floating picture ledge shelves

Floating Picture Ledge Shelves

Big walls are tough to decorate. Do you make a photo gallery? Been there, done that. Do you get a huge mirror? Eh. The goal was to get lots of pictures of the baby and the dogs without the chaos of a gallery wall. So we arrived at floating picture ledge shelves. The best part about this DIY is the price! This wood is less than $30 at Home Depot.

kristin holding wood

Hey! That’s me, and the single piece of wood you’re going to need to make these floating shelves. Here’s your full project list:

  • 10 x 12 common board
  • Wood stain (color is your choice)
  • 1/2″ nails


  • Table saw
  • Kreg pocket drill
  • Hand sander
cut the wood for shelves

Cut the wood down to the length that you want your floating picture ledge shelves. In my case, it was 5 ft. long. When you’ve cut it to the size you want, thoroughly sand down all the sides.

kristin and the wood for floating shelves

Hey, that’s me again! I took the two 10 x 5 pieces of wood and cut it down to the 3 pieces I need to create the floating picture ledges.

  • Two 5 in wide boards
  • Two 3 in wide boards
  • Two 2 in wide boards

Sand all the pieces again and remove any splintered ends. Then stain each of the pieces of wood whatever color you want. I wanted a more natural look, and not a heavy stain color. So I stuck with something lighter.

kreg drill

Once your shelves dry, set up the Kreg pocket drill guide and the bit to align with the 1/2 in nails. I put 5 pockets along the back of the 5 in wide board. The 5 in board is the tall board that will sit flush against the wall.

attach the 3 in board and the 5 in board

I marked the 5 in board with a 5 just so I could easily keep track of things. Line the 5 in board with the pocket holes against the back of the 3 in board. Using the 1/2 in screws, secure the two boards together in all the locations of the pockets.

floating picture ledge shelves

Attach the 2 in board to the front of the 3 in board, like the picture above. I used 4 screws evenly spaced across across the front. I wanted a more industrial look, so I opted for black decking screws that would stand out nicely and add a little accent.

floating pictures ledge shelf

I screwed the back of the floating picture ledge shelves directly into the studs for maximum support!

pictures on shelf

Once the shelves were secure, I added the pictures I had from our old gallery wall on the shelf and arranged them in the pattern I liked. I wanted there to be small groups with various heights to add a little interest.

floating picture ledge shelves

I love how such an simply DIY can make such a big impact. I think there’s enough interest on these shelves without decor overload!

For more DIYs like this one, read our other DIY blog posts.

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