DIY Floating Shelves for my Living Room

Hey guys!!  I am so excited about this project that I’m sharing today!!!

DIY-Floating-Shelf-TutorialI built the 8 floating shelves you see there for only $120!!!  Each shelf is 4 ft. long and 12 in. deep!  How amazing is that 🙂

I was inspired by the floating shelves that Whit built in her bathroom!  If you missed them you can see them HERE 🙂  I basically followed the same installation instructions and only made a few modifications to the size!

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

Here’s how I built mine!
daughter-on-cartI had the nice man at Home Depot rip 1 sheet of 3/4″ Purebond Plywood (in Birch) into 4 – 11 1/4″ boards and 1 sheet of 1/4″ Purebond Plywood the same.  So you will basically have 4 – 8ft. 3/4″ boards and 4 – 1/4″ boards the same length.  (My daughter’s home away from home 🙂 )

I also purchased 6 – 2x4x8 and 6 – 1x6x8.

measurementsI came home and got to work!  I cut 1 – 2×4 @ 46.5″ and 2 – 2×4 pieces at 9.75″, for each shelf.

build-eI built the “E’s” the same way Whitney did by drilling pocket holes into the short 2×4 pieces. You can find the Kreg Jig HERE on Amazon.

plywood-measurementsThen, I cut the 3/4″ plywood pieces and the 1/4″ plywood pieces at 46.5″ (totaling 8 boards per size).  These will be the top and bottom of the shelves.

I also cut 16 – 1×6 pieces @11 1/4″  and 8 – 1×6 pieces @48″ but I missed getting pictures of that! (these will be the sides and fronts of the shelves)

drill-pocket-holes-in-shelf-topsI used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes into each end of the 3/4″ boards and attached them to the 1×6 pieces to form the top and sides of the shelves. (again missed pics of that – I blame summer 😉

Time to install!

draw-a-level-lineAfter deciding where I wanted my shelves (I decided to give 13″ between each shelf) I used my level to draw a 4 ft. line where I wanted each shelf to sit.

find-studsNext, I used my stud finder to mark where the studs were.  This is my FAVE stud finder and I bought it on Amazon!  Link below 🙂

drill-into-studsTo attach the “E’s” to the wall, I used 3 1/2″ spax screws and drilled them into the “E” and then into a stud with my Ryobi Impact Driver. I did 2 screws per stud.

ashley-installing-shelvesI installed 4 on one side of the fireplace and 4 on the other 🙂

attach-shelvesOnce the “E’s” were installed, I dropped the assembled shelves on top of each one and attached them with my Ryobi Airstrike Nailer and 2″ nails.

attach-bottom-with-nailerThen, I followed-up with the 1/4″ sheets underneath.

I attached the 48″ 1×6 pieces to the front with my nailer as well (and surprisingly didn’t get pics of that part either)!

tape-off-for-stainI taped them off before staining!

Varathane-Carrington-Wood-Stain-500x740I wiped on 1-coat of Carrington stain, let it sit for 5-minutes and then wiped it with a clean cloth and that was it! You can find Rust-oleum stain HERE on Amazon.

before-shelvesHere is my before…. I’ve been starring at this space since we moved into our new home 4 months ago and finally decided how to fill the space

DIY-Floating-Shelf-how-toand did it for about $120!!!  That gave me lots of dough to spend on accessories 😉




How-to-Build-Floating-ShelvesI bought the majority of the accessories from Homegoods and Marshall’s, and a few pieces from Hobby Lobby!  Seriously LOVE my new space and $120 for 8 – 4ft. shelves is a lot of bang for my buck 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Info on other things in this room 🙂

I did build the coffee table and you can find it HERE!

You can find out about the fan HERE

and the info on the flooring is HERE

You can find the rug HERE

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  • Kaitlyn

    OK maybe you can help me out. I am not understanding something completely. With the 2×4 boards, when I cut them at 9 3/4″ I only get 18 pieces total but if I’m making 8 boards total, just like your instructions, don’t I need 24 pieces? How do I get that from the boards?

