A few months ago I was knee deep in the One Room Challenge, but I promised some tutorials on my DIYs once the holidays were over. Well, that time is now! One of my favorite DIYs from our family room renovation was the DIY Art Ledge we built for over the sofa. This was such an easy and affordable project anyone can do! It added so much to our family room and didn’t break the bank! To motivate you to try this one on your own, I am also sharing several of the art pieces with you in my FREE printables library! Not only can you build this extra long ledge but you will have art to put on it!
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DIY Art Ledge Builduing Supplies
*Note: if you do not have a table saw, you can have your local hardware store cut your lumber for you.
Before the family room makeover, the space above the sofa just fell a little flat. While I do still love our giant mirror, I am thinking it will be better suited somewhere else in the house.
Pick up your lumber. I used the leftover wood we had from building our fireplace mantle extension which is beetle kill pine. While I have seen some beetle kill pine lumber at our Home Depot, they didn’t have the sizes we needed so we purchased ours at a local lumber yard. Each 1x8x8 piece was just under $11. You will want to determine the size of your art ledge before you purchase your lumber. I did this by choosing the frames I wanted to sit on my ledge first in order to decide how wide it needed to be.
Cut the wood down to size. I wanted my art ledge to be the entire length of the sofa, so I did not cut the length down on my eight foot pieces. I did however rip cut the width of the wood with our table saw into three pieces. Since I had leftover wood from the mantle, I was able to build mine with only one board and the scrap piece I had. If you would like to make the same size art ledge I did, you will need two 1x8x8 or one 1x10x8. I cut mine as follows.
Base piece = 4.5 inches
Back piece = 2.75 inches
Front Lip = 1.75 inches
Sand your wood. I used our orbital sander with 220 grit sand paper to smooth out the rough edges after all my cuts were made.
Assembly. Lay out your wood and determine how you want the pieces to face. You won’t see a ton of the wood itself unless you do not plan to fill your art ledge, but the front lip piece will be seen. Once your orientation is correct, run a bead of wood glue along the top back edge of the largest piece.
Then attach the back piece where you applied the glue. I used clamps to hold mine in place while the glue set. You will also want to make sure no glue has leaked out. If it has, wipe it immediately with a wet rag.
Once the glue has set, use a nail gun to further secure the pieces together.
Repeat this step for the front lip of the art ledge, only this time, attach the the wood to the outside edge of your bottom piece. I did this so there would be no visible seams from the front. I would allow your art ledge to dry for 24 hours before hanging it.
Attach the art ledge to the wall. You will need to locate and mark the studs on the wall a few inches above where it will hang in order to see them when you are holding the art ledge up to the wall. I used our stud finder to find the studs. Here is a time-lapse of the hanging process.
Once the studs are marked, hold the art ledge up to the wall (this is a two person job if you make yours eight feet long) and drive construction screws into the back piece of the art ledge into the studs. This works best with an impact driver. You will know if you hit a stud because it will grip and pull in. If not, your screws will just spin even though they are drilled all the way in.
Decorate your art ledge. I wanted a staggered look and used a few different frames alternating portrait and landscape. My favorite frames are from IKEA, but if you do not have an IKEA these are similar. For the large art piece in the middle I used this 24×36 frame I had on hand from a BOGT sale a while back.
If you like the art I used, you are in luck! I have added four of these art prints to my FREE printables library including the oversized art! Just subscribe to get access today.
I printed all of the 8×10 prints with my home printer and 24lb printer paper. I had the large art piece printed at Staples.
Sit back and enjoy because you are done!
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