Shim Ceiling Medallion

Shim Ceiling Medallion

Make an eye-catching statement with this rustic DIY ceiling medallion project.

5 col


(5) Bundles of (50) 18” wood shims (or smaller shim length, if preferred)
12” ceiling medallion
Large glue gun with glue sticks
Painter’s tape
Electric sander with fine 120-220 grit sandpaper
Safety glasses
1” x 16” Diameter wood disc
1” x 11” Diameter wood disc
(2) 1” x 4” x 24” lumber
(2) 1” x 4” x 20” lumber
Small box 2” wood screws
Small box 3 1/2” wood screws
Stud finder
Drill with Phillips head bit
Construction adhesive in dispenser
Decorative candle chandelier
Battery operated candles, enough for each arm of your candle chandelier
Optional: Thin work gloves*


*If you’re concerned about getting splinters from the shims, put on thin work gloves


1. Take five shims and stagger the heights of the wide ends. Apply a line of hot glue from the glue gun along the flat edge of a shim. Press it to the adjacent shim. Repeat until five shims are glued together (See images below)

2. Secure the bundle of five shims with a piece of painter’s tape for 20-30 minutes while the glue dries

3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make more bundles of five shims. You will need about 50 bundles to create a circle of shims. Check you have enough bundles by laying them out in a temporary circle (See images below)


4. Remove the painter’s tape from all the shim bundles. The bundles of shims will be held together with additional single shims glued between the bundles. Apply hot glue to one side of a single shim and press it onto the side of a shim bundle, staggered lower than the bundle’s side shim. Apply hot glue to the other side of the single shim and press a second bundle to it. Continue the circle gluing the bundles and single shims together until you have a complete circle (See images below)

5. Apply additional hot glue along any seams between the shims that appear to need extra support. Allow the hot glue to cool and set for about 30 minutes before moving on to the next step (See image below)

6. Use an electric sander with fine grit sandpaper to smooth the surface of the shims and remove any loose splinters of wood (See image below)



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7. Carefully turn the shim medallion over so the sanded side is face down. Take a 16” diameter wood disc and apply a line of construction adhesive around one side. Press the disc over the center of the shim medallion, covering the hole. Apply more construction adhesive around the edge of the wood disc (See image below)

8. Lay the (2) 1” x 4” x 20” and (2) 1” x 4” x 24” lumber in a rectangle around the 16” wood disc. Place them with the 20” pieces on the inside edges of the larger 24” pieces. Lift up each piece of lumber one at a time, apply a line of construction adhesive along it and press it back in place (See images below)

9. Apply additional construction adhesive in lines around the inside and outside edges of the four pieces of lumber. Allow the construction adhesive to cure for at least 24 hours before moving on to the next step (See image below)


*An 11” wood disc will be added to the front of the shim medallion. This will be used as the place to attach the candle chandelier in later steps.

10. Turn the shim medallion over so it is face up. Take the 11” diameter wood disc and apply a line of construction adhesive around one side. Press the disc over the center of the shim medallion, covering the hole. Secure the 11” disc to the shims and through to the 16” wood disc on the back using a drill with a Phillips head bit and about (15) 2” wood screws. Space the screws around the disc in an inner and out circle. They don’t need to be perfectly placed, just secure (See images below)


*It will take at least 2 people to hang the medallion. Do not try it alone!

11. Use a stud finder to locate two studs in the ceiling in the area you want to hang your ceiling medallion. Mark the studs with a pencil. The shim medallion will be relatively heavy and will need to be attached to the ceiling through the two ceiling studs

12. With assistance, hold the shim medallion to the ceiling, lining the lumber rectangle on the back of the medallion up with the pencil marks indicating the location of the ceiling studs. Using a drill with a Phillips head bit, secure the medallion to the ceiling with 3 1/2” wood screws placed 4” to 5” apart through the front of the shims, the lumber on the back and into the ceiling studs. Use a minimum of 5 screws per stud (See images below)


13. Apply construction adhesive to the back of the decorative ceiling medallion and press it over the 11” disc on the front of the medallion. Hold the candle chandelier up to the ceiling medallion with the base centered on the medallion. Secure the candle chandler in place using a drill with a Phillips head bit and 3 1/2” wood screws (See images below)

14. Place battery operated candles into the candle chandelier

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