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

Check out our How to Build a Floating Shelf Video HERE!

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.  (Watch our How to Use a Miter Saw video HERE) 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.

Check it out HERE!

And watch our How to Use a Kreg Jig video HERE!

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!  

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

Thanks so much!



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  • Kenzi Foley

    So this plan makes 3, 3 foot shelves?

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  • jonathan davis

    I made these 3 but instead of nailing the top and bottom to the cleats i just made a box and slid them on. thanks for the idea.

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  • Emily

    I’m planning on building these bad boys this weekend, but had a couple questions. At no point did I read sanding (I might have missed it). Is there really no sanding involved in this? (I’d be excited!) And second, thank you for the recommendation on the stain – love how yours turned out, btw, but did you add any poly or anything over the stain?

  • RSAB72

    I made these and they are great. I modified the plans by building the shelves completely less the bottom panel so I could sand and finish in my garage. Then I attached to the wall. I brad nailed the finished bottoms to the shelves after they were mounted to the wall and that’s that. I did not want to tape and finish in my bathroom so I could avoid any messes I was bound to make. Thanks for the plans. Only problem is now I have to build them for my parents / inlaws cuase they like them so much!

  • Amber

    It looks like the bottom will not be flush in the pic where you attached the finishing 1×4 boards to sides. Is is not supposed to be flush on bottom of shelves?

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  • Kathy

    What is the color of the stain you used on these?

  • Laura

    Has anyone successfully anchored these to metal studs? If so, please let me know what type of anchors/screws you used. I am planning on using these for books…lots of books.

  • Jill

    I have major question I hope you can answer very soon!!!!! I have my frames up with top and bottom on and have my side pieces cut and now realize I can’t fit my nailer between the wall and the shelf so I’m wondering how I’m going to attach the sides!!!! I see that your shelves were super close to that window so how did you do those sides? Or did you skip them?

  • Claudia sanchez

    Turn out nice!

  • Claudia sanchez

    Here are mine 😏

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  • Kim

    Love these shelves…can I ask how much room there is between the shelves??? the measurement between the bottom of one shelf to the top of the other?? Thanks so much!!!!

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  • Ashley Lee Suhajda

    Love love love all your projects. But I would love to know where you got the curtains?

  • Michelle Harmond

    Another option is to stop construction at this point — with some modifictions… Have the 2x4s on the ends extend the whole way back to wall and back 2×4 butt into them. Put nice pine on top and botton and you have an open floating shelf great for under a TV for remote controls or magazines or use 2x6s and place components in open cavities. Thanks for ideas.

  • Martha Torres-Santiago

    Hi, after visiting this site, I wanted to do something extreme and because of this, this is the outcome, before and after and I just love it. thank you.

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  • Ben Kelchner

    How strong do you think this is? I am planning on storing books on the shelf and am wondering if I should add some metal L brackets inside to prevent them from sagging and weakening over time.


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  • Kristen Core White

    Love them! Not sure if you’ll reply as this is an old post, but how much weight to they support? I’d like to put a small microwave on them, but I don’t know if I would need additional support. Thanks!

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  • Myrthe

    I love love love love them!! Used the plan to make 10ft shelves in my study. Everyone is impressed. Thank you so much !

    • Ben Kelchner

      did you store books on them? I am also making 10ft shelves in my study and would love any tips.

      • Myrthe


        Yeah so i decided to alter it a little, since they’re 10ft long I wanted them to be a little wider so I can store large folders on there. I used a 10ft 2×4 for the frame (wall + support ) and I used 7 of these (20 inch apart from each other) and attached the frame to the studs. Then used a thicker plywood for the top and a thinner one for the bottom (since this is only to cover the frame and the top simply needs to hold more weight). I used a 1by 5 for the front and this fits perfectly hides the frame + 2 layers of plywood.

        I hope this makes sense at all.
        Couple things
        – mark on your 10ft 2×4 where the studs are in the wall to ensure you’re not placing a support on that exact spot. So attach the 10ft 2×4 to as many studs as you can to make sure it will hold the weight of the books.
        – since mine ran from wall to wall I didn’t need the boards on the side since this didn’t need to look nice (because you’re not able to see it, druggy captain obvious)

        Let me know if you have any questions

        • Myrthe

          Here is a picture with the frame + the top attached

          • Myrthe

            Here it is with top, bottom and front

      • Myrthe

        And the finished product !

