Stylish Photo Shelf

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buildsomething added on 6/15/2015

Here’s a simple way to display favorite photos, and do it with understated style. This photo shelf is really just two boards, but adding a few curves and gluing on molding dresses it up a lot.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Cut the Shelf

Cut one Shelf and one Back to length from a 1x4 board, as shown in the cutting diagram.


Drill Pocket Holes

With your jig set up for 3/4" stock, drill pocket holes in the rear face of the Back.


Add Curves to the Back

Lay out the curved shapes on each end of the Back using a compass. You’ll set it to a 2 3/8" radius for the outer curves, and to 2 3/4" for the inner curves. If the two arcs don’t meet exactly when you lay them out, that’s okay. Just connect the lines. Cut the shapes with a jigsaw, and then sand them smooth.


Join the Back and Shelf

After sanding the Back and the Shelf, connect them using 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket-hole screws.


Cut Molding to Fit

Cut one piece of Front Molding to length, as shown in the cutting diagram. Note that each end gets mitered at 45° to allow the molding to wrap around the Shelf. Also cut two pieces of End Molding, mitering one end of each piece where it will join to the Front Molding.


Attach the Molding

Glue the Front Molding and End Molding in place on the Shelf. Take care to align the miters. To hold the pieces in place as the glue sets, use masking tape.


Finish the Shelf and Add Hangers

After the glue sets on the molding, you can sand as needed, and then stain, finish, or paint the photo shelf to suit your tastes. Then add hangers, and hang the shelf on the wall.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(1) 1x4, 96", Board  
(1) 3/4" Thick, 96", Cove Molding  


(8) 1 1/4" coarse-thread pocket hole screws Shop Online
(2) 6" hangman picture hanging systems Shop Online
(1) wood glue Shop Online

Parts/Cut List:

(1) Shelf, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 47 3/4"  
(1) Back, 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 47 3/4"  
(1) Front Molding, 3/4" x 3/4" x 49 1/4"  
(2) End Molding, 3/4" x 3/4" x 4 1/4"  


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