Saturday, July 3, 2010

DIY Floating Shelves

One of my favorite stores is West Elm...notice I didn't say my favorite store to shop at, but one of my favorite stores. The reason for this is they have awesome products but I usually can't see myself paying the expensive price for them. So I look for ideas and search for ways to bring their designs into my own home. Well I had my eye on these shelves for a really long time...

For Mother's Day my hubby tried to surprise me and order two of these off of ebay. Well long story short, the seller did a terrible job and I only received 1 shelf a month later and then had to return it to even get a refund for the 1 I didn't receive. After looking at it, hubby decided that he could build them himself. And tada! Here they are (even better then what I originally wanted)!

So here is what you'll need

* 1 x 4 x "8" board (you will need to change the length to your own need)
* Table Saw
* Drill (Hubby said a Drill Press is best if you have one)
* Wooden Dowels
* Screws
* Paint

First we cut the board into the lengths that I wanted for shelves. The lengths I chose were a 3', a 22", and a 20". We then cut each shelf so that we had a 1" and 3" segment.

Then we pre-drilled four holes in the 1" section. Two for the screws to be attached to the walls and two for the wooden dowels. (Hubby says if you are not using a Drill Press it's easiest to clamp your 1" and 3" pieces together and drill your holes attached so that they match up for your dowels)

Glue your wooden dowels into your 1" section and then attach to your wall.

Slide your 3" section onto your 1" section.

Now you have yourself your very own floating shelf!

To give you an idea of cost, sells a 2ft shelf like this for $49.00 each. On Ebay we were able to find them for around $30.00 each. We were able to build these three shelves for a total of $10! Pretty Awesome!

I love the finished product, now I can't wait to find cute little things to fill the space! (Note that I just placed a few things up to give a more finished look, these are not actually what I plan to use, but I will post pictures when I'm finished :)

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  1. Most excellent! I KNEW there was a way to do this and now you've shown me how. Thanks for figuring it out and telling about it. Looks great!

  2. Loved this! Would this project work the same if I wanted to make wider shelves (10-inch width)? What changes would I need to make (I'm also thinking of making 43 1/2 inches long.)

  3. Fabulous! Thanks for the instructions.

  4. Wow! Thats fabulous!
    I bet you were beaming when you totaled up what it cost to make.
    They look great!
    Thanks for sharing the how-to.

  5. Sharon - I love these shelves and have found plans for similar, wider shelves here (If this is totally inappropriate to post here, I apologize !) I just came here from Under the Table & Dreaming and love the look of your blog already !! I've spent FAR too much on these shelves. :o/~ ugh

  6. Hello, How do I get in touch with you? There is no email or contact info listed .. please advise .. thanks .. Mary. Please contact me maryregency at gmail dot com

  7. Did you paint your wood before you installed it, or did you paint it after it was on the wall?

    1. HI Danielle! After we made sure that the first one was going to work, we took it down and then painted them. Once they were installed, I painted up any scuffs. Hope this helps!

  8. great idea! just gave it a try but instead of cutting the boards then drilling I drilled out the holes for the dowels then cut then countersunk holes for the mounting srews

  9. drill the deep holes for the dowels then rip the one inch piece then the holes are perfectly aligned - you cant see the back anyway

  10. Two for the screws to be attached to the walls and two for the wooden dowels. (Hubby ...

  11. DIY Floating Shelves. One of my favorite stores is West Elm...

  12. DIY Floating Shelves. One of my favorite stores is West Elm...

  13. Hi! I’m an editor for and am writing to request permission to use a photo from your DIY floating shelves post (
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