DIY Floating Shelves

Recently I shared my half-bathroom Herringbone Tile Floors with you!  What I didn’t tell you was that we loved them so much, that we decided to do another project in the same bathroom!  I had previously installed a little shelf above the toilet, and it was cute, and fine.  But I wanted something bigger, something more substantial, and I wanted an excuse to pull out my favorite Ryobi and Kreg tools and build!  So I decided to build three Build-In Floating Shelves for my bathroom!  
These DIY Floating Shelves are really easy to make!  And they are the perfect shelves to build in a small, narrow half bath like I have.  They do however take a bit of patience because each cut will need to be measured out individually so that these fit snugly into your space.  
DIY Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

But oh how they make my heart sing!  I love love LOVE how these shelves turned out!!

How to Build Floating Shelves | these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

The best part about these shelves is that I actually think it makes my tiny bathroom feel bigger!  Because my ceilings are high, and I added three shelves and tall decorations, when you walk into the room, the height of the shelves visually leads your eye up so you notice the height of the room.  This helps it feel bigger.  Which, is a great plus because it is a tiny room!

DIY Floating shelves are everywhere and there are many tutorials for how to create these.  I had seen and pinned this inspiration from Desert Domicile over a year ago and used it as my basis for inspiration for these built in shelves.

Of course I have to show you a BEFORE picture.  See…my tiny little shelf!?  It definitely needed to be replaced!

DIY Floating Shelves
These plans are to create (1) floating shelf that is approximately 32″long by 5.5″ deep.  You may need to adjust your measurements and quantities accordingly.

Supplies:

  • 2″ x 3″ wood, cut 32″ long (or the length of your wall)
  • 2″ x 3″ wood, cut into (3) 4″ lengths
  • 1″ x 6″ select wood, cut 32″ long (or the length of your wall)
  • 1″ x 4″ select wood, cut 32″ long (or the length of your wall) 
  • 1/4″ plywood, cut 32″ long (or the length of your wall) by 5.5″ wide
  • (6) 2 1/2″ Kreg Jig Screws
  • (2-4) 3″ long screws
  • Stain (I used Minwax Dark Walnut)
  • Rag for staining

Tools:

  • Ryobi Drill and Driver set (or a regular electric drill will work too, but these are awesome)
  • Kreg Jig
  • Electric Sander plus 120 or higher grit sand paper
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Ryobi AirStrike
  • Level
  • Stud Finder
  • Tape Measure
How to Build Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

After you cut all of your lengths of wood you will start to assemble the inside of your floating shelf.

A note about cutting your wood.  Walls are not perfect.  Let me repeat that.  Walls.  Are.  Not.  Perfect.  Every single cut I made was slightly different because the walls are not perfectly perpendicular so you will need to measure twice and cut once, for every single cut you make.  A 1/16″ difference does matter when you are creating shelves that fit perfectly in place, wall-to-wall, so take your time to measure and cut carefully.

Set your Kreg Jig to 1 1/2″ and set your drill bit collar to the setting for 1 1/2″ as well.  You are setting both of these to the actual thickness of your wood.  And since a 2″ x 3″ is actually 1 1/2″ thick (not 2″), both of your Kreg Jig settings need to be set at 1 1/2″.

Start by drilling two pocket holes into each of your 4″ long 2″ x 3″ pieces of wood.

How to Build Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

Then you will screw your 4″ long 2″ x 3″‘s into your 32″ long 2″ x 3″.  One at each end and one in the middle-ish (no need to measure).  You will basically be creating a tall and skinny E.  Be sure to line the ends up well, it is helpful to have a second set of hands if possible, but a 90 degree clamp would work as well.

After your “E”‘s are assembled, you will use your drill and your 3″ screws to attach the shelves into your wall.  When we were able to drill into a stud we did, when we couldn’t we added an extra screw for stability.  We used 2-4 screws on each shelf to secure this into place.

This doesn’t look very pretty right now, but this is the guts of your floating shelf.  This is what enables you to have a floating shelf with no visual supports.

DIY Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

As you see above, I used a table saw to cut my 1″ x 6″ boards as well as my plywood.  Always remember to use safety goggles and ear protection when using power tools!  Also be sure to follow all manufacture instructions and all safety procedures.  And of course use common sense :)  

But let’s get back to this photo of me :)  I have never used a table saw before.  It was the one tool that still scared me a bit.  But then my sweet husband threw out his back and wasn’t able to help me.  So I worked up all my courage and cut my wood using the table saw all by myself.

And guess what!?  I survived!  And actually, like most power tools, I really enjoyed using it!  And the lesson I always learn when I try a new tool, GIRLS CAN USE POWER TOOLS TOO!

Be sure to sand your 1″ x 6″, 1″ x 4″ and your plywood really well and wipe them clean.

Then stain those three boards and let them dry.

Finally, use your Ryobi AirStrike to nail-gun your 1″ x 6″ board onto the top of your supports.  Nail your plywood onto the bottom of your supports.  And finally attach your 1″ x 4″ board onto the front of your shelf!

Decorating Floating Shelves in a Bathroom | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

After my shelves were built, I couldn’t wait to decorate them!  I used a few items I already had at home and I bought a few new items from World Market.  Don’t you just love that store!?

DIY Built-In Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

And I am absolutely IN LOVE with how my bathroom has turned out!  New Herringbone Tile Floors, new Floating Shelves, and new Decor!  I am so excited to have someone over so I can show off my bathroom make-over!!  (that’s a phrase I never thought I would say :)

DIY Built-In Floating Shelves | how to build floating shelves - these make a perfect shelf for a bathroom or other small space |  #DIY #shelves #buildit #bathroom

If you happen to come to my house, please feel free to take a peek at my newly remodeled bathroom!  I am so proud of it and I would love to show it off!!

Here are a few other blog posts you might enjoy:
DIY Herringbone Tile Floors
DIY Laminate Wood Flooring
How to Build a Distressed Pallet Board

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Comments

    • says

      The miter gauge is properly in place. You can't see it because of the angle of the photo though. It is behind my left hand because my left hand is holding the wood securely in place to the gauge…so you can't see much of it. The part you can see is the same color grey as my garage floor! Thanks for stopping by!

  1. says

    Umm, wanna come to my house and put up some floating shelves for me? They came out great! Love your inspiration too. Gonna head over there and see what else they have on their blog! Thanks for introducing me to them! :)

  2. says

    I love how you fit them in between both walls like that. I pinned that Desert Domicile image a year or so ago when I was going to do this in our old house but then we moved. Great minds think alike? ;) You did a great job! Love it.

  3. says

    These look really great! I like how they go wall to wall. I recently did some floating shelves too and love how simple they look but still give space to display pretty things. Thanks for sharing!<br />Corey @ TinySidekick.com

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