them with a circular saw or handsaw, or have them custom cut at a home improvement store. From here, stain each side of all three strips (you can also stain one side and paint another—the choice is yours). To secure your picture ledge, place two screws (or nails) on either end of one strip and hammer into place. Place wood glue between each strip and screw in place using 1.5-inch wood screws. The result is strong and sturdy enough for hanging pictures that won’t slip out over time!
Step 4. Assemble the ledge
Once you’ve cut your boards, it’s time to assemble them. As I mentioned in my materials list, if you have pre-cut boards then skip. If not, get started by applying glue to one of your two largest boards, and then lining up one of your smaller pieces on top. Then apply glue on top of that piece and repeat with another small board. You should now have three sections that are glued together – each attached to each other via two small pieces of wood sandwiched between larger boards. Repeat these steps until all of your wood is cut into equal squares, then connect them together using wood glue and finishing nails or screws. Leave about 1⁄2 inch space between each board so there will be enough room for hanging pictures later on!
Step 5. Stain or paint your DIY picture ledge
Just because your DIY picture ledge is finished doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Whether you want a rustic look or an artistic, one-of-kind painting, now is your chance. Staining gives you more variety of colors and patterns than painting does, so consider doing that if you’re looking for something that pops and adds visual interest. Also, be sure to choose oil-based stain if you want it resistant against water or water-based stain if you’re hoping for something easy to clean up—like when a toddler throws her juice on it. Painting allows you even more artistic freedom.