Ten Dollar Ledges

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Ten Dollar Ledges

Simple gallery ledges that can transform a blank wall into an easy to display gallery. Gallery ledges are called $10 Ledges because each 8 foot long ledge is estimated to cost approximately $10 in lumber.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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A few weeks back, I was so delighted to be invited to a local MOPS group to help other moms build ledge shelves.  And I had so much fun with the simple design, I came home and transformed the blank wall in my dining room.

Creating a gallery wall was something I had always wanted to do.  But the cost was quite scary.  The ledges alone would run at $330 from Pottery Barn, and then of course, all the frames - and then getting your frames to look just so. Intimidating.

But when I discovered I could build the ledges for around $30 (that's why these are called the ten dollar ledges, they cost $10 bucks each for 8 foot long ledges), I found the courage to just try.

So I gathered up all the mismatched frames in the house and gave them a spray coat of white.  One coat to go.

And then just started arranging frames.  What do you think of my $30 gallery wall?  Needs photos, eh?  Yeah, that's the next step. And the hardest step!

Author Notes: 
Shopping List: 

For 1 8 foot long gallery ledge
2 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long

2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
level
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
These ledges are customizeable to any length, but the depth is 5". Many of our readers have made these ledges with 1x6s or 1x8s as the bottom base board, and commented that the shelves were plenty sturdy.
Cut List: 

For 8 foot long frames, no cuts are necessary, although you may wish to square ends up.

Step 1: 

These frames are so easy to make! For an eight foot long ledge, all you need is two 1x4s and a 1×2. If you want a shorter ledge, I recommend lengths of 24″, 32″ and 48″. With a 24″ length, you can make 2 whole shelves from 1 1×4. With 32″ lengths, you can make three shelves out of 2 1x4s. With 48″ lengths, you can make one shelf out of a single 1×4. You will also need a 1×2.

So to make ONE of my 8 foot long shelves, you will need 2 – 1×4 (8′ length) and 1 – 1×2 (8′ length).

Step 2 Instructions: 

I didn’t even cut my boards! All I did was screw the two 1x4s together with 2″ screws (predrilled holes)

Step 3 Instructions: 

And then tacked the 1×2 on to the front with 2″ finish nails. How easy is that? Then to hang, I just screwed through the back into a stud in the wall.

And don’t stop there – how about bookshelves for your kids room, magazines in your bathroom, cookbooks in your kitchen. How about spices in your kitchen, or coffee mugs? The possibilities are really endless.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 

Comments

I just built these shelves and payed about $20 for super fine pine (not sure that's what it's called but it was that or some fairly rough boards and since i was in a hurry that's what i got) plus the spray paint and wall anchors. I substituted 1x3s for the 1x4s because my sister's dining room is narrow and i assembled them just a bit narrower but we clamped all 3 8' boards together and with two cuts we had everything cut down to 4' pieces and assembled both shelves in about 5 minutes, now we're just hoping for it to be warm enough to spray paint tomorrow. Part of the reason they came together so quickly is that we used my husband's super cool finishing nail gun (it has a fuel cell instead of needing an air compressor, very very cool) and shot enough nails in for it to be secure but no predrilling needed! Thanks so much Ana, as soon as they're painted and up i'll post pictures of them in my sister's dining room. This was the perfect $20 solution for her super small dining room!

I just did these for my dining room and I LOVE them! so easy to do! They look like I bought them from a store and because I made them, I was able to get exactly the stain to match the room! thanks so much for sharing these! Can't wait to try more projects!!

Just built two 8 foot shelves for the living room. LOVE them. Gave the room some interest on a long wall without large artwork. The hardest part (as always) is finding the studs. I drilled into the studs with 3" wood screws at two foot intervals. Make sure your wood is not bowed when purchasing - ours is and it hung fine but is not snug against the wall in the middle - you can't tell by looking though! Thanks Ana, these are lovely and easy and I will be making more!

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/hd6VNdngmykq_izuV-vjng?feat=directlink

Ana, I just found you and dare I say love at first sight? I LOVE to build things but have never used a plan. Most things look like I don't use a plan. I CANNOT wait to get started. All I can say at this time is HUGE Thank You for your time and effort to share all of this wonderful information with the world! You are a blessing I am certain I will cherish for as long as all the wonderful furniture I can now make for my home will last! Mahalo Ana
-LJ

Does anyone have pics of the ledges stained? I'm debating on stain or black paint. My hubby just built 3 8 footers for me today. I can't wait to get them up!

