Do you look at floating shelves and think, they look really hard to make? I know I used to. Isn’t that crazy, coming from a girl who loves to build furniture and do total room makeovers? But it’s true…floating shelves intimidated me. Until I looked into them and discovered just how easy they are to build. And I use the word “build” loosely. “Put together” would probably be a more fitting term. Guys, let me tell you, they are so easy to make! I think they’ve become one of my new favorite projects.
With my first go at this project, I knew I wanted two floating shelves….One for a small wall in my family room. (That wall over there to the left, right by the door)….
And a large wall I’ve been working on filling in my daughter’s room. (You can check out her teen room makeover here)….
Now onto this super easy build…
But first a warning….although the number of steps below may seem overwhelming, please know that my directions are very thorough, so as to make it easier to follow along. The process and time to build these floating shelves is actually simple and minimal.
How To Build Floating Shelves
Plywood (1/2″) (Amount needed depends on size of shelf)
Nail gun (hammer and nails work too)
Wood glue (affiliate link)
Stain or paint desired (I used MinWax Jacobean)
Kreg Jig(affiliate link)
Miter saw (optional)
Building the shelf:
Step One: Determine the dimensions of your shelf.
For simplicity sake, we’ll use my dimensions for this tutorial
Step Two: Cut your plywood and 1×6 board
Cut two plywood boards to the following dimensions: 29-1/2″ x 6-1/2″
Cut two plywood boards to: 6-1/2″x 5-1/2″
Step Three: Attach plywood boards
Using wood glue and nail gun, attach smaller plywood boards to each end of the longer plywood boards…
Step Four: Cut and attach 1×6 board
Cut 1×6 to fit over attached plywood boards…
You now have an open box that looks like this…
And this when turned over…
Step Five: Stain box (shelf)
Stain box and set aside to dry while you build your cleats….
Building the cleat:
Step One: Cut 2×4 for base of the cleat
Measure the length of the INSIDE of your box and cut your 2×4 to fit….
Step Two: Cut arms of cleats
Leaving the 2×4 (from step one) in the box, stand another 2×4 on top and draw a line to how far it comes up to the side of the box. See picture below, for a better description….
Cut 3 “arms” to the same length as above….
Step Three: Attach arms to base of cleat
Using a Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes into each arm and screw into base of the cleat (as shown below)….
Attaching the cleat to the wall
Step One: Where do you want your shelf?
Determine location of shelf. Mark studs, using a Stud Finder.
Step Two: Attach cleat to wall
Screw cleat into a stud in the wall with one screw and then using a level, make sure it is straight. Drill the rest of your screws in to make it secure.
Attaching the shelf to the cleat
So very simple…Fit shelf over cleat and attach with screws.
That’s it!! Floating shelves are actually very easy to build, as you can see!
And add style to any room…
As always, don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you may have about this project or any other projects on the blog.
Until next time,
Happy Building, Friend!!
Be sure to subscribe below and never miss an upcoming post.
Sign up for the RL Newsletter
Never miss a RepurposeLife post and valuable emails containing: DIY Projects, Full Tutorials and Interior Design Tips.