2x12 Floating Shelves

3 Materials
3 Days

Floating shelves provide a great, modern look, but they aren't always cheap, and it can be tough to find the exact wood tone you want. While updating our bathroom, we knew we wanted a nice, warm pop of wood color for the newly white walls. This project shows how to quickly, and cheaply, make your own.

2x12 floating shelves

Start with a simple framing lumber 2x12.

2x12 floating shelves

Cut to length. For us, 24 inches long was the perfect length to fill the space above our toilet. Next, use a table saw or circular saw to rip about 1/4 inch off the edges. This gets rid of the rounded edges so you have a nice square edge. Then, cut the board lengthwise down the middle. This gives you about 5 inch deep shelves.

2x12 floating shelves

To mount the shelves, you'll need floating shelf brackets. There are a lot of varieties. We repurposed some old ones we weren't using anymore, but you can get 4 brackets for about 20 dollars. Mark the center of the rear edge of your shelf and drill a hole large enough to insert the rod on the bracket.

2x12 floating shelves

Sand and then stain the shelves to your desired shade. Then add a protective coat of polyurethane.

2x12 floating shelves

To mount the shelves, insert the brackets into the shelf, and then add some double sided tape to the part that will touch the wall. Find the right spot for your shelf and hold it to the wall where you want it to go. Pull the shelf away and the double sided tape should help the brackets stick to the wall at the right spot. This was a 2-person job for us. One person held the brackets to the wall so they didn't fall down as the other pulled the shelf off. Finally, mark the bracket mounting holes on the wall and mount the brackets using hollow wall anchors if necessary. Once the brackets are secured, slide your shelves back on and you're all set!

2x12 floating shelves

Here is the finished product. Follow me on Instagram at @woodyworking for more simple woodworking DIY projects.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Carol Cole
    on Aug 23, 2019

    I have never seen these kind of floating shelves. I don't understand how they can hold up on the heavy wood?

    Great job though, I love it.

  • Shelli Blair
    on Aug 29, 2019

    I have that teeny sink in a rental, where can I get a cabinet surround like the one showing here ? Thanks :)

    • Denise
      2 days ago

      I think that is sold as a one piece unit in Home Depot.

  • Mary
    5 days ago

    It's a fantastically simple shelf BUT I'm stuck on the brackets - what do they look like, what do I ask for, does the bracket come in different sizes to match the size of shelves I want to use.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Mary! This photo is what the brackets that I used look like. I didn't use this exact brand, but there are a lot of options out there if you search for floating shelf brackets online. They do come in different sizes if you want to use a deeper shelf, though they get a bit bigger and more heavy duty if you want to go a lot larger.

Join the conversation

3 of 11 comments
  • Pat C
    on Aug 23, 2019

    The shelves look fantastic! I would love to do exactly the same thing when we have our bathroom done over, and I never even knew about brackets like this exist. They give it such a clean look. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dee
    3 hours ago

    great job! looks professional! tfs

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