DIY picture ledges are one of my absolute favorite, go to, decor staples. You can customize them by length, you can stain or paint them & they’re great if you’re indecisive like me when it comes to hanging decor on the walls!

I haven’t talked about our house yet here on the blog but, it is what I consider a fixer upper. Not a tear the walls down kind of fixer upper but more like an everything in this house is off white/yellow kind of fixer upper. This house of ours is not our forever home, we bought it knowing we will only be living here for 3-4 years. So everything we do in this home I have resale in mind.

So that leads me to the DIY picture ledge. Knowing that we will be selling our house in the next 2-3 years I wanted to put minimal holes in the walls. [The previous owners did enough of that] The great thing about the ledges were I could swap out my decor any time without adding new holes.

We have a rather large living room with 12 foot ceilings, so picking the right decor for the walls has been a challenge. I love family photos and like to display them but, with such high ceilings my frames would just get lost.

That’s where the DIY picture ledge comes in handy! With a simple picture ledge I could layer the frames and not only display my family photos but it would add depth to the display instead of just hanging them on the wall.

DIY Picture Ledge

Anyone can make one of these ledges, it is honestly one of the most simple DIY projects we have done by far. Here are a few items that you will need to complete your picture ledge:

Supplies Needed :

Tools Needed :

  • Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System
  • Kreg Jig screws 1 1/4″ Coarse-Thread
  • Drill
  • Countersink drill bit
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Lint free rag OR brush for applying stain
  • Orbital sander
  • 2″ drywall screws

Step One: Measure your space, determine how long you want your shelf. The boards you can buy at any hardware store but, I know for a fact that Lowes and Home Depot will cut them to length for you. For our project we wanted to go with a 4 foot long shelf.

Measuring for our DIY Picture Ledge

So after getting the length you need it’s time to sand the boards and prep to drill the pocket holes so you can join the pieces together.

Step Two: This is where we used our Kreg Jig. If you don’t have one thats perfectly fine you can still do this project without one and just pre-drill your holes and use wood screws to attach everything.

Kreg Jig

For us having a Kreg Jig is essential because, we do so many projects and this tool is one of our most used. It makes our lives so much easier when building furniture. Now this isn’t our first picture ledge we have built and along the way we have made mistakes and kind of mastered where we like the pocket holes to be.

We use to put the pocket holes on the bottom to attach the 1×2 [front board] to the 1×4 [bottom board] but then realized if the shelf was up higher you could easily see the pocket holes from where you stood on the bottom of the shelf. So we decided this time around we were going to do the pocket holes on the top side of the shelf!

Pocket holes drilled into the bottom of the 1x4.

With them being on the top of the shelf where you put your frames they weren’t visible if mounted higher and you shouldn’t see them on the top side due to the frames being on them.

Pocket holes drilled into the top of the 1x4.

So once you have the pocket holes drilled to attach your 1×2 front board to your 1×4 base board you will need to take your last 1×4 [which will be your back board] and make pocket holes on the back side of it so its able to be joined to the base board.

Step Three: This next step is super simple and that is to join the boards together using the correct Kreg Jig screws. We decided to go with the Kreg Jig 1 1/4″ Coarse-Thread screws. They are made for soft woods/plywoods. I was having a hard time finding them on Amazon but we just got them at our local Lowes store.

Step Four: The FINAL step before hanging that beautiful masterpiece up on your wall is to stain or paint your DIY picture ledge. I have chosen to stain our picture ledge this time around. The stain combo I’m obsessed with lately is Minwax Weathered Oak & Minwax Provincial.

The stain I used for our DIY Picture Ledge.

Step Five: Hang that shelf! This step is pretty self explanatory! Use your stud finder to see if you can hit any of the studs. If you can’t find studs make sure you use wall anchors to secure it to the wall. We took a countersink drill bit and pre drilled our holes so they would lay flush with the wood. Then all you have to do is take some 2″ drywall screws to mount the picture ledge to the wall!

BAM!! There you have it! I hope this tutorial was simple, easy & helpful to accomplishing your DIY picture ledge! If you used my tutorial please send me a picture of your picture ledge styled to my instagram or email. I would love to see how yours turned out!

Until then if you missed my first blog post DIY Wireless Wall Sconce click here to see one of our other DIY Picture Ledges we have styled.

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  1. Definitely saving this for future reference when we move into a real house! Hanging frames is a bit intimidating, but this is a great way to display photos and other decor without the commitment.

    1. Just start throwing stuff up there and maybe you will get lucky and it will look good. To be honest that’s what I did here and I love it!

  2. This is seriously beautiful! I had my eye on some similar ones at pottery barn, but this will be so much cheaper! Love them, you guys did great!

  3. I love to do diy home decor. My hubby usually helps as I have a phobia of power tools lol. My fave is pallet pieces. I have lots around here. This is really cool looking, I love it.

  4. I will have to send this to my husband as a hint to start building us a diy shelf! That looks beautiful and your decor complements each other so well!

  5. This is soooo cuuuute! and it doesn’t look super hard. I’m not all that handy but I think even I can handle this one. I love that you broke it down with pictures. It makes it fool proof for me. Thank you!

    1. Your welcome! I’m a visual learner so all the pictures help a ton when learning to do something. 😀

  6. That’s a really good idea. I want to add pictures of us around the house but I don’t like the singular scattered look. The way you group them on the shelf is really pretty.

  7. That shelf looks so pretty! Might have to start working on one of these for my office! Thanks for the idea and all the steps to get it done quickly!

  8. So neat. I love the step by step instructions with the pictures. I’m a visual person, so being able to see what your talking about helps a lot. Great job 💕

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