I think I am going to run these along an entire wall of my daughter's room to display her pretty things and framed photos. I'd been wanting to put crown moulding up in her room but I'm thinking edging out the room with these shelves about 8" down from the ceiling could be just as good.

These would be perfect to display my ever growing collection of pint glasses. I was looking for a low profile shelf but a ledge to keep them in place. I think I'll try to make a few this weekend. Keep up the great work!

Just finished these and love them! We wanted a 6 ft length to fit on our wall, so bought a 12 ft long board and cut it in half. I couldn't believe the price a certain barn store is asking for $10 worth of wood! Used English Chestnut stain and they look great.

Ana, I love these shelves. I have needed an idea for my living wall room near my fireplace and I love this. How far apart did you space your shelves when you hung them up?

I just built these a couple days ago. It was super easy and I have never built or stained anything in my life. Thank you so much Ana for giving me a hobby. With two kids and a husband deploying soon, I need to have something to release some stress. I can't wait to get started on my next project. Your site is awesome!!

ledges

If I wanted to make the ledges deeper to place model airplanes and cars for my son's room, what would I need to do differently? Thank you!

Kristen, one of our readers just posted this shelf with a 1x8 for the bottom and she said it was plenty sturdy. Just swap out the bottom 1x4 with a 1x8 and your shelf area will be 4" wider. Good luck!

I just finished mine! I did make a few and in different lengths. I will post photos asap. This was my very FIRST DIY wood project that I made from start to finish all on my own! I cannot express how proud I am. They were so fun to do and I think I found the only thing on earth that frees my mind completely....wodd projects! This site is outstanding, very inspiring and a real wealth of resources.

Would using the Kreg jig to secure the bottom to the back be overkill? I just want to make sure they're sturdy enough for some heavier items like coffee mugs and a slate tile I carved...and framed with a modified plan from here!

Something else that is fun to do is to take the extruded PVC rain guttering, cut them from 24" to 48" long, pop-rivet the end caps on, screw them to your kids wall with some dry wall screws and washers, and use them to display large picture books!....Something to get your kids interested in reading by having the books displayed!

Red Picture Rails!These are two 8' picture rails. My wife loves to have pictures on the wall, but I hate all the nail holes, so this is a perfect solution. She can rearrange to her heart's content.
They are painted the same red as the highlight wall color in our den.

i just made these today... although theyre not put together yet i already LOVE them! i made 3 of them all different sizes 24, 32, 40 very easy i only needed 2 of the 1x4's 8ft long and a 1x2 also 8ft long. great project i cant wait to start on some more! i have too many ideas now youre webiste is great!

I'd been trying to find some cool spice shelves to pop on the outer side of some kitchen cabinets to keep spices close and handy and organized.  All the things I found, that I liked, were either too small or I'd have to spend WAY over $100 for just a few!

How great is this!  I'll be able to custom fit them, pop a little piece on the side and hang them up with as much verticala space as I need between them!  No more "STUFF" all over the counter!  I may even may a small one with little knobs on the bottom to store near the stove top for the frequently used stuff!

WooHoo!  Thanks, Ana.  Glad I found you!  Will get these built after I finish working on my raised garden bed boxes. 

No cedar fence posts at blue here in NC in 2011, but will use some nice Southern Yellow Pine, lots of it available, and I'll raise it up on some pressure treated posts so I don't have to be down low -- bit of trouble with that, but hey, I've learned to walk again, so who knows, with a few more veggies maybe I'll be able to scoot around low and manage a semi-raised box sooner than I imagine!  The height should keep the termites away too! 

Love the idea that someone made with the high raised box, what a great way to do my herbs! 

Working the square garden concept, but with help from people like Emily at http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net, and you, I'm sure to get there soon. 

Thanks for sharing!

I'd been trying to find some cool spice shelves to pop on the outer side of some kitchen cabinets to keep spices close and handy and organized.  All the things I found, that I liked, were either too small or I'd have to spend WAY over $100 for just a few!

How great is this!  I'll be able to custom fit them, pop a little piece on the side and hang them up with as much verticala space as I need between them!  No more "STUFF" all over the counter!  I may even may a small one with little knobs on the bottom to store near the stove top for the frequently used stuff!

WooHoo!  Thanks, Ana.  Glad I found you!  Will get these built after I finish working on my raised garden bed boxes. 

No cedar fence posts at blue here in NC in 2011, but will use some nice Southern Yellow Pine, lots of it available, and I'll raise it up on some pressure treated posts so I don't have to be down low -- bit of trouble with that, but hey, I've learned to walk again, so who knows, with a few more veggies maybe I'll be able to scoot around low and manage a semi-raised box sooner than I imagine!  The height should keep the termites away too! 

