DIY Floating Shelves for my Living Room

Build these easy DIY Floating shelves with FREE Printable plans and how-to tutorial by Shanty2Chic. These are inexpensive and add character to your home!

DIY Floating Shelves

I built the eight 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!

DIY Floating Shelves

I 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.


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


I 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.


Then, 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)


I 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!


After 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.


Next, 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 🙂


To 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 Impact Driver. I did 2 screws per stud.


I installed 4 on one side of the fireplace and 4 on the other :)


Once the “E’s” were installed, I dropped the assembled shelves on top of each one and attached them with my brad nailer and 2″ nails.


Then, 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)!


I taped them off before staining!


I 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.


Here 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


and did it for about $120!!!  That gave me lots of dough to spend on accessories ;)


I 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

DIY Floating Shelves

Build these easy DIY Floating Shelves with free printable plans and how-to tutorial by Shanty2Chic. Make sure to click the link below to print the full version of the plans, including the supply list!

Supply List

  • 1 2x4x8 Framing Lumber
  • 1 1x6x8 Pine Or Common Boards
  • 1 3/4″x24″x48″ Hardwood Plywood (Birch)
  • 1 1/4″x24″x48″ Hardwood Plywood (Birch)
  • 1 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Brad Nails
  • 3 1/2″ Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue


  • Cut List
    Note: This cut list is for one floating shelf. If you build more than one shelf, adjust the cut list.
  • Cut the cleat pieces to size. Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes into one end of each support piece. Attach the support pieces to the long cleat piece with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. Locate the studs behind the wall you are hanging the shelf on and attach the cleat to the wall with 3 1/2″ wood screws.
  • Cut the top plywood piece to size and attach it to the cleat with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.
  • Cut the bottom piece of plywood to size and attach it to the bottom of the cleat with 1 1/4″ brad nails and wood glue.
  • Cut the side pieces to size and attach them to the side of the cleat with 1 1/4″ brad nails and wood glue.
  • Cut the front piece to size and attach it to the front of the cleat with 1 1/4″ brad nails and wood glue.
  • Now, just adda a finish and you’re done! Make sure to share your builds with us on social media and use #shanty2chic so we can share them too! Happy Building!


  1. Megan on October 21, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Can you make shelves that are 18″ deep in this manner, or is there something inherent in the design that would prevent you from safely scaling up for deeper AV/media shelves?

  2. Danielle on March 21, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    It seems like the plywood should be cut into 12″ pieces. I say this because I got everything cut to size and went to put together my first shelf realizing that the plywood is 3/4″ too short and now I have to cut all my other pieces to match.

  3. KAtie woods on October 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I love your stone on the mantel – anyway you can tell me name and where it’s from?
    Thank ypu

  4. shawnae ellsworth-bratz on September 23, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    There has been an inflation of wood prices due to the hurricanes bringing my total cost of the wood to $250. This makes this an expensive project

  5. Rachel Roszmann on August 14, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Kaitlyn on February 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    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! 🙂

  7. Megan on November 17, 2016 at 9:30 am

    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!

  8. Tegan Fuller on November 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm

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

  9. Brittany on January 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial!

  10. Allison Smith on January 7, 2016 at 7:25 am

    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 🙂

  11. Kerri Berhold Schull on December 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    where did you get your stuff on the shelves?

  12. Christian Schedler on November 25, 2015 at 1:17 pm

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

  13. dori on September 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

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

    • Shanty2Chic on September 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

      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.

  14. Matthew Jackson on August 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

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

  15. Jamie Roucloux on July 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    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?

  16. MegaScientist on July 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

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

  17. karinouten on March 30, 2015 at 8:04 am

    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.

  18. Stephanie Marberg on March 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    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!!!

  19. Carlyn on March 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    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?

    • Shanty2Chic on March 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

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

      • Carlyn on March 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

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

        • Carlyn on May 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm

          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!!

  20. Amy McLaughlin on February 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

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

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