Easy DIY Floating Shelves!

Oh hey guys!  Those of you that follow us on Instagram have seen the progress of this next project!

I finally put use to a blank wall I have been staring at in my bathroom for far too long.  I am LOVING how it turned out!  Check out my new DIY floating shelves!

DIY Floating Shelf Tutorial

DIY Floating Shelves at Shanty2Chic

How fun are those??  I really wanted my shelves to be thick and beefy looking.  I also wanted them to be super sturdy in case a certain 2 year old decides to use them as a ladder.  It will happen.  This design does both!

I have a full tutorial here, and we also have FREE plans that you can download or print by clicking the button below!

Free Plans Floating Shelves

This is a great beginner project… Very simple cuts and assembly!  Let’s get started!

Supply List for 3 Shelves

1 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′ pine or whitewood board

2 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ pine or whitewood board

1/4″ hardwood plywood material – I bought a 4′ x 4′ sheet and had Home Depot rip mine into 9.25″ strips.

3 – 1″ x 4″ x 6′ select pine or whitewood boards

brad nailer

Kreg Jig (optional and totally recommended)

2.5″ pocket hole screws

3.5″ torx or wood screws

Gorilla Wood Glue

The cost of wood for all 3 shelves was around $45 making these bad boys $15 a piece for wood… Yup.  I love them even more now.

Start by making your cuts.  Each shelf will have a frame that you will build first.  The back of the frame that is attached to your wall will be a 2×3 cut at 32″.  Then, each shelf will have 3 brackets that are each 7.75″ long.

Shelf Supports

I used my Kreg Jig to add 1.5″ pocket holes on one end of each of the brackets.  This tool is the bomb.  It will make your projects so much easier to assemble and also make them much stronger.  If you are using the K3 or K4 model right now, I totally suggest checking out the K5.  I just upgraded to that one and LOVE every little thing about it!  Best thing ever.

This is how I lined up the brackets to make the two pocket holes…

Kreg Jig

Next I attached my brackets using 2.5″ pocket hole screws.  I did add some Gorilla wood glue to each one as well to make it extra sturdy.

Building a floating shelf

That’s it for the frames!  Now to attach them to your wall.  The first thing you will want to do is mark where your studs are.  The easiest way to do this is by using a stud finder.  This is the stud finder I use.
It’s a simple little tool that you run along the wall and it beeps when it finds a stud.

I held each frame up to the wall and marked on the frame where my studs would be.  Then I used my Ryobi drill to pre drill 2 holes where each stud lined up.  This keeps the wood from splitting when you attach it.

predrill floating shelf

You can use your drill on this next part, but I chose to use my impact driver.  Guys… This is like a drill that does all the work for you.  If you have a battery, the tool only costs $69 and you will be amazed at how often you use it over your drill for driving.

Ryobi Impact Driver

I chose to use 3 1/2″ torx screws to attach each of my frames.  You can also use wood screws.  Here it is after I attached it to the wall…

Floating Shelf How To

You can see where I drilled straight through the back of the frame and into the wall.

Mounting a floating shelf

Here they are all 3 up and ready to go!

Floating Shelves How to build

Next, I added my bottom 1/4″ hardwood plywood.  I had Home Depot rip my sheet down to 9.25″ strips and I cut each one at 32″.  I attached them to the base of the frame using wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.  I used my cordless Ryobi AirStrike nailer on this part. Can I tell you how awesome cordless tools are… Especially for indoor projects like this one!  Saved me a ton of time and hassle.

Ryobi AirStrike Battery Nailer

Building the floating shelf

After adding that I moved to my top piece.  I used 1×10 board on this part.  Each one was cut 32″ long and I attached them using wood glue and brad nails.

DIY Floating Shelves How To

Your final step will be trimming it all out!  I used 1 x 4″ select pine on this part, but you can also use whitewood.  I love using whitewood because it is cheaper, but I had a hard time finding enough straight ones that day, so I went for the select.

Start by cutting your side pieces.  Mine were each 9 1/4″ long.  I attached them using 1 1/4″ brad nails and glue.

Sides of floating shelves

And now for the front piece!  You will want to measure for exact on yours, but it will be somewhere around 33.5″ long.  I attached mine the same way using glue and brad nails.