    Hopefully that makes sense! 🙂

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  • Megan

    We recently added these shelves to both sides of our fireplace and are now ready to stone the front of our fireplace. Where did you get the stone on yours? I love it and it really pulls everything together. Thank you!

  • Tegan Fuller

    What are the metal decorative pieces on the edges of some of the floating shelves? Where can you purchase them?

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  • Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!

  • Allison Smith

    My man is home this week and has taken note of these shelves which I show him on a consistent basis. This is what I came home to last night! Love this site, they have inspired many additions to our first home 🙂

  • Kerri Berhold Schull

    where did you get your stuff on the shelves?

  • Christian Schedler

    These are great! are the materials you listed for 8 shelves? I am going to make 4 of them. Thanks!

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  • dori

    curious why you stained after they were on the wall? wouldnt it be neater to stain first?

    • You can, I like to stain inside when I can to keep stuff from blowing in the garage and sticking to the stain. Also, I attached the bottoms after they were attached the walls.

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  • Matthew Jackson

    I would also love to know how far you hung the first shelf from the floor! Also, how high are your ceilings?

  • Jamie Roucloux

    I love these shelves but I’m in a rent house and would probably want to take them with me eventually. Do you have any ideas for modifying the design to where they would be easily removeable?

  • MegaScientist

    curious: why did you stain the wood AFTER building and not before?

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  • karinouten

    What paint color do you have on your wall? That is very close to the color I’ve been looking for. A little taupe, a little gray.

  • Stephanie Marberg

    I’m loving all of your stunning creations but am a beginner. I’m pulling in my handy husband to help start some of your projects and this is the first one I’d like to accomplish. We do not have any Kreg tools/products. What do you recommend we purchase for this project?? Thanks!!!

  • Carlyn

    My boyfriend and I just bought all the wood to make these shelves!! He does not have the tool to drill the pocket holes though and he was wondering the reason for needing them? Can the pieces just be nailed together from the top and sides?

    • They can be! He needs to use screws for the 2×4 supports!

      • Carlyn

        Thanks for the quick response!! I will post a pic when we finish them up!!

        • Carlyn

          Love them!!!! Hung 3 in the guest room and 3 are going to go in the master bedroom, and then we are making 3 small ones to go in the bathroom!! Thank you so much for posting this DIY. They were super simple and look fabulous!!

  • Amy McLaughlin

    Love the shelves! Will be attempting! 🙂 Question about the tv on the fireplace…where is the tv’s power source?

  • Karen Garman

    I cannot find carrington! Has it been discontinued?

  • GR82BNTX

    Question on the 1X6 front piece – does this actually give you a little bit of a front ledge guard so to speak so things don’t slide off the front if bumped? I have a clumsy 13 y.o. boy doing the dusting ;0)

  • Kris

    Where did you get your couches?

  • Jill

    Very cute shelves!! I was wondering if you nailed bottoms on all the shelves (the ultra thin wood)? The finished result looks like no. Can you share?

    • I nailed the 1/4″ plywood to the bottom of every shelf.

    • chelle

      I was wondering the same thing. In the pics it looks like they are open?!…..

      • Jessie Pilkington

        You can’t see the bottom of the shelf because it’s inset and not flush with the sides.

  • Nancy Barr

    I have also been staring at blank walls next to our fireplace/Tv and I was headed to IKEA this week to buy bookcases ($500.) I think you just saved me some money!!! Thank you!!!

  • Lisa Bullert

    When you say you spaced your shelves 13″ apart. Is that the space between the bottom of one shelf to the top of the next or top to top?

    • I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear on that. I measured from the top of one to the bottom of the one above it.

      • Lisa Bullert

        Thank you! Your response was quick! My husband and I are mimicking this look in our house and it seems like a big space in between the shelves in person, but looks just right in your picture!

  • Jennifer Ritchie

    Is this sturdy enough to hold books? They look great!

    • Thanks Jennifer! Yes! I actually sat on the bottom one :))

  • Jill Elizabeth French

    How many inches from the floor did you start your bottom shelf?

