I was looking for a very special way to hang this very special pair of oil-on-canvas paintings painted by my mother. Because of their theme, their natural place is the kitchen – although not necessarily! I found the perfect spot for them above the little built-in desk, right off the kitchen. Framing them was the obvious option, but what I really wanted was a very economical solution that was also sleek and modern.
So instead of framing them, I created a ledge on the wall to hold them. At the hardware store, I bought a 30 inch long x 1¾ x 1¾ inch piece of wood – they come in many dimensions and you can get one cut to size on the spot, at no extra cost. Back home, I attached it directly onto the wall with two very long nails that I inserted through the front side of the wood (photo 1 at the end of the post). I used a basic stud finder to locate the center of the studs and I drilled just there. I made sure that the screws went deep inside the wood, as opposed to being a flush end, (photo 2) so that I could hide them with some spackling paste.
To give a build-in look to the shelf, I also covered the gap between the ledge and the wall with some more spackling paste (photos 3 & 4). Then I primed and painted the wood, using the wall’s paint color.
My built-in shelf is tiny but large enough for the paintings to sit nicely on it.
And for a few more things like a minuscule vase (a jam jar) with a flower.
It’s also a great place for sticky notes and reminders: (note: the basket below is actually an IKEA VIKTIGT food cover that I turned upside down – I’m using it as a spot to drop school paperwork, magazines, even keys, gift cards – anything that needs a temporary place).
I wish it had been possible to extend the shelf all the way to the left and make it longer, but I will always need to place items by the wall on that upper countertop (like the three glass jars I have now) and the shelf would get in the way.
I also had to position the shelf high enough so that when the laptop is open, it wouldn’t obstruct the art.
Last, I wished I could extend the shelf all the way to the right but I wanted to avoid drilling under plugs and switches.
Here are the photos for the instructions above.
Isn’t this a cute little shelf? And so very inexpensive, just around $10! You can check out the prices for pictures ledges and they certainly cost more. There are also a few online do-it-yourself picture ledge tutorials but they all require a lot more work than this one.