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Picture Ledge DIY + Free Woodworking Plans!

Looking for a very easy woodworking project that is perfect for beginners? Build this picture ledge DIY by using our free woodworking plans! These shelves are a great way to decorate your walls!

Thank you to Kreg for sponsoring this picture ledge DIY project! All opinions are entirely my own. This post also contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.

Today we’re sharing a super fun and VERY EASY woodworking project with you that is absolutely perfect for beginners.

Let’s start with the area that we’re going to completely transform while we’re at it – this back section of our hallway.

The Hallway BEFORE the DIY Picture Ledge

This section of empty drywall used to be a doorway

This hallway obviously needed a makeover! We still had a bare piece of drywall hung where a doorway used to be for this bathroom that we renovated last year and converted into a master bathroom.

And so it’s just sat like this for about a year while we’ve been focused on SO MANY other projects, like Cal’s mountain mural and cabin bed, our guest bathroom, these mudroom lockers and more.

This plain hallway needed a makeover, here's what it looked like before the DIY picture ledge we created

Earlier this year we gave the other half of the hallway in this space a mini makeover with fresh paint, a modern grid gallery wall full of family photos, a clipboard wall to hang the kids’ artwork, and a boho style basket wall.

After all of that love on the hallway, this area with the large drywall hole really stood out like a sore thumb!

So we started by patching the hole up and retexturing it to match our skip trowel texture.

A boring and plain hallway needed some new decor, here's what it looked like before we hung DIY picture ledges

I absolutely love the look of picture ledge shelves and I knew it would be an easy DIY for us to tackle and show you how!

The best part is that we’re giving you the free woodworking plans for this picture ledge DIY, so it won’t take you long at all to build these for your home!

Using the Kreg K5 Pocket Hole System to Make DIY Picture Ledges

the kreg pocket hole system is an easy way to drill pocket holes for DIY projects

We, of course, incorporated pocket hole joinery into this picture ledge DIY, which is one of the easiest ways to join wood in woodworking projects. We have Kreg’s K5 Master System and LOVE it. It’s our favorite hidden weapon for beginning woodworkers!

Want to learn more? I wrote a super detailed guide & created a video all about how to set up your Kreg K5 Pocket Hole and use it, so be sure to check that out too!

UPDATE: In 2021 Kreg replaced the K5 Pocket Hole system with the Kreg 720 Pro. Check out our guide all about the new Kreg 720Pro to learn more.

For this very simple picture ledge DIY, we teamed up with our friends Kreg again to create the plans and share them online for free, which are now available on!

If you’re wondering, Kreg Tools is chocked full of so many easy-to-follow FREE woodworking plans! I promise that you are going to find so much inspiration while you’re there!

DIY Video Tutorial

If you love DIY videos, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Wood products needed

  • 1×3 Select Pine Board – 96″
  • 1×2 Select Pine Board – 96″

Supplies needed

Tools needed

Step 1: Cut wood

Use a miter saw for cutting.
  • Use a miter saw to cut the wood to the right size according to the cut list, which you can get here.
  • You’ll need three pieces for each shelf:
    • 1×3 piece for the back
    • 1×3 piece for the bottom
    • 1×2 piece for the front side.
  • Our shelves are 4 feet wide, perfect for hallway spaces.

Step 2: Drill pocket holes

A picture of someone using a drill to create pocket holes for a picture ledge.
  • On the bottom piece of wood (1×3), drill 5 pocket holes using a Kreg pocket hole Jig.
  • Space them 1″ from the edges and roughly 8 in-1 foot apart.

Step 3: Attach front and back

A man is securing the front and back pieces of a picture ledge together.
  • Use 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to attach the front piece to the bottom with the pre-drilled pocket holes.
  • For the back piece, use wood glue and 2″ finish nails every 5 inches or so.

Step 4: Fill pocket holes

A photograph showing a piece of paint-grade wood along with a bottle of wood glue.
  • Fill pocket holes with pocket hole plugs and wood glue for a polished look.
  • Wait for the glue to dry before moving on.

Step 5: Sand

A man is sanding wood in preparation for a picture ledge.
  • Sand the entire shelf with an orbital sander:
    • Use 80-grit sandpaper for shaping.
    • Finish with 150-grit sandpaper for a smooth surface.

Step 6: Stain (or paint)

A picture featuring wood alongside a container of wood stain, both intended for use in creating a picture ledge.
  • Apply stain or paint to the entire shelf.
  • We used Dark Walnut wood stain by Minwax.

Step 7: Seal

  • Once the stain has dried, apply polyurethane over the entire shelf.
  • If you painted the shelf, use polycrylic to prevent yellowing.

Step 8: Hang on the wall

These dark stained DIY picture ledges are an easy DIY that adds a lot of character to a hallway
  • Use a stud finder to find the stud locations in your wall
  • We drilled right through the back piece on the shelf with construction screws to attach it to the wall. The screws are covered by the art, so no worries there.


A close-up look at the DIY picture ledge that's stained a dark chestnut brown
These two DIY wooden picture ledges are great ways to display decor and photos in a room

Cost to build picture ledge shelves

One of my favorite things about the picture ledge shelves is how dang cheap you’re able to build them for.

Here’s a summary of the supplies needed and the cost.

Note: these costs are, of course, subject to change and may be different in your region.

Picture ledge shelf decor

Now obviously styling the picture ledge shelves was my favorite part!

I was able to upcycle several thrift store frames to make art that really fits our style and home better on a major budget! They were SO fun!

How do you like the shelves all styled up and pretty?

So pretty, right?

These picture ledges are the perfect way to add some character to a hallway with pictures and artwork

We had so much for working with our friends over at Kreg to bring you the tutorial and free woodworking plans. I hope you feel inspired and motivated to tackle the easy DIY project now!

Don’t forget to go grab the free woodworking plans and check out the full tutorial at

How to make a picture ledge shelf: free plans and tips for styling a diy picture ledge

13 thoughts on “Picture Ledge DIY + Free Woodworking Plans!

  1. How did you get the pictures to stay? Did you have to hang them? I can’t get my frames to overlap like yours!

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