World’s Tiniest Built-In Shelf / DIY Picture Ledge

World’s Tiniest Built-In Shelf / DIY Picture Ledge

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.




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Hi! I'm Angelica! For the last ten years I've been sharing my cooking, home projects and ideas with my sister Irene. "Once Again, My Dear Irene" is just an extension of our daily chats. Moreover "My Dear Irene" Continue Reading