Just recently, I realized I had never shared this tutorial for How to Make DIY Photo Ledges with you! We have actually had these finished for a year and a half and I could have sworn I had shared them. But I didn’t. I also never shared how we did the ship lap walls in this room. So that tutorial will also be coming soon!
These photo shelves are seriously so easy to make. Like so easy! If you have been intimidated about doing a DIY project on your own, this would be the perfect project to start with. It will only take you a couple of hours (except for drying times) to complete.
I love how this photo wall turned out! And I love how it fills the space on this once awkward wall so nicely! Now you can make a photo ledge for your home too!
These are the directions for making a DIY Photo Ledge and it will make one shelf. We have two shelves, so you will just need to repeat the process to make another one! These are the dimensions of our particular shelves, but you may want to adjust the lengths to fit your particular wall space.
*Use a harder wood other than pine. We used poplar wood for our shelves.
You will need the following materials:
8 foot in length, 1 inch x 2 inch piece of wood
8 foot in length, 1 inch x 3 inch piece of wood
8 foot in length, 1 inch x 4 inch piece of wood
mitre box saw
nail gun (nails and hammer)
1. If needed, cut your wood to the length you want your shelf to be…our shelves are 8 feet long.
2. The back of the photo ledge will be the 4 inch piece of wood. Add a thin line of glue along the bottom edge of the 4 inch piece of wood. Glue it to the 3 inch piece of wood as seen in the photo below. Secure with several nails or wood screws along the backside of the 4 inch piece of wood. Wipe off any excess glue from the seams of the photo ledge.
3. Glue the 2 inch piece of wood to the other side of the 3 inch piece of wood. Secure in place with some nails along the backside of the 2 inch piece of wood. Wipe off any excess glue. Let the glue dry.
4. Sand all of the edges with sand paper and a hand sander. Wipe off any excess dust with a slightly damp cloth.
5. Fill in the cracks with a thin line of painter’s caulk. Smooth the caulk with your finger and wipe off any excess before it dries.
6. Paint your shelf or stain it. Let it dry completely!
7. To hang your shelf on the wall, you will want to make sure your are screwing it into the wall studs so that it is extra sturdy and not in danger of pulling off of the wall…especially if you have a little one who might be tempted to hang from it!
8. We used a stud finder along the wall and marked with painter’s tape where the studs where so we knew where to add the screws and screw the shelf into the wall. We also used a level to make sure the photo ledges were straight.
9. We held the shelf up to the wall where it was going to be and used the painters tape markers to mark on the shelf where the screws would be. Then using a drill and a bit, we screwed into the wood and created some pilot holes. These pilot holes will prevent your screws from splitting the wood on the shelf.
10. You will need someone to help hold the shelf while you screw it onto the wall where you have marked your studs. Screw right through the wood. These holes will most likely be hidden with your photo frames. If they are showing, simply add a little dab of paint on the front of the screw and it will disappear. The back of the shelf will be the taller 4 inch piece of wood.
Add your photos and enjoy your beautiful photo wall for years to come! Do you know what else I love about this type of a photo wall? I love how easy it is to change out photos. When you get a fun new photo that you want to display, all you have to do is change out your photo and simply place the frame back onto the photo ledge!
I LOVE this space now! This wall used to be a little bit awkward and long and I had a hard time knowing how to decorate it before. I also love the contrast of the fun and colorful photos against the white background! The ship lap adds a little bit of extra texture as well and this room has really become one of my favorite spaces.
The kids also enjoy seeing themselves on our walls. Photos really add a beautiful and personal touch to your home! It can also remind you of all the many great things you have done together as a family and remind us of loved ones who may no longer be in your home for one reason or another!
Now go and make some for your own home! I would love to see them if you end up making some! I love when my readers share their projects with me! Feel free to ask any questions and I am happy to answer them!
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo