How to Build Floating Shelves

Nothing adds more swag and style to your space than DIY floating shelves. They are very affordable as an option to change the looks of your room. But not everyone knows how to build them. That is why this guide is coming up for you. You will learn how to make your DIY floating shelves by the time you get to the last lines of this article. 

It is always a good thing for you to have your own unique space. You can keep your photos, paintings, personal stuff, and books on your floating wall shelves. They are not just lovely; they also do not take a lot of space. If your room is limited in space, you can add a lot of vibe by including floating shelves, which you can use to flaunt your plants, books, and arts. 

DIY floating shelves are simple woodworking tasks and you will see that it is quite straightforward and stress-free. If you are ready, let us move! 

Materials Needed

Even though it can be somewhat attractive to purchase floating shelves from top brands like Home Depot or IKEA, you will not get personalized designs. The sizes and colors are even limited in terms of options. 

The best thing here is that you can even come up with a better floating shelf for the same price or even less. You can create floating shelves that will closely follow your designs while meeting your needs and preferences. 

That said, here are the materials that you are going to need before you can make your stylish and personalized floating wood shelves: 

  • Circular or miter saw
  • Pine board that measures two inches by ten inches
  • Drill press (not compulsory)
  • Paddle bit
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint or stain
  • A bench or manual router
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Fabrics
  • Polyurethane (not mandatory)


The steps that are outlined in the following sections will take you through every necessary stage in the process of making floating shelves. If you deduct the time you need to dry the piece, the entire shelf can be ready in just 12 hours – such a quick transformation.


  1. Cut the board to the right dimensions and collect the materials.
  2. The most affordable method for making DIY floating shelves is to get a big wooden slab and then cut into more manageable pieces with the circular or miter saw. You are free to cut into customized sizes as you wish. 


  1. Put a notch at the rear of the shelf to create space for the hardware.
  2. Open a notch with a router and this will allow the hardware to have a place to fit into at the rear of the shelf. The depth of the notch should be half an inch. The notching is important so that when the shelves are hung; there will be no space between the shelf and the wall itself. 


  1. Make holes for the hardware. 
  2. There are limited ways by which you can achieve this. You can make use of the manual drill with the paddle bit to make the holes. It is through these holes that your hardware will stay in position. Holes of four inches in depth are good but you are free to follow your customizations.
  3. If you are trying to be cautious, commence using the paddle bit and finish up with a drill press. Utilizing a paddle bit is going to minimize your stress while allowing you to get precise holes. 


  1. Do the sanding with the painting or staining. 
  2. With proper ventilation in the area, proceed with the sanding until all the shelf parts remain very smooth. Blow away any remnant sawdust before you cover with your chosen paint or stain. 
  3. The choice of the color you will use will depend on your tastes and the preferences you have in mind. You can be as creative as you want at this stage. If you are making use of paint, ensure that you do not use excessive paint to mess up everything. For those looking for that extra layer of gloss and shine, use polyurethane lacquer. 


  1. Do the hanging of the shelves. 
  2. After you have left the shelves to dry properly, you can go ahead and do the installation. Take your time to do this correctly. You can check up guidelines before you do the hanging. You can also use wooden supports crafted by yourself, but everything should be done with precision and accuracy.
  3. Try out the hanging on the wall a few times to ensure that it sits very well on the wall. Once everything looks perfect, leave the hardware on the wall, fix your shelves in place using the drilled holes, and there you have it – your special DIY floating shelves! 

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