Shelving It: Using Ledges to Display Picture Frames

Aside from hanging your inline oval frames and antique picture frames on the wall, one creative alternative is to use picture shelves or ledges. With this, you have the freedom to arrange, rearrange and change your display as you see fit without having to worry about poking holes on your walls. Ledges are shelf-like surfaces but with less width than the standard shelf. You can also put other decorative elements on your ledge – art work, canvas and other mounted prints, wooden monogram letters, family mementos or a slender vase with some flowers.

Here are some tips about displaying your picture frames on ledges:

  • Make or buy. If you like doing home-improvement projects, installing photo ledges in your walls is pretty simple. You can go to your local hardware and ask them to cut your wood strips to specifications. The ledge should form a U with the back part of the U a bit higher. Having a strip of wood in the back part will make hanging the ledges on the wall easier. The front lip prevents the frames from slipping and falling. If you are not one to DIY it, there are also plenty of ready-made ledges in most home stores.
  • Choose the right spot. Your picture frame display using the ledges can create a focal point for any given room. Select a section of the wall that naturally draws the eyes to your photo display. Ideally, this should be away from sources of cold and heat, such as the vents of your heating and air conditioning systems. Heat and cold can produce moisture inside the frame and cause damage to the pictures.
  • Keep frames at eye level. Putting your ledge too high will mean that your frames are also well above eye level since the picture frame’s bottom part will rest on the ledge. People will have to strain and look upwards, with the ledge blocking some of their view. When deciding on how to place the ledge, estimate the placement so that the approximate middle section of the frame is at eye level. This is especially true if you plan to create more than one ledge on a given wall. Be sure that the middle ledge is placed so that the pictures are at the average eye level.
  • Match your ledge with your frames. This does not have to be an exact match. However, if you are planning on using vintage picture frames, choose a ledge that has vintage-looking molding or trim. If you are going for modern gold or silver picture frames, use ledges that have clean lines.
  • Go with a theme. This can cover the type of photos being displayed or the types of frames being used. You can feature pictures from your recent holiday, landscape photos or frames art. If your ledge has enough depth, you can also layer some of the frames (placing shorter frames in front of taller ones) from a more textured look.
  • Keep the ledge clean. Shelves and ledges, as well their contents, usually gather dust after a time. Dust the ledge regularly (such as once every week). You should also give the glass some cleaning. Take special care when cleaning the acrylic or glass cover of the frames. If these are made of acrylic, never use soaps or cleaners with harsh materials so that you do not scratch the surface of the acrylic.
3rd Aug 2014 Eric Morgan

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