Hey guys!

Thanks so much for all of our sweet comments, shares and pins on my daughter’s built-in daybed I shared last week.  You guys are so encouraging, and make our jobs so fun!  To keep up with all of our projects, be sure to FOLLOW us on Instagram and Pinterest!

I’ve had a ton of questions on this floating plan I am sharing today!  I wanted to add a rustic touch to the space.  With all the paint and bright colors, it needed something just like this to warm it up!  Here is how it turned out!

DIY Floating Mantle

DIY Floating Hanging Shelf

This is SUCH an easy build!  For those of you that haven’t opened up your Kreg Jig yes, this is a GREAT beginner project!  The shelf is 60″ long making it a perfect mantle as well!  I also think floating shelves are perfect for renters.  Really you only leave a few screw holes in the wall that are very easy to fill and paint back over.

The best part??  We have FREE PLANS for you guys!  Thanks so much to our good friend Jay of Jay’s Custom Creations for putting all of Shanty2Chic’s original ideas into printable plans for our readers!  He is the bomb… Go check his site out!  He has lots of fun plans as well!  To download or print the free plans for this shelf, you can click HERE or the button below!

print plans floating mantle

My first step was making my cuts!  The brace of the shelf is made with your 2×4 board.  I cut my long board at 58″ and made 4 short pieces that were each 4″ long.

Floating Mantle Wood

Wood for brackets on floating shelf

My next step was adding my pocket holes.  I used my Kreg Jig for this part.  Do you own one??  You need to.  Not sure what the heck it is?  Check out our video here where we really try to break it down and explain what it does and how much it can help you with your projects!

Because the wood I am attaching these brackets to is 1.5″ thick, I added 1.5″ pocket holes to each of my 4″ pieces.

Kreg Jig K5

pocket holes for floating shelf

Now to attach these… I tried a new glue I found for this project.  It’s called Elmer’s ProBond, and claims to glue just about anything. I loved it on this project.  It has the consistency of a wood glue, but sticks to a variety of materials like an epoxy does.  And, it doesn’t stink.  Win for me!

Elmers ProBond

I used a little under each bracket and then attached them using 2.5″ pocket hole screws with my Ryobi drill.

Kreg Jig Floating Shelf

Many of you ask about our drills.  This is BY FAR my favorite drill I have used yet.  It is lightweight, cordless, and the battery fits all of my other cordless tools.  It even has a fun little magnet tray to hold my extra screws… It’s all in the details… 😉

Ryobi 18v Cordless Drill

I evenly spaced all 4 brackets, and at this point my shelf brace looked like this…

Building the floating mantle

Now we are ready to build the box!  We are basically building an upside down planter box to fit over this brace we just made.  I use the 1×6 for this part.  I have my top and bottom pieces, which are each 58.5″ long and my side pieces which are both 5.5″ long that we will start with.

Wood for floating shelf

Side pieces for floating shelf

I used my Ryobi Cordless AirStrike brad nailer to assemble this part.  I just ran a line of glue under each seam and attached them with some 1.25″ brad nails.

Building the floating shelf

Floating Shelf from Wood

The last step is attaching the top board.  This one is 60″ and I attached it using glue and brad nails.

Glue and Nail the shelf

Time for stain!  I used three different stains on this part.  I started with one coat of Varathane American Walnut.  You can find this at Home Depot.  Once that dried, I used my Corner Cat sander to distress the edges.

Best Sanding Tool

My final step was to take a rag and apply two more stains over the whole thing… Varathane Weathered Gray and Kona.  I think this gave it an uneven and rustic look and I love it!

DIY Wood Shelf

While that was drying,  I attached the shelf brace to the wall.  I located the studs in the wall, and marked on my shelf where they would line up.  I use a stud finder for this part.  I also use a level to make sure my shelf sits straight.  I used my drill with a small drill bit to pre-drill two holes where each stud lined up.

Pre-drill into wood

How to pre drill

Next, I used my Ryobi 18V Impact Driver to attach the shelf with 3″ torx screws.

Ryobi Impact Driver

And it looked like this!

Building a floating shelf

Before attaching the box to the shelf, I added the front hardware to the box.  This part makes the shelf in my opinion!  I found the cutest hardware in the garage hardware section at Home Depot.  The front pieces came in a package like this…

Hardware for shelf from Home Depot

To attach the box, I fit it over the frame on the wall and attached it with 2″ wood screws through the top of the box and into the brace.  I pre-drilled on this part too to keep my wood from splitting.

How to hang floating shelf

And the hardware that makes the shelf look suspended are actually decorative locks.  This is the package they came in.

Shelf Hardware from Home Depot

These don’t support the weight of the shelf… They are just cute!  I think they give it such a cool, custom look.

Hardware for Hanging Shelf

That’s it!  Here are a few more shots of this bad boy!

Floating Shelf Shanty2Chic

DIY Floating Mantle

DIY Floating Hanging Shelf

Built-In Twin Bed DIY

How fun is that guys?  I think this would make such a cool mantle too!

Remember you can download the FREE set of plans by clicking HERE!

I would LOVE for you to PIN and share my shelf below!  You guys are awesome!  Let me know if you have any questions at all!


Ashley and Whitney Blog post signature
Become a VIP Insider
Stay up-to-date on all the new project, free plans and new products available for you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Shanty chick – lmso you’re adorable and your instructions doesn’t feel like a monotone narrating robot. I feel your enthusiasm, a God-sent thanx Alex for the extra tip too!

  2. This may be a silly question, but how do I convert the plan if I would like a mantel 50inches in length?

  3. I just finished this project because our apartment was missing a mantle, and this plan was PERFECT and gorgeous! Yay, thank you so much for sharing this project. I now have a place to hang our stockings!! Yay!

  4. I was thinking about making this as a floating book shelf. Do you think it would support books (some heavy ones! I’m in medical school haha). Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!!

    1. Yes! The more screws you put through the studs, the more weight it will hold. We can sit on ours 🙂

  5. How much do you think you spent on lumber for this project? We want to do this for a mantle in our apartment, and are just trying to figure out cost first – thanks! :-)~

  6. This project is awesome. I just installed two of these, and I stumbled on a cool modification that helps with securing the shell to the brace. If you use Strap Hinges rather than Tee Hinges, the back two screws on the side hinge will hit the 4″ 2×4 pieces on the brace, giving you 2 secured points on either end of the shelf. The bonus here is that you don’t have to add any additional screws on the top, giving the whole shelf a nice clean finished look. Picture attached as an explanation.

    Keep up the great website!

  7. I’m so glad I found this. I’ve been looking for a mantle for my apartment fireplace. I’m definitely going to make this!!