DIY 8 Foot Photo Ledge

Changing Chaney Photo Ledge
Changing Chaney Photo Ledge
Changing Chaney Photo Ledge
Changing Chaney Photo Ledge

Well, we've officially finished the first week of 2017!  I hope yours was wonderful and refreshing.  I'm excited to be back and blogging again!

This is the first time you're seeing some photos of our family room on the blog.  It's definitely where we spend the majority of our time together and the room is really shaping up.  In fact, it was the vaulted ceilings in this room that was the major selling factor for Josh when we were looking for homes.  The beams are also a favorite of mine.

White I had initially imagined a traditional gallery wall, I started to realize I wanted something a little more relaxed, and something I could change up easily.  Also, I knew I needed something big-- because the ceilings are vaulted and high, I wanted something that matched the visual impact.  

So. when I couldn't find a picture ledge the size I wanted (they were all so small!) I took matters into my own hands and built one.  If you're new to DIY, do not be intimidated!  This is a SUPER easy, high impact project that can be tackled in less than a weekend. And while I don't have art for all the frames yet (you know me... I'm about slow decorating here-- I'm not rushing into a piece of art just to fill a frame), the shelf has been a perfect fit. 

Love the look? Keep scrolling for the DIY instructions. 

Changing CHANEY photo ledge
Changing Chaney Photo Ledge
Changing Chaney Photo Ledge


ledge 015.jpg


  • One 1 in X 1 in X 8ft board (or as long/short as you want)
  • Two 1 in X 5.5 in X 8ft boards (or as long/short as you want)
  • 1.5 in wood screws
  • 2 in drywall screws 
  • Wood Glue 
  • Finish of your choice (I used a mix of Jacobean and Oak Walnut Minwax stains. You could also use paint)
  • Power drill 
  • Stud Finder
  • Level
  • Optional: Miter Saw


  • Decide how long you want your photo ledge to be.  Most big box stores will cut your lengths to size for free.  Otherwise, you'll need to use a miter saw to cut your pieces to size.
  • Stain or paint your 3 boards. I recommend painting/staining all sides for a more attractive finish. 
  • Once dry, form an L shape with your 1X5.5X8ft boards.  Run a small line of wood glue where they meet.  Attach boards to each other using wood screws evenly spaced across the 8ft distance.  8-10 screws is ideal-- don't scrimp on the screws, your frames will be heavy so the security is critical.
  • Attach the 1X1X8ft to the bottom of the "L".  This will give your frames a "bumper" to rest on.  Run a line of wood glue where the pieces meet and screw together from the bottom.  You don't need as many screws here as this is just to finish off the shelf, and won't be bearing weight.
  • Let wood glue dry
  • Use a stud finder to find and mark your studs across the length of your wall.  This will be heavy so securing to your studs is essential.
  • Determine how high you want your photo ledge to sit.  Use a level to draw a line across the wall.  Mark an X at each stud.
  • Line your shelf up along the line.  At each X, secure the shelf with a  dry wall screw. Drill right through the vertical part of your L-- you'll have frames which will cover the screws.  This ledge is huge, so you'll need one person holding (Josh in our case) and another person drilling (me-- I never miss an opportunity to use a power tool!)
  • Be sure to reference the picture above!

This project came in at under $40 (not including the frames) and makes a huge visual impact.  I'm close to having all of my art and photography ordered for the frames and will share sources in another post once everything is in!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the photos.  We've gotten tons of compliments on the ledge and I'm building one for a friend next weekend.  Live in Charlotte?  Want to join for a building day? Let me know! 

Changing Chaney Picture Ledge
Changing Chaney Picture Ledge