- Turn Firewood into DIY Floating Shelves
- 14 Unique DIY Shelving Ideas – How to Make and Build Shelves
- DIY Floating Shelves
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- 19 Ultimate List of DIY Corner Shelf Ideas with Plans
- 22 Easy DIY Floating Shelves
- DIY Floating Wall Shelves
- DIY Floating Bookshelves
- DIY Floating Bathroom Shelves
- DIY Floating Shelves for Plants
- DIY Floating Corner Shelves
- More DIY Floating Shelf Projects
- 27+ Bright DIY Floating Shelf Ideas to Maximize Your Space
- 27+ Bold DIY Floating Shelf Ideas To Save Space
- 4. Simplistic Clean and White Art Gallery Style
- 29. Kiddies Korner Library Storage
- Our Favorite Farmhouse Wall Storage Items to buy on Amazon
- 5 Tips for Building Easy, Affordable Floating Shelves
- 5 Helpful Tips for Building Affordable Floating Shelves
- Cut List
- Tip #2: Create and Assemble Support Bracket for Floating Shelf
- Tip #3: Assemble Floating Shelf Shell Using Glue and Nails
- Tip #4: Use Wood Conditioner Prior to Staining for a Beautiful Finish
- Tip #5: Attach Floating Shelf Bracket to Wall
- More DIY shelves:
- How To Build Floating Shelves
Turn Firewood into DIY Floating Shelves
I started the DIY floating shelves project out with a log from a tree that had been cut down locally. The rest of the tree was used for firewood, but I wanted to try something different with this piece.
The log had a big split in it from drying, so I figured I would try to split the log from the top on the other side. Clearly I’m a novice in log splitting and have undersized tools and I quickly realized this wasn’t the right way to do it. Instead I used the hatchet as a wedge into the split. This worked much better, but if you have a chainsaw then it would be way easier.
With the log split in two I needed to rough out the shape of the DIY floating shelves. The split wasn’t very straight, so I used a chisel and hammer to clean up the high spots on the log so it would sit somewhat flat.
I used a marker to establish the top of the rustic shelves on the front face of the log and transferred the mark to the back with a long ruler. These lines will establish my initial cut which I’ll do on my bandsaw.
I could have freehand cut the log on the bandsaw, but I recently broke a blade when an unstable piece turned during a cut, so I decided to make a quick log sled some scrap MDF.
My bandsaw has two miter slots so I screwed a runner on one side of the MDF, then ran it through the bandsaw cutting halfway through the sheet. Then I put a runner on some small spacers in the other slot and used super glue to temporarily join it to the sled.
I pulled the sled back off the saw and secured the runner with screws and in just a couple minutes I had a safe way to cut the logs into the floating shelf blanks.
I used a marker to extend the cut line of the firewood sled and now I just needed to line up the marks on the log with the marks on the sled and secure the firewood log.
To secure the log to the sled I used wood shims and a hot glue gun. You don’t need a super strong bond here, just enough to keep it from rocking. I also positioned the log close to the front of the sled so I wouldn’t cut all the way through it and that I could use it again.
With the log secured to the sled I took it to the bandsaw and started making my cut. The wood was pretty dense so I took my time and let the blade do the work.
If you don’t have a bandsaw you could cut this with a 20” or larger hand saw from the home center which I’ve actually done in the past.
The sled worked perfectly and after the cut I could see the grain inside the log looked really awesome.
With two quartered pieces from the log I needed to get flat and square faces on the logs to make the final cuts for the DIY floating shelves. I used my jointer to flatten the face that I had just cut on the bandsaw. This could also be done with a belt sander or hand plane, but the jointer really makes quick work of it.
After getting one face of the log flat I turned it 90 degrees and referenced that flat face against the jointer fence. After running the logs through several passes the two faces of the log were flat and 90 degrees to each other and ready to go back to the bandsaw.
To get the DIY floating shelves down to the final size of 4″ thick I used a combination of my planer and jointer. Running the boards through the planer at 5” plus is slightly terrifying with such a short piece. So if you are using a planer for this make sure to keep your hands far far away from the cutter heads as it’s really exposed being up this high.
I went back and cleaned up the live edge of the shelves a bit more with a chisel and hatchet and got rid of anything that was soft or rotted. I used a sander to smooth all the chisel marks out and I was ready to mount the invisible hardware for the floating shelves.
