How to style a picture ledge with printable artwork

I love picture ledges as a gallery wall alternative because they are exceptionally easy to change up.

With only having to rest the frame on the shelf, you can arrange and rearrange all day without putting a single nail hole in the wall.

My only issue with picture ledges is that it can be tricky to nail that cohesive but interesting look. If you’ve been struggling to get your picture ledge looking it’s best, some of my tips and examples just might help you.

Quick tips:

Stick with standard frame sizes.

I always like to work with standard frame sizes so I don’t have to break the bank on custom framing. I know there are some pieces out there that deserve a gorgeous custom framing job, and in that case SPLURGE. But, for the sake of this, let’s stick to standard. I consider anything you can pick up at Ikea, Target or Amazon a standard frame size. Gather all of the frames you want to use and build around that.

Think about your frame finishes.

I like to play with two frame finishes. Here are some of my old reliable combos:

  • Brass and wood

  • Black and white

  • Black and wood

You also can’t go wrong with sticking to one finish. It’s easy and is guaranteed to be cohesive.

Choose your hero.

What piece of art do you want to shine the most? Make it the biggest, boldest, or in the center of your picture ledge!

Make it your own!

In all of my samples, I’m using 100% printable artwork. It’s a super affordable way to have great art in your house, and you can feel good about supporting small shops. You can make any of these directions your own by adding your own photography, a DIY art project or anything really! Go wild!

Desert Dweller

Get the look: Joshua Tree | 8×10 Matisse Inspired | 18×24 Blush | 11×14 Arches

Make it your own: Try cutting paper of collected ephemera to create your own spin on the 11×14 arches!

Warm Monochrome

Get the look: 5×7 Brush Strokes | 18×24 Midcentury Diptych | 8×10 Midcentury Blockprint | 8×10 B&W Mountains | 14×18 Slate and Blush

Make it your own: Swap out the black and white photography for a family photo or a place you feel connected to. Bonus points if you DIY the brushstroke print on the left. Just grab black paint and a dry brush and you’re golden!

Outside In

Get the look: Trees 14×18 | Topographic 11×14 | State Map 11×14 | 5×7 Vintage Travel | Lemon 11×14 | Tree Ring 16×20

Make it your own: Collect postcards on your next vacation to use instead of the 5×7 travel posters. And of course, swap out the state and topographic prints for places that are special to you!

For all of these samples, I used a 90.5” picture ledge, which is two Ikea ledges next to each other. This size will fit over most couches nicely.

This post was written for the  Collected Eclectic blog.

Collected Eclectic was a passion project focused on recording the process as Grace and Michael van Meurer transformed their builder grade home in to something special.

124 blog posts were published between 2018 and 2021. Explore the complete Collected Eclectic archive here

Learn more about the project here

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