You know, I have really fallen in love with our little farm house. I have. But calling it little is a bit of an understatement. So when we first moved into our home I had to get creative when it came to storage solutions, especially in the bathrooms. My number one request? Shelves! You realize how much you take for granted where to put spare toilet paper and soaps when you suddenly have no place to put them. So thankfully Phillip took pity on me and came up with a super easy shelving solution. So easy I thought it would be criminal not to share with you how to make your own floating shelves with this quick DIY.
While this is a pretty easy DIY you will need a few basic hardware tools to get started. Nothing crazy! And while Phillip likes to use his professional stuff, don’t worry, he’s just showing off. 😉
So what you’re going to need…
- Circular saw or table saw
- Driver or screwdriver
- Brad nailer or hammer
- Wood glue
- 24 x 24 ½ in plywood sheet
- 24 x 48 ⅜ in “underlayment” or ¼ in plywood
- Wire nails if using hammer; 1 in 18 gauge brads if using brad nailer
- 60, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper
- Wood stain and polyurethane or paint depending on what look you’re going for (we used this for our project)
- 1 and ⅝ in coarse thread screws
- Drywall anchors (optional)
To make the shelf, you’re going to be creating an inner frame and an outer frame. We’re going to start by building the outer frame first.
Go ahead and cut (Phillip really wants me to tell you it’s called “ripping” not cutting, but I’m easily confused so whatevs…) the ½ in plywood into 1½ in pieces.
Take one of your 1½ in pieces and cut it to length at 23½ in. Then cut two other pieces at 7¼ in. Set these cuts aside.
Still working with the ½ in plywood pieces, cut two pieces at 22½ in pieces. Cut three at 6¼ in.
Going back to your first cuts, take your 7¼ in pieces and apply wood glue to one end and then attach them to the inside of either end of the 23½ in piece (NOTE: make sure to align the 7¼ in pieces like their resting into the 23½ in piece not laying against it.) Secure with brads or wire nails.
Now take your inner frame pieces (the 22½ in and 6¼ in pieces), and apply glue to both ends of the 6¼ in pieces. Attach two of the 6¼ in pieces to the insides of the two 22½ in pieces exactly like you did with your outer frame. Then take your leftover 6¼ in cut and rest it in the center of your 22½ in pieces. Secure again with brads or wire nails.
Set your outer frame on your work table and set your inner frame into it. They should fit together without being tight.
Now it’s time to work on the exterior of the shelf. You’re going to want to cut 4 24in strips from the “underlay” plywood at 1½ in wide. And just set these cuts aside for a minute.
Go back to your outer frame of your shelf and measure exact distance front to back (it should be around 8in). Cut your 1½ in strips to size. Take those cuts and attach them to the sides of your outer frame with glue and nails.
Now that your side pieces are attached, measure the front edge from corner to corner. Cut another 1½ in strips to that size and attach to the front of your frame with glue and nails.
Remeasure your outer frame front to back and left to right. Then cut two pieces using those measurements. These will become the top and bottom of your shelf.
Front to back: 8¼ in
Left to right: 24 in
Top and bottom of shelf will measure 8¼ in x 24 in
Run a bead of glue along the top edge of the outer frame and attach the top of your shelf, secure with nails. Flip shelf over and repeat to attach the bottom.
Lightly sand with 60 grit sandpaper, repeat with 120 grit sandpaper until smooth. Using the different grits will result in a smoother finish.
Finish with stain or paint as desired. If staining seal with polyurethane at least two coats, sanding with 220 grit sandpaper between coats.
For attaching, pre-drill holes into the desired location for your new shelves. Make sure to screw the inner frame of your shelf into the studs in your wall or use drywall anchors so that your shelf is nice and secure. Then slide the exterior of your shelf over the framing. Don’t freak out if you have to use a little muscle to get the exterior in place. You want them to fit tightly together.
You are now the proud owner of a gorgeous new floating shelf!
I’m not going to lie, I am so excited to have these bad boys in our bathroom. It may not seem like much, but when you are limited on space, any shelving you can create makes a world of difference.
Where would you put your floating shelves? We love having ours in the bathroom, but they could just as easily go in a living room, playroom or even above a fireplace!
Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!