$20 DIY Floating Shelves

by OnBlissStreet
13 Materials
3 Hours
After taking down a bay of cabinets in my kitchen and looking at a bare wall for about a month, I had to make a decision on what kind of shelving. These floating shelves are gorgeous, were cheap and super easy to build in an afternoon!
For about $20 each, I used whitewood and pine boards. To make the brackets, you need to cut inner posts and attach them to a cleat to support the weight of your shelf. I attached mine using a Kreg Jig.
Initially I was going to make 3 shelves, but once I started spacing on the wall, I decided to go with 2. Here are what your finished brackets should look like.
The brackets are then attached to studs using a level. You don't want sloped shelves! I used 3" wood screws to attach to the studs.
Using glue and brad nails, attach the top- mine is a 1" x 10", and the bottom- 1/4" plywood.
Finish up with the front and side pieces of trim using glue and a brad nailer. Then fill all holes with stainable wood putty, wiping off the excess with a wet cloth. Make sure you use stainable or you'll have polka dot shelves once they're stained.
Once the wood putty is dry, sand down all putty, edges and corners. I like mine to be nice and rounded for the more worn look.
Tape off the edges with the hope that stain will not splatter on your wall. Of course mine did, it never fails.. Using a foam brush, apply the stain (I used Minwax Provincial) and make sure you wipe off the excess after a couple minutes or you'll get gooey shelves.
These shelves were faster to build than dinner and a movie and cheaper too.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 8 questions
  • Ella Frierson Bond Ella Frierson Bond on Sep 23, 2018

    Why didn't you stain all wood before installation?

  • Kat Kat on Apr 28, 2019

    I’m in the middle of making this and am confused about the front and side pieces. Are those 1x4’s? I cut my front out of 2x3’s but that doesn’t seem right?

  • Dot65083707 Dot65083707 on Jun 15, 2022

    Would love to have dimensions of wood used on these shelves. Ie 2x4, 1x4, etc. for frame

Join the conversation
2 of 205 comments
  • Joanie Joanie on Dec 29, 2019

    Great lookin' shelves. I wouldn't mind havin' a couple for my plants, since I am a plant lover. Thank you!

  • Bev48431135 Bev48431135 on Jan 14, 2022

    This is exactly what I want to do in my kitchen. I just hope I can