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Friday, February 11, 2011

DIY Picture Ledges

Yep – another post about my living room walls.  I went back and forth for a long time as to what to do with the TV wall in my living room

IMG_3980

Wallpaper? Starched Fabric? Stencil? Huge mirror? Collage of frames?  I just couldn’t settle on an idea.  I didn’t want to do a collage after I hung one on the wall behind my couch so that was out. I printed out a stencil to use but then realized that would take hours and I just didn’t have the energy. I couldn’t find a huge mirror that I liked that didn’t cost an arm and a leg and wallpaper or fabric was just too tedious. I loved that the two smaller shelves offered a place to display family pictures and I really wanted to keep that option in this room so I decided to replace the two smaller shelves with a larger shelf.  The question was – which shelf?

Originally I thought about the West Elm Paxton wall shelf ($69 – 4’ shelf) or the Lack floating shelf from IKEA ($29.99 – 6’ shelf) but I was worried that the depth of the shelf (10” or so) would be too much since it would prevent the front door from opening all the way and it was only 4 or 6 feet long and I wanted something 7 or 8 feet long.

westelm_floatshelf

Then I started thinking about picture ledges. West Elm has a metal picture ledge ($49 – 4’ shelf) and I liked the  Ribba picture ledge from IKEA ($14.99 – 45” shelf). But, again, they were too short.  

westelm_ledge

After seeing the pictures of the ledges I knew that I could easily make something similar for far less money. I figured I could take a 1”x4” and a 1”x2” to make the shelf but then I started to question whether that was correct.  Then I remembered a site I’d seen before where a very talented woman posts instructions for making your own furniture from wood – Ana White. I did a search on her page and voila – instructions!  The best part is that I was pretty correct in my guess on how to make the ledges so score a point for Heather.

I bought two 1x4’s and one 1x2 (all in eight foot lengths) for $15 from Home Depot. Let me just say that trying to find straight pieces of lumber is a pain in the a$$. It took me a good half hour to find three pieces that I found acceptable and they still weren’t 100% straight.  Oh well.  I won’t go into the step-by-step since you can find those instructions on ana-white.com but I’ll show you my final product (well, the pictures are not final yet and I want a couple more frames but you get the idea).  I cut my pieces to 7’ lengths and used 2” screws to attach the bottom and back pieces and to hang the shelf on the wall, finishing nails for the front and semi gloss white paint on the shelf. I probably could have kept the wood at 8’ lengths but I felt that was too much and I liked how the 7’ shelf looked with my TV stand. 

IMG_4617 IMG_4619 IMG_4622 IMG_4626As I mentioned, the frames (and the pics in them) aren’t final – some of these were in various places in the house and some were in storage so I’m mixing and matching to see what I like. I am also creating custom art for the middle white frame (its drying right now) and plan on adding more color/texture to the final arrangement.  What I really like is that you can layer as many frames as you want without putting more holes in the wall and it is so easy to swap pictures out for new ones.

Anyone else make any shelves lately? I’m a fan of DIY and am just thrilled with how the shelf turned out (it looks so much better in person, too).

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