DIY floating shelves (click through for more)Using shelving is a great way to organize and de-clutter a space… I know, I know. Such ground-breaking information. Don’t write me off yet; I want to show you how to make some clean shelving that appears to have no brackets (i.e., floating shelves). You can make them for less than 100 bucks, and the hardest part is figuring out what you’re going to put on them when you’re finished.

This is list is for the three shelves built for a specific space. You can modify as needed for your own space.

-six 2 x 4s
-two 1 x 8 x 12 kiln-dried cedar (be sure to check for warping when choosing your lumber)
-one 1/4″ x 4′ x 8′ plywood
-1 1/4″ wood screws  (I used )
-heavy duty fasteners (I used )
-wood glue

-miter saw
-table saw
-Kreg pocket hole jig
-step ladder
-stud finder

Floatingshelf_diagramStep One: Cut all your wood. I find it more productive if I figure out all (or at least most) wood material I need and cut it all at once. You have to make sure all of your measurements are spot-on, or like dominoes, everything will fall apart if you get one measurement wrong, which is a real bummer. If you think of the project as a whole, that all the pieces relate to each other, then it should run smoothly. Hey, if I can do it, you can too.

Here’s my cut list for three shelves:

-fifteen 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
-three 26 1/2″ x 1 1/2″
-three 46″ x 1 1/2″
-three 28″ x 8 5/8″
-three 20″ x 1 1/2″
-three 37 3/8″ x 8 5/8″
-three 37 3/8″ x 1/5″

2 x 4     ripped 2 x 4     ripped 1 x 8

Cut list for skinning the bottom and ends (1/4″ plywood):

-8 5/8″ x 46″
-8 5/8″ x 26 1/2″
-six 2 1/8″ x 8 5/8″

Sand pieces that will be visible.

DIY floating shelf (material needed)Step Two: Assemble figure A (see diagram). I found it easier to clamp down the 1 1/2″ piece before screwing in the 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 pieces. I put in two screws per piece.

(DIY floating shelves (clampy clamp)Step Three: Assemble the pieces for figure B (see diagram).

DIY floating shelves (pocket holes)Step Four: Alright, now’s the fun part. I’m sure you already have a space picked out. A good way to visualize spacing is to use painter’s tape (Laura dropped that knowledge on me). Once you have the spacing all set up, studs found, and material at hand, you can start putting up the shelves

DIY floating shelves (mark the walls)I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Install all of the A pieces first. The HeadLOK fasteners did a great job of making everything super sturdy; just make sure you’re hitting studs! After you have the A pieces up, you can put on the B pieces. You can screw or nail those on. Hopefully your walls are nice and square!

DIY floating shelves (progress _ click through for more)DIY floating shelves (progress _ click through for more)Screw or nail on the underside and end pieces.

DIY floating shelves (end caps _ click through for more)Step Five: Putty any nail or screw holes. One thing I wish I would have done is caulk around the shelves so that there were no spaces showing. I think they still look good, but that detail would have made them a little bit better. Sand once everything is dry; I attached my vacuum hose to the sander to minimize dust. Tape the wall if you are going to paint another color.

DIY floating shelves (spackle _ click through for more)
DIY floating shelves (spackle _ click through for more)Once you paint, you’re done! Time to put your stuff on display (after the paint dries, of course). 

DIY floating shelves (click through for instructions)
DIY floating shelves (click through for instructions)Add a few with prints, plants, books with and your shelves are ready to go! Happy building! -Josh

Credits // Author: Josh Rhodes. Photos: Sarah Rhodes and Josh Rhodes.  Photos edited with Stella from the