How to Build an Alcove

An alcove, or a wall niche, creates a space to display art, vases or other decorative accessories. You can build a simple wall niche in a few hours as a do-it-yourself project. For more intricate alcoves, like arched or lighted display alcoves, you need more time and experience.

Build the frame for your wall niche using 2 52-inch-long and 2 23-inch-long pieces of wood. You can use a 2-by-4 foot board to cut the correct lengths.

Draw a box on the wall with the measurements of the outside dimensions of the frame. Use a level to ensure straight lines. Cut along the lines with a drywall saw.

Insert the frame into the hole, making sure that it's straight. If necessary, use shims to level the wall niche frame. Secure the top, sides and bottom of the frame to the wall studs with screws.

Measure the inside dimensions for the wall niche, cut drywall pieces accordingly and attach drywall to the inside of the niche with drywall screws. Patch any exposed drywall around the wall niche.

Mud and tape the drywall. With painters caulk, fill in the corners. Allow the mud to dry before you sand, prime and paint the wall niche. Paint the niche a lighter color than the surrounding wall to draw attention to the item displayed.

Consider installing a shelf to increase functionality. Leave the shelf natural or stain it to match other wood accents in the home.


You may need to reframe the wall before you insert the wall niche frame. Use a stud finder to determine where to place your alcove.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 52-inch-long boards
  • 2 23-inch-long boards
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Drywall saw
  • Shims (optional)
  • Screws
  • Drywall pieces
  • Drywall screws
  • Drywall supplies
  • Painter's caulk
  • Paint
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