The invisible hardware I used has a mounting plate and a set screw that attaches to a 7/16” support rod.
I laid the hardware out on the back of the shelves to match my wall studs, which ended up at 15-¼”. To have a flush fit to the wall the mounting plates need to be recessed into the shelf.
At the same time I realized my longest 7/16” bit was a little too short to fit the length of the support rod. So I killed two birds with one stone and used a 2” forstner bit to drill a recess for the mounting plates. The 2” hole is plenty big for the mounting plate and big enough that I can fit the chuck of my drill into the recess and drill ½” deeper hole for the rod.
I drilled the holes for the rod with a 7/16″ drill bit right in the center of the 2″ recessed holes.
These floating shelves are pretty heavy so I decided to try and lighten them by drilling a series of holes in the back with a spade bit. Honestly it didn’t feel it changed it that much, but I’m sure it did remove some weight and also it made some cool little hiding spots you could stash small containers with government secrets or $2 bills.
I sanded the DIY floating shelves to 220 grit then applied the finish. I used several coats of oil based polyurethane on the shelves to give it the nice amber finish that really makes the grain pop. The character on the live edges was just amazing when the finish went on. I came back on the second coat with a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies of the front edge.
To mount the rustic shelves I found the wall studs then used a level to mark for the mounting brackets.
I attached the brackets with 2-½” screws into the studs then threaded the support rods onto the brackets.
Sliding the floating shelves onto the brackets is easy by just lining up the holes with the support rods. The tight fit and weight of the shelf will easily hold them in place, but you could add adhesive to the holes or use a set screw from above into the rod for extra security.
It’s so cool to see how beautiful a piece of wood that was destined for the fire can become. I love the chunky feel of these DIY floating shelves but you could easily use half the thickness and get four or more shelves the same sized log.
If you want to check out more home decor projects go check out my Home Decor projects page.
14 Unique DIY Shelving Ideas – How to Make and Build Shelves
Courtesy of Vintage Revivals
DIY crafting is one thing, but wall installations are an entirely different level of OMG, not happening. Don't stress about handling a drill or hammer, because these DIY wall shelves are so easy, anyone can tackle them. Get ready to gain all the storage potential — whether you want floating shelves, rope shelves, or A-frame ones, you'll find something you love on this list.
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If individual shelves feel too messy and cluttered for your walls, DIY pegboards. You'll gain additional space for vases, plants, mirrors, frames, etc., and warm up your space with the giant wooden wall covering. (Plus, if you get bored of one look, you can easily rearrange them!)
Get the tutorial at Vintage Revivals
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These shelves are made popsicle sticks. This is not a drill.
Get the tutorial at eHow.
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You don't need a china cabinet (and in fact, if you have one, you'll want to chuck it in favor of this, anyway), you just need DIY A-frame ladder shelves. Minimalism FTW!
Get the tutorial at Vintage Revivals.
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Industrial Pipe Shelves
Do you want to know how much these would cost new at Restoration Hardware? TOO MUCH.
Get the tutorial at The DIY Playbook.
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If cookie-cutter floating shelves aren't unique enough for you, this is the solution. And even better? They're totally idiot-proof.
Get the tutorial at Burkatron.
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Copper Pipe Shelves
Put leftover copper pipe to good use with these super-simple shelves. For this project, you only need basic construction skills, and a long, flat surface to place on the pipes.
Get the tutorial at A Joyful Riot.
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Use old belts to make these shelves. They've got that rustic vibe, yet you don't have to have Clint Harp's skills to make them at home.
Get the tutorial at At Home In Love.
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Quilting Hoop Shelf
This circle shelf is the perfect place to display your favorite tiny objects. It looks store-bought, but it's actually made three quilting hoops.
Get the tutorial at A New Bloom.
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Floating Corner Shelves
Squeeze these whitewashed floating shelves into an unused corner and load them up with succulents. They're an easy way to bring greenery into an empty space.
Get the tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.
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Repurposed Crate Shelves
Make old crates useful by hanging them on the wall, this clever two-tone shelving. Here, they're used to store makeup and nail polish — but you could also stock them with spices or knickknacks.
Get the tutorial at Acute Designs.
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Easy-to-make driftwood shelving is the coastal-inspired DIY you're long overdue to try (just you're long overdue on that coastal vacation). One caveat: Make sure the wood you select is light, otherwise it might hurt your wall.
Get the tutorial at Lotts and Lots.
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Sure, you can't put anything on top of this shelf, but it's still so pretty. Mason jars are attached to the bottom of the board, with a small hole drilled through to slip your favorite bloom.
Get the tutorial at With Lovely.
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These rustic-inspired repurposed pallet shelves are a great way to display thin objects, books, magazines, and family photos — just make sure to fully clean their insides first.
Get the tutorial at Hi Consumption.
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Warning: You may start seeing tetris shapes fall from the sky whenever you close your eyes. But we still think they're super cool.
Get the tutorial at Our Nerd Home.
DIY Floating Shelves
When moving into a new home, it’s great to add small, familiar touches such as photographs, mementos, etc. to make it feel “home.”
What better way to display those items than on stylish floating shelves? I built these DIY floating shelves in my bathroom. But they would look great in your living room, den, or just about any room of the house. This easy tutorial will show you how to build these DIY floating shelves in your home. Just follow the step-by-step instructions.
But first… Cleaning when you’re moving in is an important first step to making your home truly yours.
Bounty paper towels make cleaning your new space easy….just wipe clean and toss!
The wall adjacent to the sink (where the shelves are going) had a few cobwebs, etc., so I pulled out a Swiffer Duster and wiped them away.
Then I cleaned the wall with an all-purpose Mr. Clean Magic Eraser before starting our project.
All clean and ready to go.
Cut the wood pieces below into the following dimensions.
- 4 – 1-in. x 2-in. x 21-in.
- 8 – 1-in. x 2-in. x 6½ in.
- 4 – ¼-in. x 8-in. x 21-in.
- 4 – ¼-in. x 2-in. x 8-in.
- 2 – ¼-in. x 2-in. x 21⅜-in.
We decided to use a number of small wood pieces to build a frame inside the shelves that would make them extra sturdy.
Below, you see the layout to follow for building the frame.
Screw these pieces together as shown below in order to make your frame.
Glue (and clamp and/or nail) the sanded panels to the frame.
As you can see in the pictures below, there’s no glue on the front 1 x 2 board. Instead, it is attached for alignment purposes only while gluing and then removed so it can be attached to the wall.
Once it’s glued, go ahead and remove the 1 x 2.
The photo below shows the 1 x 2 and the piece of finish that will cover it once it’s on the wall.
Attach the shelf to the wall from the inside with a screwdriver. Use a stud finder and screw into at least one stud for stability.
Make sure the shelf is level (both vertically and horizontally) before adding the remaining screws.
Attach the second floating shelf the same way making sure of measurements and keeping things level.
Re-attach the 1 x 2 boards to the fronts of both shelves.
Glue the remaining ¼-in. boards to the front and use a brad nailer (or finish nails) to hold in place.
Wipe away any glue that may leak from the seam with a paper towel.
While that’s drying, tape off the shelves to get them ready for painting.
You’re almost done!
Once the glue is dry, apply two coats of paint, allowing them to dry between coats.
The Scotch Blue Edge-Lock Painter’s Tape worked great for this! There’s not one bit of paint anywhere in sight, except on the shelves where it belongs.
And we’re DONE! Now you can decorate your sturdy DIY floating shelves with mementos and anything that is special to you. Since I live right by the coast, anything with a coastal feel feels home to me. The picture of my husband and son fishing is a special one to me as well.
I’m loving my new floating shelves and the special things we’ve added to make it feel home.
19 Ultimate List of DIY Corner Shelf Ideas with Plans
Do you have extra stuff lying around that you just do not know where to put it?
Good news! In this article, you will find nineteen ideas, some with detailed instructions, for how to optimize the corners of your house to store all those items.
None of them take to much work, so with a simple run to your nearest hardware store, you can get started building these corner shelves today!
These hanging shelves add a dimension of fun to any room you put them in, making them perfect for any child’s bedroom or playroom, but they can also work great if you want to add a spark of your inner child anywhere in your house.
These neat shelves are perfect for holding any miscellaneous items and nick-nacks that are currently taking up space in the back of your closet.
