DIY Wood Shelves

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Having tons of frames with cherished photographs decorating our walls makes me warm and fuzzy. I’m not one for multiple frames on a console or table…I’m a wall gallery fanatic. There is just something about picture galleries that make a house feel like a home.

Prior to the kitchen/master bedroom & bath makeover I had one gallery in our family room and another in the master bedroom that was on either side of the bed. The gallery in the living room was clean, where the one I had in the master was sloppy and a bit of an eye sore. I threw it together one day during Lily’s nap and because I was rushed the outlook looked sloppy. So I was excited to re-do the picture galleries!

Looking on Pinterest I was hooked on the idea of using shelves and overlapping different sizes of frames. Using shelves for photo galleries are great because you can constantly change up the frames and holiday objects without making 30 nail holes!The main problem was that shelves are $$$$$$$. After a little more digging on the web I found a fabulous tutorial from Ana White called the ten dollar ledges. SCORE! Check out Ana’s post for a great video and probably better tutorial!!

For Ana’s shelves she used 8 foot long shelves and I made mine only 4 feet. Here are the materials I used to make mine:

For one 4 foot long shelf you need:

Two 1x4s @ 4 feet long
One 1×2 @ 4 feet long
Four 2” screws
Two-three 2” finishing nails
Wood glue
Wood filler (optional)
120 grit sandpaper & hand towel (sanding machine makes it faster!)
Paint brush
Safety glasses (if using sanding machine)
Stud finder
Painter’s tape

Before you even begin make sure you use your stud finder on the wall you want to use and mark where the studs are by leaving pieces of the painter’s tape. To make this DIY project easier you will want to attach these shelf to studs. You can find (& to be sure ask for help at Lowe’s or Home Depot) hanging options if you do not have studs in the location you want to place these shelves. Finding the suds first will give you an idea if a 4 foot shelf would work or if you should go bigger or smaller. To better understand I only needed to drill two 2″ screws to hang my 4 foot shelf.

I purchased the wood already cut to 4 feet from Home Depot, Lowe’s has it too as I went back to build more…yes these are that easy to build!!! At Lowe’s a 1×4 was $2.97 (remember you need two for one shelf) and a 1×2 was only $1.78. So much cheaper than the floating shelves at Pottery Barn!

Once home I prepped the wood by sanding all pieces and used a hand towel to remove all the dust. Before attaching the wood together I laid them out because while sanding I noticed that some sides had a few indentations/scratches. I made sure that those pieces would be facing towards the wall!

DIY cheap wood shelvesLay the two 1x4s in the shape of an “L”. Predrill two marks on the bottom of the 1×4 that is vertical (again for a better picture you can check out Anna’s tutorial). To actually drill, you will take the bottom 1×4 and stand it up and apply a small amount of wood glue along the edge that will be against the other 1×4. Place the other predrilled 1×4 on top and align them. To hold that piece up I used another 1×4, creating a table. *I had another 1×4 on hand because I ended up making 2 shelves for the living room and one for the bathroom. Using the predrilled holes, drill a 2’ screw to both sides. Be careful where you place the hole and drill straight or your screw will pop through…like it did to mine whoopsie! Once you are done you will have an “L” shaped shelf.

The 1×2 will create the front ledge and prevent frames from falling off the shelf. To attach, apply a small amount of wood glue to the top of one of the 1x4s. Lay the 1×2 on top and make sure it is lined up and use a finishing nail to attach. I ended up using three finishing nails just to be careful. I applied a little wood filler to any of the holes on the finishing nails so the front of the shelf would look nice and clean.

shelfwhoopsieI painted the living room shelves the color of the wall, Benjamin Moore’s Shaker Beige. The one for the bathroom I just used the plain white trim color that is on the baseboards. In the bathroom I wanted to go with an all white frame look so  I made the shelf white too. I applied two coats of paint for each shelf and allowed them to fully dry over night.

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Hanging the shelf was easy peasy! I used my stud finder one last time to make sure I had the correct areas marked. I placed my level on the shelf and once it was ready I drilled my 2” screws into the back 1×4 into the stud. See…so simple!

All that you have left to do is figure out what frames you want to display and how to arrange them! My favorite two pictures are from our wedding when I was walking down the isle. Two pictures caught us at the same time….shelfwalkingdownisle

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!

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  1. March 28, 2013 Reply

    i.LOVE.these! adding to my future decorating project list…

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