How To Easily Make A Scalloped Shelf | IKEA Hack

October 25, 2021

I have owned a pair of IKEA RIBBA picture ledges (similar) for a decade and continue to love their functionality. I actually don’t think IKEA even sells this particular style anymore. 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 wood trim to the shelf.

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

This easy DIY gave the IKEA shelves so much charm and character! 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 Easily Make Scalloped Shelf | Tutorial

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

Step 1 | Measure the Shelf Length

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.

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

Step 2 | Measure & Cut Scalloped Wood Trim

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.

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

With my first attempt at cutting the trim, I only cut one side. You can see in the image below that the scallop on the left side looks complete, but the edge on the right side cuts a portion of the last scallop. I scrapped the trim piece below and remeasured a new trim piece where the scallop cuts were even on both ends.

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

The scallops on both ends of the trim should be mirror images of each other so that the piece looks balanced. Although this project is DIY’ed, you never want it to look that way!

Step 3 | Glue Scalloped Trim to the Shelf

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

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

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

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

Step 4 | Sand the Shelf & Trim

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.

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

Step 5 | Apply Paint Primer to the Shelf

Using leftover primer from our mudroom makeover, I applied a quick coat 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.

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

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.

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

Step 6 | Paint the Scalloped Shelf

Once the primer has dried, apply whatever paint color you choose. I decided to paint the shelves the same color as the bedroom walls, but any color works. I applied two coats of paint for full coverage.

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

Step 7 | Apply Clear Laquer to the Shelf & Trim

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 it needs 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 leftover 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.

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

Easy Scalloped Shelf DIY Reveal

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

Project Materials Used

This project was affordable and easy DIY, perfect for beginners. I love that a small detail like scalloped trim has the ability to add so much charm to any piece of furniture.

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