DIY Photo Ledge Tutorial
Last week, I shared my finished and styled photo ledge Eddie and I made for our bedroom. Now I’m back to talk about how I made it so you can make your own!
We loved these ledges from ikea for their flexibility in changing out frames and decor, but wanted something longer (the longest ikea ones are 45″, and we wanted at least 60″). Here’s what you’ll need to make your own: Supplies:
- Lumber: 1×2, 1×3, and 1×4 in the length of your final shelf
- Primer (
- Paint ( is plenty, I used un-tinted white in semi-gloss)
- Screws (I used (6) 1.5″ #6 screws for assembly and (3) 2″ #6 screws for attaching to the wall)
- Wood putty
- Electric drill
- Paint roller & tray
- Putty spatula (like this)
Our home depot was actually out of 1x2s and 1x3s, so we actually got a 1×4 and a 1×6 and cut the 1×6 down to a 1×2, 1×3, and some leftover with our table saw. Once you’ve got the lumber, start by priming and then painting each piece. Then clamp them together, pre-drill, and screw to assemble. You can see how the pieces go together below:
My center board was noticeably warped, so we did lots of clamping. Note that you don’t need to clamp the whole piece at once (I only have 4 clamps!). we started at one end, lined up the ends of the boards, and clamped about 6″ on either side of my screw (less on the ends, since you want to anchor the ends securely close to the edges) then pre-drilled, put in the screw, and moved the clamps.
We screwed the back (1×3) on first, and didn’t worry about covering those screws since they’ll be against the wall. When we attached the front, we made sure to sink the screws in past the face of the wood so we’d be able to cover them up.
Once everything was assembled, I sanded the wood around the screws on the front since there was a bit of tiny splintering. I then filled the holes with putty. After that dried (read your putty instructions, mine said two hours for deeper holes so that’s how long I waited), I sanded the putty even with the wood finish and painted over it.
Voila – seamless photo ledge! To attach it to the wall, we first found the studs and marked them vertically with painters tape. Then we lined up the shelf where we wanted it – cenetered over the headboard and at a height we liked. We attached the shelf to a stud on one end with the drill at an angle so the screw is below the front lip of the shelf – this makes the screw invisible from the front. We then used a level to make sure it was nice and flat, and attached the shelf to two more studs in the same manner.
Here’s the whole thing with all the decorations I have up there for now:
And here’s where you can find tutorials to the projects in that image that I’ve made myself and shared on the blog: