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DIY Picture Shelf

Wall picture shelf perfect for pictures, books and anything you want to display on a shelf.

Wow. Out of all my diys I think this is one is my favorites.

I had this blank wall in my living room that bugged me. I just didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to hang pictures because I already had pictures hanging on the wall next to it. I really wasn’t feeling anything else. So I left it blank for 2 long years.

I Recently decided to give my living room a update. I took the hanging framed pictures off the wall and replaced them with a diy wall art that didn't look like ordinary framed pictures. I could finally add framed pictures to the blank wall. I didn’t want any old hanging pictures style though.

One day I was scrolling on Pinterest and came across a picture shelf. A narrow shelf just for pictures! This solves my long time blank wall problem. I went to the store for hardware the very next day.

I like this diy because you can make this for any room in your house. You can make it on your kitchen for spice display, the kids room for book displays, or in your living room like I did! This diy is pretty simple and I think even the inexperienced diy-ers can do this. Best part is this can be done in a few hours. Let’s try it out!

Before |


Picture Shelf Materials:

•2 @ 1 X 3 wood boards cut to your desired length 1 @ 1 x 2 wood board cut to your desired length (same length as the 1x3s)

•Wood glue

Drill with countersink drill bits

8 x 1 1/4" Wood screws

•Nail gun

•Wood filler

•120 Grit Sandpaper

•Pre stain, wood stain and sealer if you are staining your shelf

•Primer, paint and sealer if you are painting your shelf



•Stud finder (if not using wall anchors)

•Wall anchors (if not screwing straight into studs by using a stud finder)


Picture Shelf Directions

Step 1|

Cut your wood to your desired length. You can also get the guys (or gals) at the big box hardware store to do this for you. I choose pine wood and cut it to 80”.

Step 2:

Add a line of wood glue to the edge of the 1x3 board and attach the other board. Clamp together with clamps and let it dry for a little bit. Make sure both pieces are lined up perfectly with no overlapping edges.

Step 3|

After it’s been drying for a little bit measure out the back piece of the shelf to make sure you drill right in the middle of the edge of other piece attached to it. A 1 x 3 is 3/4 inches thick so drill at 3/8 inches (half of 3/4). Make screws about 12 inches apart.

*I used a countersink drill bit so the screws don’t stick out. This is totally optional and you can use a regular drill. Its going to be on the back of the shelf anyway.

Step 4|

Next add glue to the front of the 1x3 and attach the 1x2. Attach clamps and let dry for a little bit again. Instead of screwing in screws I nailed with a nail gun about 12" apart and covered the small holes it makes with wood filler. If you dont have a nail gun you can use a drill with a countersink drill bit and screw them in, then cover with screw caps.

Step 5|

Let fully dry and sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Wipe with a wet rag, let dry and then follow your paints painting or staining directions if you are changing the color.


Hanging your shelf to the wall.

You can either get your handy partner or friend to hang the shelf or at least help you. My husband wasn’t home and I really wanted them up so I improvised and found a way to hang them without help. (That’s me for you) I used some boxes that just so happened to be my desired height of the shelf. An actual person would probably be more help :)

If you are using wall anchors then follow your wall anchors directions. Make sure you get the correct weight for the anchors.

I used a stud finer to find the walls studs and screwed directly into my wall. I measured where I wanted my shelf. I used a stud finder and marked pencil marks where the studs were. I drilled into my shelf and right into my wall where the studs were using a leveler to make sure the shelf was leveled. I drilled about 12 inches apart. I screwed in 1 1/4 nails and my shelf was complete!

The shelf has been up for 2 weeks. It’s nice and sturdy. It’s beautiful and can hold a good amount of weight. I have no complaints. I’m ready to make more!

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Hello, I'm Camille


I am a stay at home (wood) working mom of 3. I love sharing plant based meals, my home, woodworking, nature, diy projects and much more. Lets be friends !

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