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How To Make Floating Shelves

How To Make Floating Shelves


How To Make Floating Shelves: Creating your own floating shelves is a fantastic way to add both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your living space. These versatile shelves appear to float on the wall, providing an elegant and modern storage solution for any room in your home. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking for a practical home improvement project, learning how to make floating shelves is a rewarding endeavor.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of crafting and installing floating shelves. You’ll discover that it’s a project well within your reach, even if you’re not an experienced woodworker. We will cover essential aspects such as selecting materials, measuring and cutting, mounting options, and finishing touches.

Floating shelves can transform the way you organize and display items, whether it’s showcasing your favorite books, decorative pieces, or creating additional storage for everyday essentials. Moreover, they provide a minimalist and clean look that complements a variety of interior design styles.

So, let’s embark on this creative journey, and by the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to design and construct your own beautiful floating shelves, enhancing both the functionality and beauty of your living spaces.

How To Make Floating Shelves

Is it cheap to make floating shelves?

These shelves cost just $3 – 5 each to make depending on the supplies you already have on hand, i.e. Stain, paint brushes, screws, etc. That’s a bargain, especially for such a great look. Are you considering floating shelves now that you know how easy and cheap {but definitely not cheap looking!}

Making floating shelves can be an affordable DIY project, especially when compared to purchasing pre-made shelves from furniture stores. The cost of making floating shelves depends on several factors:

Materials: The primary cost is associated with the materials you choose. Plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a budget-friendly option for the shelf surface. You may also need brackets, screws, and wall anchors. The cost of these materials varies depending on quality and quantity.

Tools: If you already have basic woodworking tools like a saw, drill, and level, the cost is reduced. However, if you need to purchase or rent these tools, it will add to the overall expense.

Finish: The choice of finish or paint can affect costs. Staining or painting the shelves adds a finishing touch but comes with additional expenses.

Customization: If you require specific dimensions or design features, customizing the shelves may incur additional costs.

Installation: DIY installation can save money, but hiring a professional may be necessary for complex designs or if you lack experience.

Can floating shelves fall?

Sagging Floating Shelves

Your shelf is tipping if the front face of it seems lower than the part that attaches to the wall. This is an issue caused by loose supports or a lack of internal structure to hold the shelf up.

Floating shelves can potentially fall if they are not properly installed or if they are overloaded. Here are some common reasons why floating shelves might fall:

Improper Installation: If the shelves are not securely anchored to the wall studs or if the mounting hardware is not correctly attached, they can become unstable and fall.

Excessive Weight: Floating shelves have weight limits, and exceeding these limits can cause them to fail. Overloading the shelves with heavy items or placing too many items on them can lead to failure.

Inadequate Hardware: Using low-quality or inappropriate mounting hardware can compromise the shelf’s stability. It’s important to use the right type of anchors, screws, and brackets for your wall type and shelf material.

Wall Condition: The condition of the wall itself can impact the shelf’s stability. If the wall is weak or damaged, it may not provide the necessary support for the shelf.

Vibration or Movement: If the area where the shelves are installed experiences vibrations or movement (e.g., near a door that is frequently slammed), it can weaken the shelf’s attachment over time.

Shelf Material: The type of material used for the shelf can also affect its strength. Solid wood or sturdy materials are generally more robust than thin or low-quality options.

Can floating shelves hold a lot of weight?

TLDR: A floating shelf can hold 45-50 pounds for every wall stud that your floating shelf bracket is attached to. For instance, a 3′ shelf that’s attached to two wall studs can safely support ~100 pounds. Likewise, a 2′ shelf bracket attached to two wall studs can easily support the same ~100 pounds.

Floating shelves can hold a significant amount of weight when properly installed and designed to do so. However, the weight capacity of floating shelves can vary depending on several factors:

Wall Material: The type of wall to which the shelves are mounted plays a crucial role. Floating shelves are typically installed into wall studs for maximum stability. Drywall alone may not provide sufficient support for heavy shelves.

Mounting Hardware: The quality and type of mounting hardware used are essential. Heavy-duty brackets, anchors, and screws designed for your specific wall type are critical for supporting more weight.

Shelf Material: The material of the shelf itself matters. Solid wood or sturdy materials are generally better at supporting heavy items than lightweight materials like particleboard or MDF.

Bracket Spacing: Properly spacing the brackets along the shelf’s length is crucial. More brackets or brackets placed closer together can distribute weight more evenly and increase the shelf’s capacity.

Installation: Correct installation, including leveling and securely attaching the brackets to wall studs, is essential. Follow manufacturer guidelines and, if unsure, seek professional assistance.

Weight Distribution: Distributing weight evenly across the shelf is important. Concentrated heavy items can stress the shelf and reduce its capacity.