Building the floating shelves

Once I had all 3 done I taped them off…

How to build floating shelves

I used Varathane Dark Walnut to stain mine.  You can find this at Home Depot and I love it!  1 hour dry time just like Rust-Oleum that is carried elsewhere.  I actually find that it dries even faster than that.

 Here they are drying!

DIY Floating Shelves Tutorial

You can keep them like this or distress yours like I did!  I used my Ryobi Corner Cat sander to go over all my edges and corners.  This gives it a fun, vintage look.  I like to say they look ‘shanty’ ;-)

That’s it!  Here they are all finished up!

DIY Floating Shelves

DIY Floating Shelves at Shanty2Chic

DIY Floating Shelf

DIY Chunky Floating Shelves

DIY Floating Shelf Tutorial

Easy Floating Shelf Tutorial

What do you think??  I love them!  I may make some for every room now ;-)

I found all the cute baskets, towels and accessories at HomeGoods!  LOVE that place… I always walk in for one thing, and out with many more ;-)…

Remember, you can download and print the full set of FREE plans by clicking HERE!  Thanks so much to Jay of Jay’s Custom Creations for putting all of Shanty2Chic’s original ideas into printable plans for our readers!  You guys should check his site out!  He has some really awesome ideas!

I would LOVE for you to pin these and share them with all your friends!  You guys are awesome!

Thanks so much!

~Whitney

  • Machelle

    I have scoured your blog to try to find the paint color of this bathroom and can’t find it anywhere. Could you please let me know? Thanks :)

  • Machelle

    I have scoured your blog to try to find the paint color of this bathroom and can’t find it anywhere. Could you please let me know? Thanks :)

  • Kelly

    Hello, I am a New but faithful follower! Love your stuff! I was wondering if you made your bathroom curtains or did you buy them? Adorable!!!

  • Bren

    Love the shelves and the whole room. Are your walls paneling or are they textured? It all blends together so well. :)

  • Bren

    Love it! Great job. Will have to try making them this week. I have to ask about your walls. lol I’m in the middle of fixing old drywall that has to be textured painted, and wondered if yours are paned or textured with spackle, etc…? It would save me from “finishing” this drywall.

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  • Jenn

    Love the look of your bathroom. I couldn’t find a reply to the questions about the paint color and curtains. Did you make those curtains? What is the name of the paint color?

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  • Mccorygal

    Could you tell me the name if the paint on your wall? I love it

  • Mccorygal

    Love your entire bathroom! Can you tell me what color your walls are?

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  • Lisa

    Thank you for your tutorial, I love these shelves and would like to build them. I was wondering if the cuts you stated are accurate before I start on this project. If the top of the shelve is 1x10x32 and the bottom shelf is 1/4×9.25×32 won’t there be an extra .75″ hanging from the top shelf…since the top shelf is 10 inches in width and the bottom shelve is 9.25 inches in width I would think they wouldn’t be flush when applying the front trim. Does it somehow work out with these measurements? Or is the top shelf ripped to 9.25″ instead of 10″?

    • Cari

      Lisa, a 1×10 is actually only 9 1/4 inches wide. Just as a 1×4 is
      actually only 3 1/2 inches wide. If you google “lumber dimensions”
      you’ll be able to find several charts that will give you the Nominal and Actual thicknesses and widths of lumber. So for this project, the 1 x 10 on the top and the board ripped at 9 1/4 on the bottom, are a perfect match! Build away!

      • Lisa

        Can you tell this is my first building project. I am very excited to build these and had no idea about the actual lumbar thickness, I wanted to make sure it would all work out before buying the lumbar and making the cuts. thank you for you help, wish me luck ;)

  • Usher

    Hi I Love the shelves- how do I go about making a 41.5 inches wide shelves instead. I m not a handyman and my wife wants me to make them for her. Thank you.

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  • Creya

    Is there a way to remove them without having to destroy them?

    • JB

      I was wondering the same thing….Id rather attach the bottom with small head countersunk screws to be able to more easily remove the bottom to take them down or move them.

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  • Meg

    I really want to do something like this in my kitchen. I have a huge, long blank wall, and very little storage. My problem is I don’t have all these tools. Does anyone know how much of this can be done by Lowe’s/Home Depot? I have a drill, but no Jig and no staple gun.