To get started, all you needed to do is head over to the hardware store, buy the supplies you need (list in the plan linked below), and then you can get started.
It is a simple process of prepping the boards, drilling holes, and threading rope through before attaching it to your ceiling. An easy process for a great shelf!
See detailed instructions with the link below.
This zig-zag shelf will add a great architectural feature to any modern house.
The seamless design is unique and eye-catching, great for storing books, displaying pictures, or presenting your beautiful collection of memorabilia from whatever era.
This shelf takes some skill to do the cuts, you need access to a miter saw, but once you have cut all the boards, it is a simple task of gluing them together with strong wood glue, painting or staining it how you want and then drilling it into the wall.
These floating shelves are an elegant way to display all your favorite art pieces, plants, and books.
They can work well in an office to store your papers, office supplies, and devices. They can work well in your bedroom to display all your personal nicknacks in an organized and visually attractive way.
Whatever your need is, I am sure you can adapt these shelves to fit it.
For a detailed step by step instructions and a list of the tools and materials you need, click the link below and get started today!
These shelves are a lot the floating shelves in the previous option, except this one has an alternating, stacked effect that adds interest and artistic elegance that the other does not have.
These stacked, floating shelves are perfect for displaying your books, antiques, art, and more. If you have the right tools and supplies, you can put them together this weekend.
For a detailed step-by-step guide, click the link below.
These beautiful shelves are hefty then some of the other options and therefore can hold more and heavier items than some other others.
Though they work great for decoration, these shelves are a great storage option for all sorts of things: keepsakes, books, bins of off-season clothing, accessories, and art pieces.
For great and detailed instructions, click the link below, and you will have yourself some beautiful L-shaped corner shelves in no time!
If you are looking for a more industrial looking shelf, these metal pipe, corner shelves are a great option for you.
Simple to piece together and a great display shelf. With the pipes, woods, some attachment hooks, and a drill to attach it to the wall, you will have this great shelf in no time.
Some of the other shelves in this list can get rather pricey, despite being do-it-yourself, but not this one.
These shelves work great in a kitchen to display dishes, an office to display supplies and books, or a living room to display antiques and nicknacks.
Below is a great step-by-step instruction for how to build these beautiful yet affordable shelves.
Do you have a weird corner in your house that you have no clue what to do with?
Perhaps a place where the door is sunk in creating an extra wall and an extra corner that you just do not know why the builder put there in the first place.
Well, these shelves are a great way to utilize that space for storage. The link below will guide you to a step-by-step instruction and you will have a use for that weird, no good space before you know it!
These gorgeous shelves are the perfect addition to any kitchen or living room.
You can find most of the wood already cared out at a craft supply store, and then all you have to do is take some wood glue, put it together, and nail or drill it into the wall.
You can paint it any color you want and have the perfect storage for your favorite dishes or other decorations.
This corner shelf, un some of the others, is freestanding, so you do not have to drill holes into your wall to utilize it. This shelf is perfect for anyone living in an apartment, dorm, or other rental space.
It works great in a dining room, living room, bedroom, office, or basically any place that you have embellishments that can either fit in bins or are freestanding.
Keep in mind there is no back to the shelf, so it will not work as well for things that need extra support.
These selves are thin without much depth, making them the perfect display shelf for antiques, pictures, and plants.
It will not work for heavier storage such as books or bins, but if you are looking for a way to display keepsakes and memorabilia without taking up precious floor shelves, this might be the perfect option for you.
Click the link below to find great, detailed instructions on how to build them.
This shelf is a beautiful decorative shelf to display two or three of your favorite things.
Once again, this shelf is not the best for long-term storage, but perfect to add a bit of pizazz to your otherwise dull room.
Or perhaps be that finishing touch for your perfectly decorated room. No matter which one it is, this shelf could be the perfect finishing touch to your room.
Just grab some wood, cut it to the shapes you need, clue or nail it together, attach it to the wall, and then add the decorations you want.
These shelves are extremely easy to put together. Buy wood of varying sizes, create cubes, and attach the wood cubes together and to the wall.
Once you have it built, it is the perfect way to utilize a larger corner to store books, records, pictures, and more.
These shelves are a great storage solution if you have tons of stuff you need to organize!
