I picked up one 1x2x8 select pine board and two 1x4 regular pressure treated lumber boards and had it cut in half at HD. Select pine is a little pricy, but it's very smooth and does not have knots and holes which I didn't want. You can go with regular, cheaper boards for the 1x4s because you don't see them once they're up and hung.
Following the tutorials instructions, I liked up the pieces placing one 1x4 laying flat and glued another 1x4 to the end of the board and a 1x2 at the front using Gorilla Glue. Because I don't own clamps, I used heavy duty tape to secure the boards and placed heavy items to put pressure as the glue dried. They I screwed the boards together using 2.5" wood screws. Once everything was dry, I filled the holes and front seam with paintable/stainable wood filler.
I sanded everything down with 80 and then 220-grit sandpaper. I primed and painted each board with a brush for the inside and a foam roller for the exterior flat sides. I went with Glidden's Duo Paint + Primer Base #2 in Eggshell (a non-tinted sample can I had on hand) for the ledge for my bedroom and went with Ben Moore's Chartreuse (also a sample I had on hand) for the living room ledge. The chartruese is the same color I used on my Instagram photo frame. I didn't prime the boards, because I was being lazy and just put two coats of the Glidden Duo paint before painting the Chartreuse over it.
I put up the ledges by securing them to wall studs, through the top of the back 1x4 piece with the same 2.5" wood screws. You'll want to secure them to a minimum of two studs for a 4' ledge plus one extra screw just in case. These ledges can definitely get heavy.
For my bedroom piece, I hung it right over the bed and styled it with a framed engagement photo of my hubby and I from way back when, a $3 ampersand MDF cut out from Michael's, an art print I ordered from Sarah Dorsey's Etsy shop for $5 (in a $1 garage sale frame I painted) and an unfinished canvas I scored 60% off a JoAnn's. I need to go back and paint that canvas, but we'll get there.
In the living room, I finished off the chartreuse ledge with a 16x20 CVS Canvas Print*, another $3 ampersand (I obviously have a thing for "&") and a canvas I had in the storage room that I had painted with chalk paint and never finished.
These ledges are so quick, simple and inexpesive to make, I'll definitely be adding more around the house. I also love them as a renter, because compared to a whole gallery wall, there are a lot less holes to be filled later on.
*FYI: The CVS canvas print is great quality. They also always have deals on canvases. This 16x20 print is usually $49.99, but with a 50% off coupon, a $2 off photo department coupon and some CVS Extra Bucks I had saved it came out to be $20 including taxes.
Check this post out on the Work It Wednesday Linky Party, at Place of My Taste.