  • cdcd33

    Love what you’ve done and it’s inspired me to do something similar in my closets. My question is how did you deal with seams and nail/screw holes? I’ve been testing with various “stainable” wood filers and the results have been pretty “meh.” Would love to know what worked for you.

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  • mikenice

    How much weight do you think these can hold? I modified the design a bit and instead of doing the toe screwing I countersunk some holes and put 3 inch long deck screws through the backing that attaches to the wall.

  • Brittney Adams-Vivian

    Could you do this with 2×2’s and 3/4 plywood. I have a hard time finding 2×3’s and was thinking of doing a narrower profile for the shelf?

    • mikenice

      same here, however you can find regular old 2×3 framing studs for 1.50 at home depot. biggest problem i had was finding some that were in good condition. 2×2 are a good idea too. was going to try that. that will allow a thicker bottom to be attached too.

  • JessB

    I don’t want to attach it directly to the wall so I might try using a french cleat system. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Niki Kriete

    Ack! Just built these and got to the part where I put the trim pieces on and realized you used 2×3’s and I used 2×4’s…didn’t read the plans close enough… Now I have to figure out how to finish them since nobody makes 1×5’s and I hate ripping wood… Any suggestions? Is there some kind of trim I could add to fill in the extra space? I had planned on doing. A vinegar/steel wool finish on them, but now I don’t know what to do..

  • Niki Kriete

    Ack! Loved these, but started building them before reading the instructions closely. I assumed you used 2×4’s for the frame, not 2×3’s. I don’t even think I have ever seen 2×3’s anywhere around here… I got to the part where you attach the trim on the edge and realized my trim was too small… Hope I can find some 1×5’s around here somewhere so I can finish this :-( might just finish with some pallet wood…

  • Brittany Meek

    I loved the shelves and knew I needed some for myself! I ripped out some ugly, old cabinets in my laundry room and built these (in 14* temps with snow on the workbench)! I absolutely love them and they are so much prettier than what I had before. Thanks for the great plans!

  • Donna Hurst

    I was inspired. This is the first actual building project I have done. It was extremely trying as our house is over 60 years old and was moved from one lot to another. Plumb, level and square are not really on the menu around here. LOL!

    • Marie Roxanne

      That looks awesome! Great job!

  • Caitlin

    This is great! I was looking for something just like this, a simple, DIY floating shelve idea. The price is great too! Thanks!

  • Paige Bean

    I LOVE these shelves. They are perfect for the space above the jacuzzi in my bathroom. Unlike your bathroom however, my shower is on the other side of my jacuzzi separated by a small wall. Am I in danger of hitting any pipes for the shower if I attempt to put these on that wall?
    Thanks!

  • Chelsie

    I absolutely love this room! Can I ask if you homeade your curtains or if you purchased them at a store?

  • Jana

    THANK you so much for this! This is exactly what I have been looking for! I just bought the Kreg Jig and can’t wait to get started. This will be my first project and if all goes well the Pottery Barn inspired console is next! My husband thinks I’m crazy!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Haha! Mine did too at first… Now he knows better! He doesn’t complain that I am saving him a ton of money now ;-) Send pics when you get it all done!

  • Barbara Moore

    Love the shelves! Now….what’s on the opposite wall? I also have two empty walls on either side of the tub with the big window across the back. I love the look of the shelves on the left so much, but don’t know what to do on the opposite wall, if anything. I’m a bit obsessive about the symmetry thing…..

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Hey Barbera! It’s actually the glass wall of my shower… So, I don’t have the same issue as you. If you go with shelves on one wall, I would stick to something big and as flat as possible on the other. Like wall art, maybe a pallet sign. Just thinking out loud… Hope this helps!

  • Leslie Stewart

    They are awesome! Thanks for the great tutorial too. Maybe I could even do that…
    Leslie
    House on the Way

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      You totally can Leslie! Thanks for the sweet message!

  • Kate

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing :)
    If I can pick your brain for a sec? I am looking at getting a Kreg Jig in the next month or two and didnt even know they had a new one out … What are the main differences between the K4 and the K5? Do you think the K4 would be enough for a relative beginner like me?
    {I’m in Australia and can’t find one here so would be getting one shipped over :) }

    • eesh

      I have the K4 but I would recommend you get the K5 especially if you’re getting it shipped from so far. It’s an update to the K4 and has space on the sides of the unit to store your screws (which also help to keep wider stock level with the unit as you’re drilling into the wood) it also has an easier way of clamping to the workbench and clamping your wood to the unit. I think you’d be much happier with these features as they really are designed to make it even easier to use.

