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How To Make Your Own Floating Shelves!

float shelves

Easy-To-Install Floating Shelves To Cozy Up Any Room Of Your House

It’s always nice to add additional storage to any room of the house and this is a great do-it-yourself way to add some great shelving and give yourself the space you might not have even knew you were missing!

Are you ready to build some shelves?

***These are the measurements and supplies I needed for my 2 shelves.  Your shelves may vary depending on how long or wide you want them. My shelves measure 12″ wide and 30″ long.


  •  3  1″x 2″x 8″ furring strips
  •  3  2’x4′ pieces of paintable ply wood, 1/4 inch thick. (These are also known as “project panels”)
  •  1 5/8″ and 2 1/2″ screws
  •  paint
  •  paintable caulk
  •  wood putty
  •  nails
  • sanding discs for sander


  • paint brush
  • drill
  • nail gun
  • level
  • speed square
  • compound miter saw
  • table saw
  • sander
  • caulk gun
  • stud finder

shelf 1

To start out, you will cut up the project panel on a table saw. If you do not have access to a table saw and/or a compound miter saw, you can have your pieces cut at your local hard ware store.


shelf 2

If you’re making 2 shelves like I did, you’ll need to cut 4- 30″ x 12″ panels for the tops and bottoms, 2- 30 1/4″x 2″ panels for the fronts, and 2- 11 3/4″x 2″ panels for the sides (you will need 4 of these if both of the sides will be exposed…..I only needed 2, since my shelves are sitting in a corner).

shelf 3

Next, cut the furring strips using a compound miter saw. You will need 4- 30″ long strips and 8- 10 1/4″ strips

shelf 4
We originally planned for three shelves, so there are more pieces in this picture, but this is what your furring strips will look like once cut.
After your furring strips are cut, you are going to use them to assemble the shelf frame. I took my furring strips and laid them out like this to make a frame.

shelf 5
Starting with the first 10 1/4″ piece flush against the two 30″ pieces, lay the 10 1/4″ pieces in between your two long pieces every 10 inches on center. “On center” means that you put the center of the furring strip on the 10 inch line.
Furring strips have a tendency to crack, so pre-drill all holes and use a counter sink bit so that the screws will lay flush with the board.

shelf 6shelf 7shelf 8

Before screwing the frame together, check to make sure all of the cross pieces are square using a speed square. Use the 1 5/8″ screws to assemble the shelf frame.
After the shelf frames are screwed together, you will want to make sure your walls have had all prep-work done. For me, this included filling in holes and giving the wall a fresh coat of paint (Silver Drop by Behr).
After the wall is prepped, it is time to decide what height you want to hang your shelves. We hung our lowest shelf at the same height the towel bar had previously been. Using a level, draw a straight line on the wall at your chosen height. Next, use a stud finder to find the studs in the wall. (You will need to make sure to attach the shelf to studs.) Lay your shelf frame on the wall, and mark the frame where the studs are so you can pre-drill your holes (we don’t want those furring strips to crack!). Then attach the shelf frames to the wall using the 2 1/2″ screws.
As you attach the frame, periodically check to make sure the shelf is level. This step may seem tedious, but believe me, you’d be pretty upset if you finished your shelf only to realize that it wasn’t level.
Once your shelf frames are attached you will add the project panel pieces to it.
First add the top…make sure to nail it into the frame!

shelf 9

Next attach the bottom. You will attach the front and side trim pieces last to give it a finished look.
After attaching the trim pieces, its time to fill all those nail holes with wood putty! I also filled the joints with wood putty to make sure that once I painted, they wouldn’t be visible.
Then sand down your shelves and caulk along the edges by the wall. Finally! You are ready to paint.
For paint, I used White on White by Glidden (semi-gloss), Floetrol (to help the paint flatten so I didn’t have brush marks), and a high quality angled brush. If you choose to do white as I did, you will need about three coats of paint.

shelf 10

Now step back, and admire your hard work!


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