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Easy DIY Floating Shelves!

This easy tutorial will show you how to build these DIY floating shelves. Just follow the free printable plans and how-to video by www.shanty-2-chic.com! 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 our How to Build a Floating Shelf Video! Just click the play button below!

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE FREE PRINTABLE PLANS
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!

Easy DIY Floating Shelves Tutorial and Plans

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

Easy DIY Floating Shelves – The Supplies

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

Easy DIY Floating Shelves – Wall Mounting

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

Easy DIY Floating Shelves – Staining

I used this stain 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 are the diy floating shelves 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 ;-)…

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

Thanks so much!

~Whitney

DIY Floating Shelves

This easy tutorial will show you how to build these DIY floating shelves. Just follow the free printable plans and how-to video. You can click the link below to download and print the full set of plans!
https://www.shanty-2-chic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/DIY-Floating-Shelves-Free-Plans.pdf
Keyword: diy floating shelve, free plans

Supply List

  • 1 1x10x8 Pine or Whitewood
  • 2 2x3x8 Framing Lumber
  • 1 4’x4’x1/4″ Hardwood Plywood
  • 3 1x4x6′ Pine or Whitewood
  • 1 1/4″ Brad Nails
  • 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 3 1/2″ Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue

Instructions

  • Cut List
  • Screw the three 7 3/4″ pieces to the back 32″ piece.
  • Locate your wall studs and transfer the locations to the back piece. Predrill two holes at each stud location and use 3 1/2″ wood screws to attach the shelf to the wall.
  • Add the bottom 1/4″ plywood. this piece and the rest of the project will be attached with wood glue and brad nails.
  • Attach the top 1×10 shelf.
  • Attach the side 1×4 trim.
  • Attach the 1×4 front trim. Now you’re ready to tape off the walls, sand and finish.

126 Comments

  1. Claudia sanchez on March 13, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Here are mine ????

  2. Kim on March 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    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!!!!

  3. Ashley Lee Suhajda on January 20, 2016 at 7:30 am

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

  4. Michelle Harmond on November 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

    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.

  5. Martha Torres-Santiago on November 12, 2015 at 10:18 am

    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.

  6. Ben Kelchner on October 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    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.

    Thanks

  7. Kristen Core White on October 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

    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!

  8. Myrthe on October 19, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    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 on October 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

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

      • Myrthe on October 28, 2015 at 6:07 pm

        Hi!

        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 on October 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm

          Here is a picture with the frame + the top attached

          • Myrthe on October 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

            Here it is with top, bottom and front



      • Myrthe on October 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

        And the finished product !

  9. David McNulty on August 2, 2015 at 7:20 am

    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.

    • Shanty2Chic on August 2, 2015 at 7:22 am

      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!

  10. Erin Simoneaux on July 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

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

  11. Mischka Fridman on May 20, 2015 at 6:46 am

    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!

    • Shanty2Chic on May 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

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

  12. Carol on May 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm

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

  13. Katelin Sabbah on March 30, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    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 on November 23, 2015 at 9:58 am

      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

  14. Zoe Creane on February 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm

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

    • Brian Trezise on November 23, 2015 at 9:59 am

      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

  15. Angela L on February 19, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    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 on February 19, 2015 at 10:03 pm

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

  16. Ais on February 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

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

  17. Holly Frey Haas on February 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    How far apart are these shelves frames set?

  18. Holly Frey Haas on January 31, 2015 at 11:12 am

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

    • Shanty2Chic on January 31, 2015 at 11:21 am

      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 on January 31, 2015 at 11:35 am

        Yes it does. Thank you so much!!

  19. Amanda Christensen on January 30, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    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 on January 31, 2015 at 11:28 am

      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 on February 1, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        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!

  20. Monica on January 1, 2015 at 9:12 am

    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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