The floating ledge shelf has many uses and can be made from a wide variety of woods. In this tutorial, we will use scrap lumber to build the picture ledge shelf. If you don’t have any scrap lumber around that will serve this purpose
If you have been looking for additional space to display those new pictures, books, or keepsakes throughout your home or office. These DIY picture ledge shelves create as much space as you need with minimal effort.
It’s easy to say that for less than 20 bucks you could have 8 to 10 feet of additional shelf space ready by the end of the day on a Saturday of your choosing. I am going to use some salvage lumber to build two 75″ shelves for my daughter during this tutorial.
DIY floating picture ledge shelf materials list
- 1x boards that are in salvageable condition or if bought 1 – 1x2x8 and 2 – 1x4x8
- Wood glue
- 1 1/2″ ” finishing nails
- Nail punch
- Drill and a small bit
- Sandpaper varying from 60 to 220 grit
- Orbital sander and pads
- wood filler
- keyhole hangers
- Paint or stain
Let’s get started with the tutorial and get these shelves built.
How to make a floating picture ledge shelf
Step 1 Find the 1x’s that have minimum bows and no twisting or cupping.
Salvage or new be very selective when picking any lumber you plan to use for any of your projects. Once you have made your selections it’s time to cut the boards to size. Having access to a table saw will rip the wider boards down to size.
Step 2: Measure and cut the boards to size
The finished product is going to be 75 inches long with a ledge 1 1/2″ tall and a shelf 3 1/2 wide. If you have bought precut boards this step is already finished and you are ready for the next step.
Step 3: Glue and clamp the shelf pieces.
Now it’s time to glue and clamp the pieces together. I break this process into two stages, gluing the face of the shelf to the tray and then the wall side to the tray. Use clamps liberally and clean up any glue that is visible, it will save you time later on.
Step 4: Clean up any glue drops and add nails or screws for added strength.
Remove the clamps and predrill the holes for the 1 1/2″ finishing nails to be added for additional strength of the shelf. Once you have finished nailing use a nail punch to drive the nails below the surface of the wood, now using a chisel, knife, or wood plane remove any glue dripping that happened during the drying process.
Step 5: Prepare the shelf for painting or staining.
Apply wood filler to fill any nail holes or imperfections in the shelf, I leave a generous glob above the surface of the wood to ensure that once the filler dries there is enough filler to create a level surface once the sanding is complete.
Once the filler dries remove the excess wood filler by lightly using a chisel or low-grit sandpaper backed to a sanding block several inches long to ensure the filler remains at surface level.
Progressing to a sandpaper grit of 220 will remove any saw marks or other imperfections that might be visible, for this I used an orbital sander but a sanding block would well.
Step 6: Paint or stain the shelf.
Painting is one of those tasks you love or hate, there isn’t much middle ground for this task. If you are who doesn’t love this task, here are a few pointers give yourself plenty of time, and paint using thin coats and even strokes. Since this shelf is narrow a 1 1/2″ brush, will reduce the chance that other areas of the shelf will be brushed unintentionally.
More DIY Projects:
- This DIY Shadowbox is a great way to repurpose otherwise items that have outlived their usefulness.
- Learn How to Make a Corbel Table to refresh a corner of your home with a cute, easy new space!
- Consider making a DIY Grow Frame for your indoor plants or as a gift to your favorite plant parent!
- This Pallet Bookshelf for Kids is a simple, convenient project! The bookshelf can sit on a table or be installed on the wall to reduce clutter.
- When you really want to give an area a makeover, consider adding a DIY Brick Kitchen Nook! It can be done over a weekend for a fun, refreshing project!