I’m sure you’re all sick to death of hearing about everyone’s New Year resolutions (I know I sure am) but I’m gonna lay this out there for you anyways: my resolution is to not spend ANY money (within reason) on house/project related items for the next 3 months (retro to January 1, obvi) and instead focus on completing ALL the projects I have just “waiting” to be started/finished. Now that I’ve verbalized it, I have no choice but to hold myself accountable.
Honest to God it is like a Michaels/thrift shop/furniture-to-be-flipped boneyard in our basement and it’s time to stop the madness! Lately, I’ve been really trying to curb my habit of buying stuff for the sake of buying it. “I don’t need it now but when I finally redo the bedroom the kitchen the blah blah blah” has been happening a lot lately, and if I’m to become a more responsible consumer and begin purging our house of anything and everything we don’t absolutely need or love, I’m going to have to dial it waaaaaaaay back. Like I said, I have an entire basement (and guest bedroom — yikes) full of “someday” projects, and a garage full of tools, wood, and paint. I think I can manage to keep myself occupied for the next little bit. I do feel compelled to at least place a little bit and/or all of the blame for my borderline hoarder tendencies on my Dad…and his Dad before him. When my parents were sorting through some of my Gramp’s stuff after he passed away, they legit found a cardboard box full of old shoelaces. Which my Dad decided to keep. At least I come by it honestly?
Today I’m bringing to you a project that you can find all over Pinterest, but is something I didn’t even know was a “thing” until about a week ago. This photo ledge was the quickest, easiest project I have tackled in a long time and the price was RIGHT at zero dollars. (I didn’t buy anything to make this — I’m already kicking 2017’s ASS.) My inspiration is this one from Chris Loves Julia and I love, love, love it. Bonus: this project will also make use of the five or six thrift store frames that I have been collecting over the past several months for a planned gallery wall that never came to be, since I realized that gallery walls are hard and I really don’t have an eye for them.
This is the perfect project for a wall that needs a little somethin’ somethin’, and what’s great about this ledge is that I can change it up on the regular too
if when I get bored with it.
If you want to make your own, you will need:
- Three pieces of wood cut to the same length. I used some scrap pine I had in the garage: a 1×4, 1×3, and 1×2. I’ve seen it done a variety of ways so you can really use whatever wood and dimensions suit your needs. My ledge is about six feet long.
- Wood glue and clamps
- Drill and 1 1/4 wood screws
- Drill bit
- Stain or paint and sealer (optional)
- 2 1/2 wood screws for mounting
First, apply a thin line of glue on each edge of the 1×4 and clamp your 1×3 and 1×2 to each side, letting it dry. (I left mine over night which is not necessary but I wanted to go to bed.)
When your glue is dry, remove the clamps, flip the piece over, and drill pilot holes about every foot (for the side that’s attaching to the wall) and about three or so in the lip.
Next, use 1 1/4″ wood screws to secure the pieces onto the 1×4. Since these are on the bottom, you don’t have to worry about them being visible unless you plan on mounting your ledge really high (why would you do that?) but if you want them hidden, simply countersink your screws and fill them with wood fill.
After your screws are in place, finish and seal as desired. I used a combo of Puritan Pine, Special Walnut, and Espresso by Minwax, followed by 3 coats of Minwax oil modified poly.
One of the number one mistakes (according to me) people make when they are decorating is
listening to bloggers who think they know everything hanging artwork/photos too high. I’ve done it myself several times. Generally, it should be hung so that the center of the piece is at 58″ (or average eye level). Keep this in mind when determining the placement of your ledge. (After all this know-it-all ‘tude, I still feel like I hung mine too high!)
Mounting the ledge is a two person job, so I enlisted the help of my lovely assistant Matt. I wanted it to be centered on the wall, so I found both the center of the wall and ledge, and lined them up. It was then a matter of determining where the studs were, and marking where the holes would go on the back piece while Matt held it against the wall.
I used my bit to drill pilot holes on my stud marks, and then mounted the ledge by drilling through the back piece directly into the studs while Matt held it in place for me. Make sure you use a level (I also marked the wall with pieces of masking tape on either side so he would know how high to hold it, and to make sure it stayed level).
Once it was mounted to the wall, I arranged my various frames in it to finish off the look (and also make sure it wasn’t going to come crashing to the ground): Ta da!
OK, yes. It’s looks pretty garbage without any actual artwork in the frames — but you get the idea!
The dining room is almost finished, I just need to settle on the right rug to pull it all together. This makeover has been six months in the making, which is pretty pathetic for such a small room. I’ll be glad to finish completely and start on the kitchen. As a refresher, here is what the room looked like when we first moved in:
And then after we did the floors:
I think it’s a crazy transformation, especially looking back at the old pictures from before we did the floors! I love how light and airy it feels even though the room itself is kinda tiny. I’m glad we didn’t go any bigger with the table: it’s the perfect size for the space. If you’d like to build your own, the free plans are here.
I’m so happy with this little photo ledge! It’s such a simple and effective way to decorate a blank wall, and now I’m super excited to get some art for the frames…Society6, anyone?
Which do you guys prefer: gallery wall or photo ledge? Or does it depend on the space? Let me know in the comments!