If you do not have wood crafting skills, these shelves are a great option for you. Go to your local container or craft store and buy some crates.
All you need to do is attach them with some wood glue. If you want some extra stability, attach it to the wall, but you do not necessarily have to.
These crates are perfect for holding plants, books, decorations, and more.
These simple, yet elegant shelves are perfect for your rustic home storage solutions.
The lip on the end of each shelf is perfect to hold up all sorts, so books, pictures, and other display items without worrying about them crashing them to the ground.
Perhaps the corner you want to use for storage is not a regular corner, but an inverted one; if so, this shelf is perfect for you.
It is made of gorgeous wood and works perfectly for displaying decoration, nicknacks, and small books.
Buy the wood, cut it, attach them to each other, stian it, and then end the project by drilling it into the wall.
These floating bookshelves are perfect for storing that collection of books that are currently sitting on the floor of your room.
You can organize them by size, color, or just throw them on randomly. It may benefit you to also buy some bookends to help support your books without them falling to the ground.
More DIY Ideas to Try:
For these shelves, you can follow the instructions of the previous zig-zag shelf, but cut wood out at various lengths, and nail them together.
This is a great shelf for more artistic detail than the previous zig-zag shelves. This is a great option for the beautiful display of all your prized possessions.
These simple shelves will be more for decoration then major storage solutions, but they are genuinely a minimalist design, which is perfect as minimalism is taken the country by storm.
All you have to do is buy a few pieces of wood, cut it, and attach them to each other, and you will have a gorgeous shelf to add decorative detailing to your room.
22 Easy DIY Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are a perfect solution for small homes. They fit into tiny nooks, they take up less visual space by not using heavy shelf brackets, and they can even do double duty as nightstands or entry tables. They can also update an outdated space with their more contemporary and clean look.
Try bathroom floating shelves in the nook over the toilet, turn a closet into a home office with DIY floating shelves, desk & storage, or use them to create the perfect space to display your collections.
We found some easy DIY floating shelves for you from some great bloggers, so think about where you can use these to save space and “modern up the place”!
DIY Floating Wall Shelves
We are huge fans of using live edge wood in DIY projects. These DIY floating shelves made from alder are perfection. And they are easy! From Rachel at ‘DIY in PDX‘, you can take one look at these floating kitchen shelves and be ready to pull the trigger for your own kitchen! LOVE THESE!
Want free plans for your DIY floating shelves? Try ‘The Sawdust Sisters‘, not only do they have plans for you, they have step by step instructions and photos. These floating shelves could really be used in any room of the home. Easy project!
Learn how to build floating shelves with this how-to from ‘BHG‘. These are a fresh take on wall shelves that gives this room an instant update.
Build floating box shelves with these step by step instructions from ‘Bob Vila‘. These are great for storage in a bathroom or kitchen.We love the geometric shape of these as well from a design perspective.
‘Fix This, Build That‘ made these incredible DIY floating shelves from firewood. Yep, plain ol’ firewood. They win most creative wall shelf project!
Try these cheap DIY shelves from ‘Desert Domicile‘. She shows you exactly how to make floating shelves for just $15! We love the chunky wood look of these, they look built ins!
And just to show you that you can do this, ‘Misadventures of the Cranes‘ took Desert Domicile’s tutorial and gave it a shot on their own for their floating shelves. See how they did it too!
From ‘Vintage Revivals‘, these industrial modern DIY floating shelves are right up my alley. These would work in almost any style room, and remember what I said about updating? These would definitely do it! Great tutorial with lots of photos.
‘Hey There, Home‘ used “Vintage Revivals’ plans (above) and did her own version of these floating wall shelves. You can pick up tips at her tutorial as well!
‘Jenna Sue Designs‘ made these rustic DIY floating shelves for her kitchen, and I love them being used as open shelving! Great tutorial.
From ‘The Winthrop Chronicles‘, these DIY floating shelves were repurposed from old interior doors. What a great way to re-use!
DIY Floating Bookshelves
‘The Sweet Survival‘ made these small floating bookshelves for their sons room, and they just go to show that you can make this kind of shelving design in more than one style, for many purposes. Great instructions on how they did this!
