I have been building floating shelves for ten years. I've built floating shelves all different ways - this is my very BEST floating shelf tutorial.
It's easy to build, even for beginners, and uses only a drill and a brad nailer (no pocket holes). You can build and finish it on your workbench - and installing the floating shelves is easy too! Step by step plans with diagrams and materials lists.
- 1x4, 1x6, 1x8 or 1x10 shelf top board in desired length of shelf, minus 1-1/2"
- 1x4 long enough to go all the way around your 1x shelf top board
- 2x3 or 2x4 - inside support pieces
- 1/4" plywood, same size as your shelf top board
- #8 2-1/2" to 3" long self tapping wood screws (like these from Home Depot)
- 3/4" and 1-1/4" brad nails
Cut 2x boards to match the width of your shelf top board.
For 2x3s, set inside the shelf, making sure there is 1/4" gap on top for the 1/4" plywood.
Attach from back with glue and 2-1/2" screws and from front with glue and 1-1/4" brad nails.
If using 2x4s OR 2x3s are too big to leave the 1/4" gap, turn the 2x board flat side up, and attach set down 1/4" from the top (as done in the video) with screws on the back side and 1-1/4" brad nails on the front side.
Place a support about every 12" and one on or near each end.
Avoid placing supports where studs in walls are located in the final hanging location.
Cut 1/4" plywood with a circular saw or tablesaw. Make sure it easily fits inside the floating shelf. Paint or stain the floating shelf and the 1/4" plywood panel and let dry.
Locate studs in wall and hang the floating shelf through the back 1x4 board into studs in the walls using 2-1/2" or longer self tapping screws.
If you are attaching the 1/4" plywood to the bottom, hang the highest shelf first, complete the next step, than hang the next lower shelf.
If you are attaching the 1/4" plywood to the top, hange the lowest shelf first, complete the next step, than hang the next higher shelf.