      • Kate

        Thank you eesh!
        I have since found a K4 stockist here in Oz … but they dont have the K5.
        So now I need to toss up whether the extra $ for shipping is worth it! …decisions, decisions lol ;)

        • eesh

          If you really don’t want to pay extra shipping then I say go ahead and get the K4. You won’t know what you’re missing with the upgrades! Also keep in mind that many of the great things that have been built by the lovely Shanty sisters and Ana White were built using the K4 or lower systems. Hope that helps!

          • Kate

            Thanks so much for all your help eesh :)
            I looked into it a bit more today and the decision has been taken out of my hands as I can’t find anyone in the US who will ship the K5 to me haha
            … So K4 from local stockist it is then :) Thanks again!

          • eesh

            No problem! You won’t regret it! (I built that TV stand in my avatar with the K4 and it’s still my favorite piece)

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      I second all of eesh’s replies! Took the words out of my mouth! :-)

      • Kate

        Thanks heaps! I appreciate the replies from both of you :)

  • Greisy Wardsworth

    WOW WOW WOW I LOVE

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Thanks SO much!! :-)

  • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

    Super cute! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer Leible

    I LOVE these shelves!! Do you use a polyacrylic/polyurethane or finishing paste wax on it to give it a protective finish? Or just the stain and distressing?

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      It really depends on the project Jennifer… If I am doing a table or a desk, or a surface that my kids may touch I like to finish with Rust-Oleum Ultimate Polyurethane. These are so high and already distressed, so I chose not to. Hope this helps! :-)

      • Jennifer Leible

        Thank you! That definitely helps! Not “finishing” a wood surface is a little scary for me but I love the look it gives! Thanks, love your blog and your projects!

  • Terry McMullen

    Love you shelves!! They look wonderful in your bathroom! Perfect finish to match your tiles. You did great!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Thank you so much Terry!!

  • Lisa

    Floating shelves like this are nothing new, but I really like the way you built them. Putting the pieces to the frame one at a time is great. Usually you make a four-sided sleeve to fit over the frame. I like your way better because you can do exact measurements for every step.

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Thanks Lisa… I was going for the ‘easy and cheap’ way like I usually do :-) !

  • Karen May

    I love those shelves! So cute but so sturdy. I also love, love your molding on the door and window AND your cute curtains! Such a pretty bathroom. Can I ask did you do your molding yourself? If so, was it all one piece or did you use multiple pieces? Thanks and you are amazing!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      We did do the molding! Ashley is actually currently building her new home and plans to do a whole post on how to achieve this look. This post gives a short how-to that you might find helpful… Thanks for your sweet message! http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2011/06/trimming-the-door.html

  • Kim

    Love these shelves,and I love your curtains and tile.

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Thank you so much KiM!

  • SIMONE PLACE

    Gorgeous! You are amazing!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Aww thanks… Made me smile! :-)

  • Sarah Yeager

    I love your style of decor and diy!! I’m building a new house right now, and am stalking your blog with ideas to decorate! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Oh yeah!! So fun! We love getting messages like this… Congrats on your new house and thanks so much!!

  • http://www.helloilivehere.com/ Linda Crandall

    Love them! I did these in our wine room a few months back! Great job.

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Fun Linda!! I like the sound of a wine room ;-)

  • eesh

    Wonderful! I was just thinking to make these removable you could also nail the trim and the top together first. Then slide it on to the support and counter sink some screws along the back and sides of the top board to screw into the supports, if that makes sense.

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Good thought! Mine are totally removable… Just won’t stay in tact when I do :-)

  • [email protected]

    LOVE THESE!! My husband and I have built a lot of what you all have posted and are always so excited to see what ideas you come up with next! We will definitely have to find a place for these! (Maybe in our office!) Where do you get those flowers on the top shelf? I see them a lot in your decor! Thanks!!!

    • http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/ Shanty2Chic

      Thank you so much! What a sweet message :-) I got those flowers at Michael’s… They are part of their Ashland Fall collection. Hope this helps and thanks again!