Love the idea that someone made with the high raised box, what a great way to do my herbs! 

Working the square garden concept, but with help from people like Emily at http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net, and you, I'm sure to get there soon. 

Thanks for sharing!

I was given a few Pottery Barn ledges that I love but are too wide and this is the perfect solution!  I love working with my hands and have fallen in love with your site!  I will be back every day to see what's new!!

I have been wanting to do this project since I first saw it, and yesterday I finally did. I'm a compete newbie with woodworking, but it was so easy. The parts that took the longest were waiting for the paint to dry and finding the studs in my wall.

I have been scouting magazines and websites for these type of ledges, but had yet to purchase because it seemed crazy to pay so much for such simple construction! Your plans are even simpler than I had guessed!! I'm making these this weekend for my children's room. Thanks so much!

I was wondering if anyone knows a good way to attach these shelves (made 4 ft long) to plaster walls?? I made these a couple months ago but have not yet hung them up because I'm stumped on how to get them up on the wall without making a bunch of holes in the wall. :) Anyone able to help I would love it!!!

I just found your site this morning and I think I'm in trouble! I HAVE to make practicall every plan I've looked at - even the children's loft beds and I don't have kids!!! I know some though that would LOVE them!!! OK, anyway, I have been trying to figure out how to hang the gazillion pictures I have (2 plus photographers in the family and 15 brothers and sisters in law just to start). My husband arrange a bunch of pictures on one wall of our great room and I hate it. This, however, is PERFECT!!! Thanks SO much for sharing your plans!!! I am SO going to be BUSY this weekend!!

...and more to go! I absolutely L♥VE this project. I built one of these for the odd nook in my daughter's bedroom and it looks AWESOME. My husband came home and just LOVED it!

I saw this on pinterest and it was the PERFECT solution for the awkward wall in our great room that hovers centered between the end of the living room and start of the dining room. We bought really top grade quality pine, but we got 2 1x6's and cut 1 of the 1x6's into a 1x4 and a 1x2 and it ended up being $12 a shelf in lumber. Thank you so much for the idea! It was the last thing we needed to tie our house together. This wall has seen a dozen different attempts at wall hangings to tie the rooms together in 2 years, and it finally feels like we found a winner!

I made my set a little while ago, but just go them painted and hung up in the living room last night. They look great! I'll need to post a brag blog post once I get some picture arranged on there nicely.

I wanted to say how much I appreciate you posting these plans. As a new homeowner (this summer) and someone just getting out of the newlywed stage (married two years), it's wonderful to be able to fill and furnish our home while still saving up money for the future. Plus, it always feels great when you can look around your home and see all the hard work and love you put into making things yourself. Next up, I'm hoping to brush up on my (long forgotten, since my childhood with my mom) carpentry skills and build a farmhouse bed variation!

OMG, I love this site so many great ideas that i would love to try. I have to admit though my husband made the photo ledge for me with the help of your site (but i did paint it and help put it up, LOL) Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas, keep um coming!!!
aloha,
sherry

p.s.
I'll upload some photos once i figure out how, haha!

This is my first visit to your blog but I have heard you mentioned on a couple other blogs before so I wanted to check you out. I have wanted to do the same idea in my kitchen but was originally thinking of floating shelves. Do you think a smaller piece for the back would still be enough to hold it up on the wall? Amy other suggestions?

I know this is an older thread, but since I'm new to this site, I just had to comment. These exact (but way smaller) shelves are in the latest Pottery Barn catalog for $50!. BTW....Kreg has a $15 rebate off until the end of February for the master jig system and Home depot is offering free shipping on the jig right now. Just ordered mine! I am on my way to my very first project!!

Is there another way to suggest hanging them other other than screwing them into the wall? I would like a look with no screws showing at all.

I cant't tell from the pictures how everyone is hanging them. Are you screwing them directly to the wall with a small screw? Or is there a better method?

Thanks!

Just wanted to say that I am unable to open the PDF for the Ten Dollar Ledge. What a great idea. Wish I would have seen this BEFORE I bought some at PB. Oh well, I will be making some for my other walls.
Thanks, S. Caulder

Hi! I was just wondering how you would hang these once you've made them.
Thanks!
Amy
P.S - Love this blog!!!

This is going to be my first project this weekend with my dad. With this beautiful spring weather I feel like getting busy and decorating my home is first on my list. Hello from Fairbanks.

