We were looking for a way to make a wall in our half bathroom more interesting and functional and decided to build a floating shelf. The nice thing about this design is that with minimal changes this shelf can be built to fit nearly any space in your home. We opted to stain the shelf using Minwax Provincial to bring out the wood grain.

Check out the tutorial and let me know what you think!

DIY Floating Shelf

Step 1: Make the shelf frame

The shelf frame is made by joining 2 x 3 boards as shown in the picture. For my shelf, I used:

One 2×3 board, cut to 40″ (back of frame)

Three 2×3 boards, each cut to 7 3/4″ (frame arms)

Use a mitre saw to cut the boards to size to fit your space.

Next, use a Kreg jig to create pocket holes in each frame arm and join them to 40″ 2×3 board using 2 1/2 pocket hole screws.

Step 2: Mount the frame

Use a stud finder to mark the location of wall studs. I found two studs and marked the center of each with an ‘X’. We will screw the frame into the wall through these positions.

Next, drill pilot holes where you plan to screw the frame into the wall studs using a 3/16″ bit. Drilling pilot holes makes it easy to attach the frame to the wall and reduces the risk of splitting the wood.

Use 3 1/2″ SPAX wood screws to attach the frame to the wall – drill the screws through the pilot hole and use a level to ensure the frame is level.

At this point, the shelf frame should be securely mounted to the wall and level as shown.

Step 3: Attach top board

Attach the top board to the shelf frame by using a nail gun and 1 1/4 brad nails.

Step 4: Cut and attach the front board

I didn’t have a 1×4 board handy so I custom cut a 1×10 poplar board down to 3 9/16″ using a table saw.

Next, attach the front board to the frame using 1 1/4 brad nails.

Using wood filler and putty knife, cover up any blemishes leftover from the brad nails. This step is optional and will result in a cleaner finish.

Patching the brad nails… let the wood filler dry, and then be sure to sand to smooth the finish.

Step 5: Cut and attach the bottom board

I used a table saw to cut the bottom board to size: 9 3/4″ x 39 7/8″

Bottom board cut to size… attach the board to the shelf using a nail gun and 1 1/4 brad nails.

Step 6: Stain (or paint)

The shelf is now ready to be either stained or painted.

We chose to stain the shelf using Minwax Provincial and really like how it turned out.


DIY Floating Shelf

All done… we hope you enjoyed the tutorial and be sure to send us your version!

These materials are specific to my design and space requirements. Please adjust the materials you need per your space design.

Item Size Quantity
2x3 board (frame) 6ft 1
1x10 board (top) 4ft 1
1x4 board (front) 4ft 1
1/4 plywood board (bottom) 2ft x 4ft 1
SPAX Wood Screws 3 1/2" 10
Brad Nails 1 1/4 10
Kreg Screws 2 1/2" 25
This cutlist is specific to my design and space requirements. Please adjust the cutlist per your space design.

Item Cut Dimensions Quantity
2x3 board (frame back) 40" 1
2x3 board (frame arms) 7 3/4" 3
1x10 board (top) 39 3/4" 1
1x4 board (front) 39 7/8" 1
1/4 plywood board (bottom) 9 3/4 x 39 7/8" 1

Please share your feedback or post your questions on how to tailor this plan to your specific space below. Happy building.

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