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  • David McNulty

    Terrific idea but how about using reclaimed lumber? It costs a little more but the material has old character and reduces landfill You don’t have to stain it either. The natural patina of the aged material offers a variety of colors. Apply a small amount of satin polyurethane to seal the wood and you’re done! Always a beautiful look. Here is a mantle and some kitchen shelving I created using reclaimed wood.

    • That’s awesome! We would totally use reclaimed lumber if it were easy to come by where we live. We have 8 kids between us so it’s faster to go the hardware store. All of our projects can be built with reclaimed lumber! Thanks!

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  • Erin Simoneaux

    I love these. What is the distance between each shelf? Thanks!

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  • Mischka Fridman

    Hey, I love the idea and I would totally try to make this a long shelf under my TV. Is it possible for you to convert the measurements to cm? As I’m in Germany it’ll be quite a challenge to get these measurements right in the store 🙂
    That would be great!

    • Thank you! You should be able to use a conversion calculator online!

  • Carol

    Made three shelves, modifying the sizes to fit our kitchen….and they turned out fantastic! Love them. Thanks so much.

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  • Katelin Sabbah

    How would I take them down if I wanted them in my new home? And also, am I limited to short shelves or can I make them longer? Like 7-8′? Would they be ok still?

    • Brian Trezise

      They’re so easy to make, leave them and build new ones to fit the new location. They’ll add value to the house you’re selling, too

  • Zoe Creane

    I want to make floating shelves that aren’t so thick, and also possibly slightly more simple. Any tips?

    • Brian Trezise

      Not going to get much simpler than this. You could use thinner wood but you’re going to reduce the strength so you wouldn’t want to make the shelves as deep to compensate

  • Angela L

    Did you use a polyurethane? If so, what kind? We just finished these, and I love the way they look. I fear a poly will put too much shine on them. Then again, do I need to better protect the wood since it’s in the bathroom?

    • Angela L

      I finally found your answer. Since quite a bit of time has passed. How have they held up without a poly?

  • Lately I have an obsession with floating shelves. I really would love a set in my bathroom. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Holly Frey Haas

    How far apart are these shelves frames set?

  • Holly Frey Haas

    I have the same question as Amanda Christianson about the measurements.???

    • The actual width of a 1×10 is 9.25″. They are called 1×10 but they are not actually 10″ wide. Hope this helps.

      • Holly Frey Haas

        Yes it does. Thank you so much!!

  • Amanda Christensen

    I love these shelves but I have a few questions. I notice you said the bottom panel was 9.25″ but the top was 10″, how does that match up? Also, what is the total depth of the shelf, I’m guessing the width is 33.5″? Is it 11″ d? Thank you so much for your help

    • Holly Frey Haas

      Hi Amanda, I was wondering the same thing about the bottom and the side trim only being 9.25″ and the top board being 10″. It shows the front trim board being flush with the whole shelf and not sitting under the10″ top board. Did you ever get a response ? I don’t see one.?

      • Amanda Christensen

        So I figured out when I went to Home Depot today! So the 1×10 isn’t truly 10 inches when you buy it in the store so 9.25 is pretty close to matching the 1×10. However, I just had the guy at Home Depot measure the 1×10 and get the plywood to measure whatever the 1×10 was so I would have adequate depths. It all worked out!

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  • Monica

    I stumbled upon this page when I was searching pintrest for bathroom ideas. I realize the post is over a year old, but may I ask where you got your curtains? The curtains and shelves would be perfect for my bathroom. Looks fantastic!

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  • 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.

    • Cameron Miller

      It’s venetian plaster. A drywall finishing technique.

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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.

    • Stephanie

      After screwing the base piece with its supports to the wall, the rest of the shelf should be built as one piece and slid over the supports. I built myself a similar shelf but with crown moulding and it just covers and sits on the wall supports.

      I really don’t think it’s a good idea to build the entire piece to the wall. It should be easily removable without destroying the piece or the wall. It looks beautiful though and I’ll be using this as a template to make my own.

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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?

    • Cameron Miller

      How would any of us know?

    • sis2

      Depends. You are anchoring these into studs. If you have plumbing that runs through the studs, then I guess you could hit a pipe. However, I don’t know how often plumbing runs through studs it at all.

  • Chelsie

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

    • Marcia Brzezinski

      Great to see that woodprix has new instructions to save my money and energy to build it.

    • I agree with you.

  • 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!

    • 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…..

    • 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…
    House on the Way

    • 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)

    • 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


  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • Kim

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


    Gorgeous! You are amazing!

  • 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!

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

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

    • 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.

    • Good thought! Mine are totally removable… Just won’t stay in tact when I do 🙂

  • Kakkerma@gmail.com

    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!!!

    • 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!

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