DIY Floating Bathroom Shelves
From ‘Not Just a Housewife‘, these DIY floating bathroom shelves are easy and inexpensive to make. She used simple plywood to create the shelves.
The wallpaper behind the shelves is the game changer here. Just remember, styling is more important than almost anything else in home design.
It doesn’t matter if these shelves cost $500, or just $5, the wallpaper makes them look high end. Great tip!
Lindi from ‘Love, Create, Celebrate‘ shows us how to make these easy DIY floating shelves for the bathroom. Simple project, simple to follow tutorial!
If you want a DIY floating shelf project that is also a towel rack, you’ve found it! From ‘Anika’s DIY Life‘, this ladder wall shelf adds charm to this bathroom, and gives you double duty storage.
DIY Floating Shelves for Plants
These DIY floating shelves for plants are from ‘Fall for DIY‘. They are made from simple birch rounds, and they add so much style to houseplants! You could make a whole vertical garden with these wall shelves.
Want floating shelves for your windows? Try this tutorial from ‘Design Sponge‘! It’s perfect for growing plants in the kitchen or bathroom without blocking light. They use acrylic sheets for these DIY shelves, but you could use glass as well.
DIY Floating Corner Shelves
Got a really tight space? You can squeeze storage and display opportunities the smallest spot! These DIY floating corner shelves from ‘A Beautiful Mess‘ are… well, beautiful! Good tutorials with lots of step by step photos. Take back those corner spaces!
More DIY Floating Shelf Projects
From ‘Mother Daughter Projects’ via ‘Instructables‘, try these DIY floating shelves with storage. We love the antique drawer front they used to make the front of this wall shelf.
You can use the floating shelf idea to create more than just “a shelf”. From ‘The Merry Thought’ via ‘Ana White‘, make this DIY floating shelf nightstand! This is perfect for a small bedroom. Genius!
‘A Burst of Beautiful‘ has the perfect solution for a small home with no home office space. Their DIY floating shelves and desk turned an unused corner of their kitchen into an place to do bills, run a business, or have the kids do homework.
Finally, we love, love, love this DIY floating nightstand with drawers from ‘Jen Woodhouse‘. She has complete plans for this project, and she shows you how to hang it!
We hope you loved our post on DIY Floating Shelves! We think you will also enjoy our posts on How to Hide The Ugly: Outdoor Eyesores and Tiny Bath Makeovers!
Note: This post has been edited and refreshed with updated projects.
Image Credits: Not Just a Housewife, DIY in PDX, The Sawdust Sisters, BHG, Bob Vila, Fix This, Build That, Desert Domicile, Misadventures of the Cranes, Misadventures of the Cranes, Vintage Revivals, Hey There, Home, Jenna Sue Designs, Color + Craft, Love Create Celebrate, Anika's DIY Life, Fall for DIY, Design Sponge , A Beautiful Mess, Instructables, Ana White, A Burst of Beautiful, The House of Wood
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27+ Bright DIY Floating Shelf Ideas to Maximize Your Space
What do you do with that blank wall that stares you down and begs you to decorate it? Perhaps you have plenty of things to hang up whether they be photographs, framed certificates, or your kiddo’s art creations, but want to display these keepsakes a little differently. Shelves are great, but sometimes they can appear bulky and maybe even a little dated in design. Before you throw out the whole idea of shelving though, consider some DIY floating shelf ideas!
27+ Bold DIY Floating Shelf Ideas To Save Space
Floating shelves get the job done, look more modern, and take up minimal space. All you need to get started with this diy project is a free wall, some diy floating shelf ideas, and the minimal tools required.
Floating shelves can be as simple as a piece of beautifully stained wood that hangs on your wall and appears to ‘float.
’ These shelves are free of brackets and other supports that are visible which creates a clean and clutter free appearance.
Not only are these diy floating shelf ideas pretty in appearance, but they are functional in displaying or storing your artwork, books, pictures, and more. One type of floating shelf does not fit all; you can create the shelf that suits your design outlook whether it be modern, rustic, or purely functional!