Wonderful plans. I needed an idea for ledges to be fitted between inside walls of window wells to hold my plants up and away from the kitties. [Our windows are inset and there are 7 inches from window to wall.] I need side mounting brackets but that is the only alteration. Thanks.

hi everyone...i am a newbie and love to learn about diy...i recently almost purchased a set of shelves by PB but b/f was saved by Ana's website...i am now addicted to learning the skills she teaches...i am attempting to build the $10 dollar shelves but don't own the tools that Ana has in her video nor do i have the money presently to purchase this equipment..i have several left over pieces of wood 3/4 x 3 1/2 and i would love to use them in a project like the $10 shelves...Ana, can it be done? these 3/4 x 3 1/2 are not exactly straight or the same size in dimensions.

Maryjo

Your ledges are awesome ! So easy to build and cheap by the way !! I love it ! Thank you for being so enthusiastic ! A french fan !!

Ana,

Just received my Keg Jig, this will be my first project. I was wondering what technique do you used to hag it on the wall ?

Thank you for your hard work on this website, it’s GREAT!!

Maybe I missed it some how but, how are these shelves attached to the wall? Are they just screwed on through the back piece, on a stud?

thanks can't wait to make these I can see them being useful many places.

I have lots of 1x4 scrap too, but I would like to try some with 1x6 for the shelf.

I recently used this guide as the base for home decoration - I chose these dimensions:
(1) 8ft 1x4
(2) 8ft 1x2
(1) 8ft strip of base/crown molding

While the outer ledge of my finished project was 'technically' only 1"; since I adhered molding (to provide the 'flourish') on top of this ledge, it actually is a little over 2" which should keep most any art/photo frame - I applied the thicker side of the molding to the 1x2 ledge (same as base/crown molding except the thicker side in that case is attached closest to the floor-ceilling/wall touch point) which can potentially add strength to the structure. I spent only an extra 10-20 MIN adding the molding, which was nailed to the outer ledge with the same tiny nails used for base/crown trim... Lowe's has quite a variety of in trim as far as cuts/designs/depths/heights go - and having several shelves on one wall with random trim OR a pattern (tall ornate trim on one ledge - stubby, thick, simple trim on another) can add TONS of texture to the walls! I only recommend doing this though, if you plan on putting simple/subtle items on the ledges (such as a menagerie of white empty photo frames! hahah). OR, if you happen to be overly-zealous and have that crazy/crafty/homey/mis-match vibe going on..... Regardless - there are innumerable design options!

Thanks for sharing!!

Because we have down-sized from 1800 to 600 sq ft, we need to take advantage of every ounce of storage. I have been looking for ideas for my spices and last night fell on the idea of picture ledges for a spice rack. Today I picked up some 2' poplar pieces for $2.45 and my husband glued and screwed. I'll paint and hang. But I am now looking around to where else I can utilize picture ledges--living room behind the couch, bathroom over the sink, on the wall by the snackbar to store cell phones and tablets, on the pot rack arbor to hold the pot covers.
We have also used your directions to the doll adirondack chair and for the farmouse storage bed (not quite complete yet but comfortable).
Thank you

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I am probably too sleep deprived to find it but how many screws did you use to assemble these? I cut 32" lengths and am wondering how many screws I should need? As well as nails for the front? The parts list doesn't say a specific amount and I did not see a how far apart to space the screws. Thanks!

This is truly amazing. I've been looking for a tutorial on this quite a long time. But now it's already here. Thank you for this post. I will truly make one like this.

Ok so I just made these today. Yay me!! I love them! I made them only 5 ft to fit an awkward wall in my house. I am curious how far apart you put your shelves on the wall and how high is the top one? I have basic 8' walls and I can't seem to make it look right. I need to keep it out of reach of the 1 year old (though that's nearly impossible to do with his climbing skills...seriously, he just feel 3' out of a tree. A TREE!!) but they shouldn't be so high you can't see them. I may have to just go with 2 shelves.

Anyway, if you could give me an idea of what you did that would be great! Thanks for taking the time to put together all these amazing plans for the rest of us homemakers drooling over home decor magazines! You are amazing!

I bought the lumber today, though my local Orange did a pretty rough job on the cuts. DH gave me a mini-tutorial on drill use, so tomorrow we see what I can do (as long as the littles cooperate) ;) .

I was fretting over spending a few hundred dollars to buy a bookshelf for my daughter's books when I found this plan. What a cheap, easy, fast, GREAT build!

Hello Ana :)
I built my first picture ledge today. After I saw your plan and the video I was fully optimistic that I will be able to make one too. Thanks so much for the great tutorial. It will be hung in my daughters room to put a few books near her bed. I used pine select grade and gave it a white wash. It was also my first time staining wood and I loved it so much, I will definitely be making more of these great and quick ledges.

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