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DIY Scalloped Edge Shelf | Easy IKEA Hack

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Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by lindseymahoney

Creating this DIY scalloped edge shelf is such a fun and easy IKEA hack!

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore

I have owned this pair of IKEA RIBBA picture ledges (similar) for a decade and continue to love their functionality. Here they are in her bedroom before the makeover.

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

When I began planning my daughter’s vintage-inspired bedroom makeover, I knew I wanted to include scalloped detailing. I decided to test out a new IKEA hack where I added scalloped edge wood trim to the shelf.

This easy DIY gave the IKEA shelves so much charm and character!

The cottagecore design trend is filled with beautiful scalloped furniture and I am excited to incorporate it into my daughter’s bedroom.

Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to easily make a scalloped hanging shelf using an IKEA picture ledge.

To be clear, this can be replicated on any shelving using these simple steps.


How to Make a Scalloped Edge Shelf

*[affiliate links may be used, thanks for supporting Building Bluebird!]

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

1 | Measure the Shelf Length

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

Measure the front of the shelf with a tape measurer.

This is where the MDF scalloped wood trim will be attached. I purchased pre-cut MDF trim from Etsy and it worked perfectly.

2 | Measure & Cut Scalloped Wood Trim

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

Measure the same length of the shelf and mark it on the wood trim.

Be aware of where the scallops are cut on each side of the trim and cut them as evenly as possible.

With my first attempt at cutting the trim, I measured the shelf distance from one finished side of the MDF and cut it to length on the other side.

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

You can see that the scalloped trim looks lopsided with this process.

I started over with a new trim piece and cut both sides of the trim so the scallops became mirror images of each other giving it balance.

Although this project is DIY’ed, you never want it to look that way!

3 | Glue Scalloped Trim to the Shelf

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

Lay the shelf ledge on its back and apply wood glue to the front lip.

I like to use tape and clamps (similar) to attach wood trim and keep it in place.

First I taped one side of the trim, then I taped the other side. I added two clamps to the center and taped additional spots to keep the trim flush with the shelf.

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

Let the glue dry for at least 4-6 hours and then remove the tape and clamps.

4 | Sand the Shelf & Trim

How to add scalloped trim to a picture ledge with this simple tutorial | Building Bluebird #cottagecore #grandmillenial #diy #ikeahack

Lightly sand the entire shelf, including the new trim piece.

The original shelf has a bit of a sheen to it, so I wanted to rough up the surface for the primer to adhere.

5 | Apply Paint Primer to the Shelf

Easy Ikea hack to add cottagecore charm to a hanging bookshelf | Building Bluebird

Using leftover primer from our mudroom makeover, I applied a quick coat of extreme bond primer to the entire shelf.

This primer is made specifically for glossier surfaces, so I knew it would work well on the IKEA shelf material.

Easy Ikea hack to add cottagecore charm to a hanging bookshelf | Building Bluebird

Take your time around the scallops to prevent dripping and pooling paint.

If you do get any drips that dried, use a sanding block to remove and repaint that area of the shelf.

6 | Paint the Scallop Edge & Shelf

Easy Ikea hack to add cottagecore charm to a hanging bookshelf | Building Bluebird

Once the primer has dried, apply whatever paint color you choose.

I decided to paint the shelves the same mauve color as the bedroom walls, but any color works. I applied two coats of paint for full coverage.

7 | Apply Clear Laquer to the Shelf & Trim

Easy Ikea hack to add cottagecore charm to a hanging bookshelf | Building Bluebird

Even though I applied the extreme bond primer, I was still concerned about the shelving paint getting chipped.

We use these shelves to display and store books, so they need to withstand lots of wear and tear.

I used the same pink paint that I used on the walls, which is made specifically for drywall.

If I purchased the paint for the shelf separately, I would have bought a type made specifically for furniture or trim and doors.

Last year I completed a fun IKEA hack on our Hemnes dresser and used a Rust-Oleum Furniture Kit to paint it gray. I had plenty of the clear topcoat left over and decided to add a single coat to the shelves for maximum durability.

This comes with the kit and is a matte sheen, but any clear lacquer should work just the same.

Scalloped Edge Shelf IKEA Hack | Reveal

Easy scalloped shelf DIY for beginners to achieve the cottagecore look | Building Bluebird #grandmillenial

When the shelves are dry, hang them on the wall and enjoy!

Easy scalloped shelf DIY for beginners to achieve the cottagecore look | Building Bluebird #grandmillenial

I love the look of the shelf color matching the walls. The shadow detail below allows the scallops to stand out without being too flashy.

Easy scalloped shelf DIY for beginners to achieve the cottagecore look | Building Bluebird #grandmillenial

My daughter’s grandmillennial bedroom makeover turned out perfectly – just the right amount of sweet that she can surely grow into.

Easy scalloped shelf DIY for beginners to achieve the cottagecore look | Building Bluebird #grandmillenial

Project Materials Used

This project was affordable and an easy DIY, perfect for beginners.

I love how small details like scalloped trim have the ability to add so much charm to any piece of furniture.

Check out how I added that same scalloped trim detail to an IKEA bookcase!

Easy scalloped shelf DIY for beginners to achieve the cottagecore look | Building Bluebird #grandmillenial

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