4. Simplistic Clean and White Art Gallery Style
DIY Project Details: tysonandjanessaparker.blogspot.com
29. Kiddies Korner Library Storage
DIY Project Details: backlessshirt.blogspot.com
Our Favorite Farmhouse Wall Storage Items to buy on Amazon
5 Tips for Building Easy, Affordable Floating Shelves
When it comes to classic decor, a basic floating shelf is at the top of my list. Whether your style is more rustic, modern, or classic, adding a floating shelf (or two) is doable and beautiful. We have 5 tips for building easy and affordable floating shelves with just 3 boards!
Love building? Be sure to see this $10 Antique DIY Crate or our 20 Things to Build from 2x2s Post! My neighbor asked me to make him floating shelves to give to his wife for her birthday. They were simple and looked so great, so I thought I’d share them with you! To show you how, we also installed one here in our office/studio.
This is definitely a one day project start to finish! Watch the video tutorial and click the link below for the free printable floating shelf building plans.
5 Helpful Tips for Building Affordable Floating Shelves
Click Here to Get a Printable Version of This Building Plan
Makes one 3′ floating shelf.
- 1 – 2 x 4 x 92 5/8 framing stud
- 1 – 1″ x 6″ x 72″ Knotty alder board (actual measurements 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 72″)
- 1 – 1″ x 4″ x 54″ Knotty alder board (3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 54″)
- Wood filler
- Pre-stain wood conditioner
- Gel wood stain
- 2 1/2″ Wood Screws
- 3 1/2″ Wood screws
- 1 1/4″ Wood screws
- Table saw
- Finish nail gun with 1 1/2″ nails
- Air compressor
Because there is less tear out and the cuts are more precise, I used my table saw for all of my cuts . You could ask your home improvement store to rip the 2×4 down, and use a miter saw if you don’t want to use a table saw.
Rip down 2×4 stud to 2″
(1) @ 34 1/4″ and (4) @ 3 7/8″
We also used a 1×6 and a 1×4 (Alder).
1″ x 6″ x 72″ (2) @ 34 1/2″
1″ x 4″ x 54″ (1) @ 36″ and (2) @ 5 1/2″
Tip #2: Create and Assemble Support Bracket for Floating Shelf
Attach the 3 7/8″ pieces to the 34 1/4″ piece cut from the ripped down 2×4. Make sure that two of the pieces are flush with the outside. You will want to measure the space where the shelf will hang to make decide where to place the other two supports. Some open space is required to secure the shelf support to the wall.
Use 2 1/2″ wood screws to attach pieces together.
So, that the wood wouldn’t split, I clamped the pieces in place, and pre-drilled for the screws.
Next, I clamped, pre-drilled, and attached the middle supports.
Tip #3: Assemble Floating Shelf Shell Using Glue and Nails
As you assemble your shelf shell, use the support to ensure it will fit inside the pocket. I laid one of the 5 1/2″ alder pieces beneath the support, placing one of the 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ pieces along the side.
Clamp the face to that piece. Then set the other side piece in place, and clamp in place while you nail the pieces together.
You will secure the pieces together with 1 1/2″ finish nails from the face into the side pieces.
Place the other 5 1/2″ piece on top of the support after running a bead of glue along one 34 1/2″ side, and both 5 1/2″ sides.
By nailing through the face and sides into the top piece, secure the top in place.
Make sure you hold the nail gun very straight so the nails don’t come the top. I also used clamps to help hold the top piece flush with the face as I nailed it.
Turn shelf over, and run a bead of glue along the other 5 1/2″ piece.
Using clamps, secure with finish nails through the face and sides into the bottom piece.
Allow the glue to dry, and then remove the support from inside the shelf shell. The two pieces should fit snugly together.
Fill all nail holes, and any gaps or cracks with wood filler. Sand.
Tip #4: Use Wood Conditioner Prior to Staining for a Beautiful Finish
Using pre-stain wood conditioner will help the wood grain to accept the stain evenly. Therefore, don’t skip this step! Trust me. You will regret it if your stained finish is uneven!
I love gel stain! If you are nervous about getting a nice finish, this is the perfect product! It goes on thick, and it’s impossible to miss a spot!
See what I mean?
Allow the stain to set as per manufacturer’s instructions, and then wipe off excess. This is the down side of gel stain. It gets pretty messy!
Tip #5: Attach Floating Shelf Bracket to Wall
While the stain dries, install the shelf support.
Measure and mark where you want the center of your shelf. I was lucky and the center point landed on a stud! If yours doesn’t, find your stud locations, and measure their distance from the center of your shelf bracket.
