industrial chic picture ledges

Industrial Chic Picture Ledges

What do you when you have a lot of things you want to display? What if you want to be able to change out the things on display at the drop of a hat? What if you feel like shelves are too wide? The answer, my friends, is picture ledges!

I also wanted something that had a worn and industrial look to it. Since I was so picky on what I wanted we ended up just making the picture ledges ourselves. It took a couple weekends but was pretty easy and I love how they turned out!

The first thing we did was gather our materials:

2×4’s (we ended up using six 3 foot pieces and two 2 1/2 foot pieces)
Nails (See Picture Below)
Screws (See Picture Below)
Stain (See Picture Below)
Stir Stick
Dropcloth (Optional)
Saw (or get Lowes/Home Depot to cut the wood for you) (See picture below of the saw we used)
Electric Drill (Picture below, I think ours was about $20)
Drill Bits (Picture below)
Sand Paper (Optional)
Studfinder (Optional, they are about $15 and come in pretty handy)
Measuring Tape
Pencil/Marker (for marking measurements)


We got our wood from the side of the road next to a warehouse that is near our house so we had to take it apart before we started building. If you buy wood from Lowes/Home Depot and you want it to look more beat up then I could suggest using a rock to make little dents in it!


After that we cut our wood into 3 foot sections. We based this length on the length of the wall that we wanted to put the ledges on.

Then we screwed two pieces together to make the ledge using three screws per ledge. The board that is being screwed into is the bottom of the ledge, where the picture will sit. (See below)


After that I gave the ledges a slight sanding to make sure that they were splinter free.


Next, I put on about 5 coats of cherry stain and let it dry for a week to make sure I still liked to color after it soaked into the wood. Sometimes it soaks in more than anticipated and I end up wanting to put on more stain.


Once I was sure I was happy with the color I put nails into the top of the bottom ledge of picture ledges. These have the dual function of preventing the picture from sliding off the shelf and looking cool!

For each shelf I put in nails on the ends first and then one in the middle. From there I added a nail in the middle of the previous nails until I liked how it looked. Sometimes I did accidentally nail through the bottom of the ledge and when this happened I turned over the shelf and hit the nail back through from the bottom.


To hang them on the wall we used more of the screws and screwed from the front directly into the wall. We used two screws per shelf. We screwed into the studs but I think they would be fine in the dry wall as long as you didn’t put anything too heavy on the shelves.


Our next step is to print off pictures from our travels and mount them to foam bored to complete the shelves!


Build away! You can do it!


4 thoughts on “Industrial Chic Picture Ledges

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