DIY Picture Ledges for Under $15

This week I decided to dabble in some woodworking, and by that I mean screwing a few boards together, painting them, and calling them picture ledges. Believe me when I say that if I can do this, anyone can.... even if you have a crappy drill that dies every 5 minutes. If you're like me and think your drill is out to get you, make sure you have a beverage nearby.... and no, I'm not talking about sweet tea.

(Also sorry about the grainy photos, my iPhone usually isn't this terrible. If only Santa would bring me a DSLR camera early!)

These picture ledges are a great project to try if you are a beginner DIYer, live five hours from an IKEA, or if you want to show your significant other that you can use power tools without their help!

Instead of doing a typical gallery wall in our master bedroom, I wanted to use picture ledges so I can swap out pictures or move frames around more easily. The shelves I made are basically knockoffs of Ikea's Ribba ledges ($10-15 each) and Pottery Barn's Holman ledges ($29-49 each). This project will cost you $15 at most for three 32" picture ledges. So yeah, that was an easy decision!

I thought about doing an entire tutorial for ya'll, but they do a pretty good job on Ana White's website here. The only thing I would note is that I used whiteboard, which was a couple bucks more than a regular boards, so if you opt for the cheaper wood the total cost will be less.

I asked the folks at Lowes to cut the boards down for me so I wouldn't have to attempt that myself with our nonexistent jig saw. Another thing you might need if you are building these by yourself is a clamp or two to keep the boards in place while you are working. Here is a photo of one ledge after I finished building it. And yes, I built these on our living room floor because it was hot as balls in the garage!

After you build the ledges, make sure to give them a good sanding with 120 grit sandpaper. I did this part even though I was using Chalk Paint on them. If you're using a regular paint, the next steps go like this: prime, sand, wipe off dust, paint coat 1, sand, wipe off dust, and paint final coat.

To hang the ledges, I used a stud finder on our wall so I wouldn't have to deal with anchors. That allowed me to find the sturdiest part of our wall and use the same wood screws I already had.

I obviously need to get some more frames to add more photos and possibly some artwork to this. I think I'll pick a new picture for the 8x10 frame so that I can stand it vertically and also spray it silver. Overall the ledges came out great though and were so easy! It's a good weekend project that you can work on and come back to as you let the primer and/or paint dry.

Also, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White on these ledges!! It was a little more yellow looking than I expected but only in certain lighting (including in these terrible photos). I'll have more to say about that once I use it on our dresser! I'll also post better photos this weekend so check back!

What do you think?! Anyone up for trying this project or have you done something similar before?


  1. I guess its just me that assumes a adult beverage is a must have with every single DIY project I start! :) Also, I just told my hubby the other night that I swear all my power tools turn into lil transformers and plot against me! haha! Have a good day!


    1. haha same here!! We invested in a good drill this week, so I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't spaz on me too! Glad I'm not the only one :)

  2. I will have to try this project out! :)


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