Transfer the measurements to your support, and predrill holes for mounting screws. If your center doesn’t land on a stud, be sure to mark where it is on your bracket.
Match your center point on your shelf to the center mark on the wall. It’s easier to mount the support if you start the screw before you place the support on the wall.
With the one screw holding the support on the wall, check for level.
Set the shelf with a screw in a second location.
Then, secure with the remaining screws. I used two screws in the center point to reduce twisting.
Now slide on the shelf shell.
The fit should be tight enough that you don’t need to secure it further, but if you’re a worrier me, place one 1 1/4″ screw in the bottom of the shelf into the support.
Now load up that empty shelf!
In conclusion, this is the perfect project for a newbie or someone more experienced. With just a few supplies, you will have a beautiful floating shelf in very little time. And also check out this 20+ 2×4 Shelving Ideas post and our Useful Tips for Customizing Ikea Floating Shelves post!
Don’t forget to Pin this project!
More DIY shelves:
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I'm just a girl who s to build.
How To Build Floating Shelves
Hello and happy Monday! I’m excited to be giving you a sneak peek of our newly updated laundry room today. By making just a few minor updates, I was able to totally transform the look, feel, and functionality of this tiny space.
Our laundry room is the most trafficked thoroughfare in our home since it leads out to the garage. You’d think this room would be more functional, being that we use it so often. Sadly, this is not the case. It was dated, drab, dysfunctional, and disorganized. I wish I snapped a photo of what it looked before. #badblogger
Here’s what it looks now:
I installed tongue and groove wood paneling to the walls, gave the room a fresh coat of paint, and replaced the ugly wire shelving with some custom floating shelves.
This is what I started with:
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This is how it all shook out.
Materials (for two shelves):
- Stud finder
- Tape Measure
- Speed square
- Circular Saw
- Table saw (to rip the 1×6 down to 4″ wide)
- Brad Nailer
- Caulk gun
- Finishing supplies (sander, paint roller, paint brush, etc.)
I had a lot of the materials and tools already on-hand (screws, caulk, etc.), so I only had to purchase the lumber. The approximate cost of this project was $60.00 for two custom, built-in shelves!
First, I removed the old wire shelving, then used a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. I used painter’s tape to mark where the studs were.
I built my shelves to be 66″ long and 18″ deep. Your measurements may vary if you’re wanting to build these shelves in your home. Measure the length of the wall, then cut two 2x4s to that length.
Then cut your supports. You’ll want to cut these supports 3 inches shorter than the overall depth of the shelf. My supports are 15″ long for a 18″ deep shelf.
I recommend spacing the supports about 12″-14″ apart.
I built the frame as shown in the diagram above then screwed it into the wall with 3″ spax construction screws, making sure to screw into the studs. I love using these screws because pre-drilling isn’t necessary. I used my impact driver to easily drive the screws into the studs. Use a level to ensure the shelf is level on both the front/back, as well as the left/right sides.
Next, attach the front 2×4 board to the rest of the frame with wood glue and 2-1/2″ Spax screws.
I had The Home Depot rip my 1/4″ plywood down to 18″ so it would be easy for me to tote home. Then, I just cut them to 66″ long, dropped them into place and nailed them down using my cordless brad nailer. I did this for both the top and the underside, to hide the 2×4 frame.
Next, I ripped a 1×6 board down to 4 inches wide then glued and nailed it to the front. I applied caulk to where the shelf meets the wall for a seamless, built-in look. I filled all the nail holes and gave the whole she-bang a quick sanding. Finally, I painted the shelves with Behr’s Ultra Pure White latex paint in a satin finish.
One shelf is done. Onto the next! I used my laundry basket and tallest laundry detergent bottle to determine how much vertical space I would need for each shelf. It worked out that both of the shelves have about 14 inches of clearance.
I absolutely love the way they turned out and they were super simple, fast, and inexpensive to build! I bought six 2×4 studs, a couple of sheets of 1/4″ plywood, and two 1×6 boards; these two shelves cost about $60.00 to build. I love the custom built-in look, the improved functionality, and how they complement the charming bead board walls.
Speaking of the bead board walls, here’s the full tutorial on how to install them.