March 18, 2015

DIY Floating Shelves

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to be sharing these DIY floating shelves today that we built in our kitchen. We got this verona buffet  for Christmas and I decided that adding floating shelves above them would not only be super functional but it would also look great. We got a lot of serving ware and glassware from our wedding so I loved the idea of having them out on display rather than stored away in a closet or cupboard. These are easy to build and are a great project for beginner DIYers. The total cost for the wood for both shelves was about $34.00 which is a lot more affordable than any shelves you can buy in stores!

Also, I like giving credit where credit is due. These shelves are inspired by the Shanty 2 Chic floating shelves that many of you have probably seen circulating on either Instagram or Pinterest. I did, however, make modifications to the plan to fit my space accordingly and thought I would share how we built them! 

Let's get started! Also for reference, these shelves are 48"W x 12"D x 3.5"H.

Supply List: 
(1) 1 x 12" x 8' (Top part of shelf, the width of the 1 x 12" will really be 11 1/4") 
(2) 2x 3" x 8' ( Creates E part that attaches to wall) 
(1) 4' x 4' x 1/4" plywood sheet (bottom part of shelf)
(2) 1 x 4" x 6' ( front piece and sides) 

Cut List:(I had all of my cuts done at Lowes)
(2) 1 x 12" @ 46.5"
(2) 2 x 3" @ 46.5" 
(6) 2 x 3"  @ 9.75"
(2) 1/4" x 11 1/4" @ 46.5" (Use the plywood sheets to create these) 
(2) 1 x 4" @ 48" 
(4) 1 x 4" @ 11 1/4"

Create the "E's", which are the frames of the shelves and will be screwed to the wall, using the (1)  2 x 3" @ 46.5" and (3) 2 x3" @ 9.75". Connect the the 9.75" brackets, or the leg of the "E's", by using a Kreg Jig to create (2) 1.5" pocket holes holes at the base of each bracket. 

Once the pocket holes have been drilled, attached the brackets to the frame base using 2.5" pocket hole screws. Do this for all three brackets. I made two shelves, so I created 2 of these "E" frames.

Next attach the frames to wall. The first thing you are going to want to do is locate the studs. Then, once we found the studs, Paul held the brackets in place where we wanted them and I drilled pilot holes into both the frame and the wall. The reason I drilled a pilot hole in the wall as well is because we used lag screws. After I had drilled the pilot holes I then went back and screwed in the lag screw, accompanied by a washer, using a ratchet lug wrench. You could also use wood screws or torx screws to attach the brackets to the wall. 

Next, secure the bottom of the shelf. For this step you will be using the two 1/4" plywood strips that are cut  11 1/4" deep  and 46.5" wide.  
We used clamps to help hold the plywood in place while securing the piece of plywood to the bottom of the bracket. 
We secured the bottom of the shelf using wood glue and  1 1/4" brad nails and since we don't own a finish nailer or brad nailer we used a hammer and nail set. 

Next, attach the top piece of the shelf. For this step you will be using the two 1 x 12" @ 46.5".

Then we secured the 1 x 12" @ 46.5" to the top of the bracket by using wood glue and  1 1/4" brad nails, hammer, and nail set.

Next, attach the sides of the shelf using the (4) 1 x 4" @ 11 1/4". I pre-stained the two sides that were going to be closest to the wall because I knew that once they were attached to the wall I would not be able to squeeze between the wall and shelf to stain them. 

Secure the sides using wood glue and 1 1/4" brad nails. 

Next, take the 1 x 4" @ 48" and secure it to the front of the shelf using wood glue and 1 1/4" brad nails. 

Once the shelves were finished being built, I went ahead and stained them using the Minwax water based stain in American Walnut. I wanted the shelves to blend well with the buffet so I gave the shelves 3 coats of stain. Looking back though I wished I would of pre-stained everything before building the shelves. Staining can be very messy!! That said, I highly recommend that if you tackle this project you pre stain the pieces of wood. The bracket is not exposed, so you would only have to pre-stain the bottom, top, and side pieces!
And here is the shelves all complete! What do you think? I also wanted to clear out one of our glass cupboards so I added a stemware hanging rack under the bottom shelf. I attached it using the instructions that came with the stemware rack. 

I absolutely love how this project turned out and I can't wait to use this space for entertaining!

If you would like to follow along and stay up to date on more of my home decor, DIY, lifestyle and other posts, I'd love to have you follow me along on any of the following: 

Sharing At:
Pretty Preppy Party


  1. They looks amazing! Great job! I love all the white dishes. SO pretty!

  2. You guys did a great job! They look amazing (:

  3. Beautiful Megan. I'm sharing them in my Friday post today!

    1. Wow thank you so much Andrea! You totally just made my day! :) Happy Friday!!

  4. These are AWESOME :) I just read the girls at Shanty to Chic's very same tutorial as I need to build some of these in our bar area but I just love how yours turned out and the stemware rack is a great {and practical} touch. Thanks so much for sharing these, nice work!

  5. Wow! Turned out beautifully. Thanks for linking up at the Pretty Preppy Party!

  6. This is so great! I love the buffet/sideboard you have, as well. Where did you get it?

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