How to Build Easy DIY Floating Shelves!

Make your own Easy DIY Floating Shelves in about an hour! This simple woodworking project includes Free plans and a video tutorial.

This easy tutorial will show you how to build these easy DIY floating shelves. Just follow the free printable plans and how-to video by! 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!

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!


Supply List for 3 Shelves

  • 1 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′ pine boards or common boards
  • 2 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ pine boards or common boards
  • 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′ pine boards or common boards
  • brad nailer
  • Kreg Jig
  • 2.5″ pocket hole screws
  • 3.5″ torx or wood screws
  • Gorilla Wood Glue


  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig

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.

Step 1: Cut the Lumber

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.

Step 2: Drill Pocket Holes

Shelf Supports

I used my Kreg Jig pocket hole 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

Step 3: Attach the Brackets

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

Building a floating shelf

Step 4: Mounting the Shelf Support to the Wall

That’s it for the frames!  Now to bring them inside and 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

Step 5: Attaching the Top and Bottom Pieces

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 1 1/4″ brad nails with my nail gun.

DIY Floating Shelves How To

Step 6: Adding Trim to the DIY Floating Shelf

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 of the shelf!  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

Step 7: Finishing the Floating Shelves

Once I had all 3 done I taped them off with painter’s tape and used wood filler to fill all of my nail holes.

How to build floating shelves

I used this wood 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 with, 120-grit sandpaper, to go over all my edges and corners.  This gives it a fun, vintage look.  I followed up with one coat of polyurethane to protect the finish. I like to say they look ‘shanty’ 😉

Step 8: How to Decorate Floating Shelves

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

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 would LOVE for you to pin these Easy DIY Floating Shelves and share them with all your friends!  You guys are awesome!

Thanks so much!


Check Out Our Other Free DIY Floating Shelf Plans!

We have a ton of free shelf project plans! Which one will you build next?

4.5 from 2 votes

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!
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


  • 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.


  1. Caitlin on January 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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

    • Angela on October 17, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I am putting some floating shelves up for someone that has a bay square window from kitchen to living. Should I put up shelves to surround on both sides or should I do shelves like yours on one side and then something else like pictures on the other. The couches will sit below the left side of the window. Please help. Thank you. Love all you guys do!

  2. Paige Bean on January 14, 2014 at 10:41 am

    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 on February 13, 2015 at 12:28 am

      How would any of us know?

    • sis2 on August 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

      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.

  3. Chelsie on January 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

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

    • Marcia Brzezinski on January 19, 2016 at 7:43 pm

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

    • Dwayne Johnson Instagram on September 27, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      I agree with you.

  4. Jana on January 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    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!

    • Shanty2Chic on January 12, 2014 at 6:27 am

      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!

  5. Barbara Moore on January 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    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…..

    • Shanty2Chic on January 12, 2014 at 6:28 am

      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!

  6. Leslie Stewart on January 9, 2014 at 6:28 am

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

    • Shanty2Chic on January 12, 2014 at 6:29 am

      You totally can Leslie! Thanks for the sweet message!

  7. Kate on January 9, 2014 at 4:47 am

    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 on January 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

      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 on January 11, 2014 at 2:18 am

        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 on January 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

          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 on January 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

            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 on January 12, 2014 at 7:17 pm

            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)

    • Shanty2Chic on January 12, 2014 at 6:29 am

      I second all of eesh’s replies! Took the words out of my mouth! 🙂

      • Kate on January 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

        Thanks heaps! I appreciate the replies from both of you 🙂

  8. Greisy Wardsworth on January 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm


  9. Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Super cute! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Jennifer Leible on January 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    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?

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      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 on January 9, 2014 at 8:39 am

        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!

  11. Terry McMullen on January 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

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

  12. Lisa on January 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    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.

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm

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

  13. Karen May on January 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    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!

  14. Kim on January 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

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

  15. SIMONE PLACE on January 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Gorgeous! You are amazing!

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Aww thanks… Made me smile! 🙂

  16. Sarah Yeager on January 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    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!

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

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

  17. Linda Crandall on January 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

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

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Fun Linda!! I like the sound of a wine room 😉

  18. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile on January 8, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I love your shelves! I did something similar if you want to check it out!

  19. eesh on January 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    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.

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

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

  20. [email protected] on January 8, 2014 at 9:30 am

    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!!!

    • Shanty2Chic on January 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      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!

    • photos on May 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm

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

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