  • Zoe

    Would these be strong enough to do as Kitchen floating shelves?

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  • Ironbutterfly dk1951

    Those look great, better than the ones my contractor honey made for me. In his defense I can actually stand on mine. Good job.

  • Liz Howes

    I love these shelves… I was wondering how much weight do you think they can handle?.. . I have lots of books

    • Karl Browne

      I would NOT advise using floating shelves for more than a few books.

      • Thanks Karl. If you built them and secure them correctly they can hold an large amount of weight. I actually sat on one of them and it didn’t budge.

  • Guest

    So did you install your television on the rock fireplace, or was it a custom build with the home. I have a home from 1978 that has a stone fireplace, and I want to mount my television, but I am not really sue how to go about it.

    • We did it ourselves and it’s super easy! The mounting kit that we purchased (from Wal-mart or best buy??) came with several anchors and one was for masonry. We used our Ryobi hammer drill to drill pilot holes then inserted the anchors and attached the mounting bracket. There should be instructions in the manual! Hope this helps 🙂

    • Kimberly Jones McTear

      I have the same fireplace – circa 1970. I have a love/hate relationship with it. LOL. My husband mounted the TV without a problem but how to get power there with all the messy cords showing? Did you already have a power outlet there? I also have a nice space on the right that I think I will put up shelves like you have. Thanks!

  • Jennifer Bays Ulrich

    I also love you paint color… what is it? And they shelves are awesome too!

    • Thank you! Fairmont penthouse stone by Valspar:)

  • Faith

    What color paint is on your walls?

  • Taylor Nicole Cates

    Can you tell me where you bought your curtains? They are beautiful and so is the rest of the room!

    • Thank you Taylor! There is a link to the curtains in the post:)

      • Jill Elizabeth French

        I do not see a link in the post for the curtains. Can you tell me where you bought the curtains or what fabric that is ? Thanks !

        • Jill Elizabeth French

          Nevermind, I found them 🙂

          • MrRazzleDazzle

            I guess I am an idiot because I don’t see the link for the cutains ?!?

          • Jill Elizabeth French

            On this page under projects, then click window treatments, then it should be the first one you come to called – DIY lined window panels.

  • Howarth ShaneAmber

    Love the Shelves, cant wait to do mine, and coffee table!! Where did you get the Metal letter and & ?I love them!

    • Thank you!!! Got those at Hobby Lobby for $14.99! They run them 1/2 off all the time so get them on sale 🙂

  • Lisa @ Shine Your Light

    Oh my gosh – your shelves came out great! Thanks for sharing how you did it – now I need to find a place for floating shelves!

  • I love these shelves!! It is such a nice change from the usual built in bookshelves that you find flanking fireplaces. Plus, I’m a huge fan of the Carrington color.

    • Love Carrington, Felicia! Thank you so much! Our plans called for built-ins but I knew I would want to change the look pretty often:) love the character these shelves give!

  • Lisa

    great job on the shelves! I need to make some ….. and the coffee table is awesome!

  • Yesenia

    Amazing Job Ashley!!

    I had a question how did you mount the TV on stone? I have a fire place made from brick.

    Thanks for your time. Keep inspiring so many of us.

    • Thank you so much!! To hang the TV, we bought a tv mounting kit (walmart maybe) and the kits come with masonry and wall anchors. We used our hammer drill to drill pilot holes then fit the anchors in and tightened them. I am actually building a mantel for our fireplace and will share the tutorial on how I attach it to the stone – soon!

    • Millie

      Be sure to really think about your posture while watching a TV mounted so high up. While I admire how lovely the room is above, I can’t help but thinking that everyone watching TV in it has to look up high over their right or left shoulder the entire time. Ideally, if not always practical, the center or lower third of the screen should be even with your eyes when seated in the room.

  • Yesenia

    Amazing Job Ashley!!

    I had a question how did you mount the TV on stone? I have a fire place made from brick.

    Thanks for your time. Keep inspiring so many of us.