HOW TO BUILD A FLOATING SHELF

These shelves are handsome, easy to build and inexpensive. And they’re strong even though they have no visible supports. They appear to float on the wall, no clunky hardware or brackets. We made them from only two parts—half of a hollow core door and a 2×4.

Mark the shelf position

Trace the horizontal location for each shelf using a 4-ft. level as your guide. Use a stud finder to mark the locations of the studs and lightly press masking tape over each one. If you don’t have a string line, use a long straightedge and mark the wall with a pencil. Check your marks with the 4-ft. level. 

How to Build Shorter Shelves

Build shorter shelves by cutting the shelf to length. Glue a filler block flush with the end and nail each side with small brad nails.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY floating shelves project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration. 

  • Circular saw
  • Glue
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Straightedge
  • Stud finder
  • Table saw
  • Tape measure
  • Wood chisel

40-tooth carbide saw blade

Required Materials for this DIY floating shelves Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list. 

  • 1-in. brads
  • 1/4-in. x 3-1/2-in. lag screws
  • 18-in. wide hollow core door
  • 2 x 4 x 8 ft.
  • Masking tape

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