$10 DIY Art Ledge with Etsy Printables

This project was inspired by Angela at Angela Rose Home. When I first saw this, I immediately knew I had to do this in my own home, but I didn’t have a place to put it. Until now! My oldest child recently moved out and I am transforming her old bedroom into a guest bedroom.

Here is the rough design board I made to see how the pictures would look. I found pictures I liked on Etsy, took screen shots and then planted them into the frames that Angela used.

I will break this post into two segments. First the DIY of the art ledge and then show you the prints, frames and sizes I ordered since that can be tricky.

Step 1

I just used inexpensive Poplar wood.

2 (1″x4″x 8′ or Desired Length) Mine is 90″
1 (1″x2″x 8′ or Desired Length) Mine is 90″
Make sure boards are straight
I normally cut my own wood, but there was no line at Lowe’s cutting station and since I already knew the length I needed, I had them but all boards to 90″ for me.

Step 2-Sanding

Sand all wood with 220 grit

Step 3-Wood Conditioner

Apply wood conditioner to manufacturers instructions to ensure the stain will go on evenly

Step 4-Staining

This can also be done after building the shelf, but I chose to do it before

I tested out different stains I had on hand. 1st is Classic Gray, Middle is Provincial and 3rd is Weathered Oak. I stained it first with a coat of Provincial and then went over it with Classic gray. The side that I tested on will be secured to the wall.

Step 5-Glue

Glue the upright 1″x4″ to the bottom part of the shelf
Glue the 1″x2″ to the bottom part of the shelf

Step 6-Secure with nail gun

If you don’t have a nail gun, you can secure it with clamps

I used the nail gun on both the back and front sides to hold the upright side and front piece to the bottom

Step 7-Screw in 1 1/2″ screws

Pre-drill and then drill in 8 1 1/2″ screws along the back upright piece into the bottom flat piece of wood.

Step 8-Find the studs in your wall

Using a stud finder, locate the studs in your wall so the shelf can be screwed in
Screw into the studs
Don’t mind the floors, the carpets were just ripped out and new flooring has been ordered
Once I screwed into the studs (above pic) I rested the shelf on top of the screws and marked the wood where I need to pre-drill and then drill 2″ screws all the way through the wood. I then backed the screws almost all the way out.

Step 10-Hanging the shelf

I only screwed in the center screw into the stud and then used a level working my way from one end to the other to ensure it was level
I already had my prints except for one so I taped the backside and placed them to see how they looked while I was waiting for the frames to be delivered.

Originally I had planned to mount this over the headboard, but I was not liking the blank shiplap wall (previously it used to be open to our formal living room and we closed it off). The height of the largest black frame is too tall for this wall, so I think it might be best over the bed.

Etsy Printables

Now for the tricky part. I took me about an hour figure out what sizes frames to use with the prints I have selected (read about ratios further down). Below I have all the information of how I pieced this together.

Here are the downloadable prints I ordered from Etsy along with the seller information in the upper left corner. When you purchase printables it’s not just one size, you will be sent a file to download the image which comes in several sizes. Total cost $35.00

Ikea frames to fit the prints. I paid $10 to have them shipped to me, much easier than my time to drive an hour in Seattle traffic. Cost with shipping $93.94.

Costco is less than a mile from my work and this is where I have everything printed. It’s easy and convenient and most of the time is done the same day. I know there are other places like Staples and Office depot where you can get them printed on paper for less. Total Cost $36.44 (the picture of the snow covered steps is not in this order as it was ordered after the fact, but included in the grand total.

Pay attention to the text I added underneath each item in the picture below. I have listed out:

  1. The print that was used
  2. Ikea frame name, size and price
  3. Ratio used for uploading to Costco.com (read below for ratios)

When you instant download your prints from Etsy it is generally a .zip file that will contain several pictures and looks similar to this telling you the ratio for each.

Most sellers will have their ratio information on there page. The ratio tells you what pictures are best for certain sizes. My largest print was a 20″x30″ and I was able to use the 4:5 ratio. Costco did not give me a warning that it was low resolution, so I’m sure others will work for this size also. If you upload the wrong ratio, Costco will mark a yellow triangle next to the picture indicating the resolution is too low.


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