How to Make Your Own Picture-Perfect Photo Ledge

Don’t break the bank with a store-bought shelf, DIY a custom photo ledge you’ll be proud to display in your space.

Get the Step-by-Step Instructions

DIY Wooden Photo Ledge 01:33

This simple wooden ledge is perfect for displaying your favorite photos or books.

Show: HGTV Happy

Picture ledges are a sleek, beautiful way to display pictures, books, vinyl records and so much more. Instead of spending way too much on a store-bought shelf that may not even be the right length for your space, DIY your very own to the exact specs you are wanting!

Materials Needed

  • (2) 1x4 x 4’ pine boards
  • (1) 1x2 x 4’ pine board
  • stain + cloth
  • gloves
  • wood glue
  • trigger clamps
  • finish nails
  • hammer
  • drill + bit
  • 1” wood screws

Stain the Wood

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Using the stain color of your choice, spread a layer on each board and wipe off the excess.

Glue Up

Once the stain has dried, spread glue on one edge of one of the 1x4 boards. With the other 1x4 board lying flat, place the glued piece upright on the front edge. Next, spread glue on the top edge and place the 1x2 on top parallel with the bottom board. The achieved shape should resemble a “J.”


Once the glue has been allowed to dry overnight, remove the clamps and further secure the 1x2 with finish nails if desired. On the back, screw pilot holes and drive 1-inch wood screws to increase the overall strength of the ledge. To hang, locate the studs in the wall and drill directly through the back boards into the wall. The type of screw will depend on your wall and how much weight you plan to put on the ledge, but most likely a 2-inch wood screw will do the trick.

Decorate and Display

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Adorn with family photos and memories or place above a record player with your favorite vinyl on display. Whatever you choose, this ledge is sure to bring a touch of minimalist sophistication to any space.

Next Up

Leather + Wood Mashup: DIY Leather Strap Shelf

Give plain wooden shelves a stylish boost with DIY leather straps.

How to Build Beach-Inspired Bamboo Wall Shelves

Carter Oosterhouse combines wavy-patterned acrylic panels with earth-friendly bamboo to create an exotic display shelf.

How to Make a Wood Photo Transfer

Transfer a wedding photo onto wood to make the perfect anniversary gift.

How to Construct DIY Acrylic Shelving

Learning to build a beautiful set of shelves has never been clearer.

How to Make a Hanging Triangle Shelf

Dan Faires shows how to make a rustic hanging triangle shelf using minimal materials.

Pine and Plumbing Supply Shelving System

Add industrial-chic open storage to a space with plumbing supplies and basic lumber.

DIY This: Floor-To-Ceiling Rope Shelf

Give your cowgirl boots (or whatever else!) a snazzy place to rest with this simple DIY for custom floor-to-ceiling shelving.

How to Build Floating Storage Shelves

Carter Oosterhouse uses extra wall space to add more storage to an entertainment center.

How to Build Floating Shelves with Accent Timber

A recessed niche is dressed up with exotic-style wood shelves.

DIY This: A Quick, Bright Bookshelf Upgrade That's Totally Temporary

Is your bookcase basic? We've got a colorful cure.

What's New in Handmade

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.