What do you do with the wall above your couch? Our old hand-me-down pull out couch works super well, functionally, on living room wall, but the space above the couch had us stumped for a while. I love photo gallery walls, but I already have two (three?) around the house and it would require a ton of frames to fill the space. We also tossed around the idea of canvas art, but I faced some serious decision paralysis on choosing pieces, besides the fact that canvas anything is pretty expensive ($$$).
During one of my Pinterest frenzies, I ran across some picture frame ledges and thought a pair of 6 foot shelves would fill up the space perfectly! As a bonus, I wouldn’t have to make any permanent decor choices! Yay for that! Honestly, guys, picture frame ledges aren’t hard to make. You don’t need to spend $300 at Pottery Barn. I’ll detail our cost breakdown at the end of this post…
| S U P P L I E S | (for building two 6 foot shelves)
- 2- 0.75″x1.5″ pine boards @ 6′
- 2- 0.75″x2.5″ pine boards @ 6′
- 2- 0.75″x3.5″ pine boards @ 6′
- Kreg pocket hole jig
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- Dark walnut stain
- Key hole brackets
- Forstner bit
We ran up to Home Depot (our second home at this point) and picked up two 0.75″ x 1.5″ x 6′ pine boards, two 0.75″ x 2.5″ x 6′ pine boards, and two 0.75″ x 3.5″ x 6′ pine boards.
We used a Kreg pocket hole jig and some 1 1/4 in pocket hole screws to fasten the boards together. We drilled all of the holes into the bottom (the 2.5″ wide board), going into the front and back boards. Keep scrolling for an amazing diagram of this.
The 3.5″ boards acted as the back of the shelf ledge as well as the piece that would fasten to the wall. The 1.5″ board attached to the front to keep frames from sliding off. Finally, the 2.5″ board got sandwiched between the two as the bottom of the shelf. And since none of that made sense, please see the photo below…
Once the shelves were built, we applied a coat of dark walnut stain (the same one we used for the plant shelf!) and sealed with polyurethane. Then came the question of, “How are we going to hang these beasts?” What hadn’t occurred to me was the fact that floating shelves almost always have keyholes on the back for hanging. This is because any other type of hanging hardware (sawtooth, triangles, wire, etc…) cause the shelf to stand out slightly from the wall. And while that would have been perfectly fine, we decided to make things more difficult.
Keyholes are usually made with routers, perfectly cutting the shape directly into the wood. Well, we don’t have a router. So we picked up some metal key hole brackets and recessed them into the back of the shelves using Forstner bits. We also don’t have a drill press, so we just free-handed an area with our plain ol’ drill, making sure it was just large enough to insert the keyhole bracket. It’s not a professional job, but hey, it worked!
Our beloved laser level was all but heroic when it came to hanging these shelves. They are the perfect length for our couch and tie in nicely with the catty corner plant shelf. I love the fact that I can change out decor as I please because I tend to get bored with things after a while.
We used some of our favorite photos of C, framed art, a felt message board, and some greenery to decorate the shelves for Christmas! Picture frame ledges say “I couldn’t pick what to display, so here’s some random things.” and I’m so into that.
Picture frame ledges from a big box store will run you anywhere from $60 (at Target) to $150 (Pottery Barn). Here’s the cost breakdown of one of our shelves…
- 0.75″ x 1.5″ x 6′ pine boards –> $2.98
- 0.75″ x 2.5″ x 6′ pine boards –> $4.94
- 0.75″ x 3.5″ x 6′ pine boards –> $5.12
- Pocket hole screws, 1 1/4 in (100pk) –> $4.77
- Keyhole hangers (2pk) –> $2.48
- TOTAL –> $20.29!!!
We hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season! We have a sump pump installation coming up here in January and we’ll be doing some prep work for that (like tearing up stairs and mapping out the rooms for our future basement finishing!). Stay tuned :-).