How much weight can wall shelves hold?

For every stud your bracket is attached to, your floating shelf can hold 50lbs. That means if you’ve got a three-foot shelf attached to two studs, your shelf can safely hold 100 lbs. If you’ve got a two-foot shelf attached to two studs, the same goes — it can hold 100 lbs.

The weight capacity of wall shelves can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of shelf, the materials used, the wall’s construction, and the quality of installation. Here are some general guidelines for different types of wall shelves:

Floating Shelves: Floating shelves can typically hold between 20 to 50 pounds (9 to 23 kilograms) per linear foot when properly installed. The actual weight capacity may vary depending on the wall type, mounting hardware, and the material of the shelf itself.

Bracketed Shelves: Wall shelves with brackets are known for their sturdiness. They can often support heavier loads, ranging from 50 to 100 pounds (23 to 45 kilograms) or more, depending on the type of brackets used, the wall’s strength, and the shelf material.

Built-In Shelves: Built-in or custom wall shelves can be designed to hold substantial weight, especially when incorporated into the overall structure of the room. Weight capacity can vary significantly and is influenced by factors such as the wall’s construction and the materials used.

Floating Cabinets: Wall-mounted cabinets or shelving units can support even more weight, often ranging from 100 to 200 pounds (45 to 91 kilograms) or more. These units are typically designed for heavier storage purposes.

How To Make Floating Shelves

What materials do I need to build sturdy and stylish floating shelves?

Building sturdy and stylish floating shelves requires selecting the right materials to ensure both structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. Here’s a list of materials you’ll need:

Wooden Boards: Choose high-quality, solid wood boards for the shelves’ main structure. Common choices include pine, oak, or maple. Ensure the boards are straight, smooth, and free from knots or imperfections.

Support Brackets or Hardware: To create the “floating” effect, you’ll need specialized support brackets or hardware designed for floating shelves. Options include concealed shelf brackets, hidden cleats, or metal brackets that attach securely to the wall.

Screws and Anchors: Depending on your wall type (drywall, plaster, or masonry), you’ll need appropriate screws and anchors to secure the support brackets to the wall. Use anchors for added stability.

Wood Screws: These are necessary for attaching the wooden shelf boards to the support brackets or hardware. Ensure they are the right length to securely fasten the boards.

Level: A spirit level is crucial for ensuring that your shelves are perfectly horizontal during installation, which is essential for both appearance and functionality.

Measuring Tape and Pencil: Accurate measurements and marking are vital, so a measuring tape and pencil are essential for marking where the shelves will be installed.

Circular Saw or Jigsaw: You’ll need a saw for cutting the wooden boards to your desired shelf size and shape. A circular saw or jigsaw is ideal for making straight and clean cuts.

Sandpaper and Finish: Sandpaper helps smooth rough edges and surfaces, while a finish or stain can enhance the wood’s appearance and protect it from wear and tear.

Safety Gear: Don’t forget safety equipment such as safety glasses and hearing protection when working with power tools.

What are the different mounting options for installing floating shelves securely?

When it comes to mounting floating shelves securely, several options are available to choose from, depending on your preferences, the weight of the items you plan to place on the shelves, and your wall type. Here are some common mounting options:

Concealed Shelf Brackets: These are metal brackets that are hidden within the shelf itself, creating a clean and minimalist look. They offer excellent support and are ideal for smaller to medium-sized shelves.

Floating Shelf Hardware: Floating shelf hardware consists of a metal bracket that attaches to the wall and a corresponding bracket that attaches to the shelf. This design allows for easy adjustment and leveling during installation.

Hidden Cleats: Hidden cleats are wooden or metal strips attached to both the wall and the shelf, creating a strong and secure connection. They are suitable for heavier shelves and provide stability over long spans.

Floating Shelf Pins: These are metal pins that insert into holes drilled into the back of the shelf. The pins rest on a support rail attached to the wall, creating the appearance of a floating shelf. This option is straightforward to install.

French Cleat System: A French cleat system involves two interlocking pieces—one attached to the wall and the other to the shelf. They slide together to form a secure and adjustable connection, making it easy to level the shelf.

Masonry Anchors: If you have a brick or concrete wall, masonry anchors and appropriate hardware are essential. They provide a secure mounting solution for floating shelves on these surfaces.

Heavy-Duty Wall Anchors: For particularly heavy shelves, consider using heavy-duty wall anchors designed to support substantial weight. These anchors work well with drywall and can provide reliable support.

How can I add a decorative finish to my floating shelves to match my room’s style?

Adding a decorative finish to your floating shelves is a fantastic way to ensure they complement your room’s style and aesthetics. Here are some creative ideas to achieve this:

Paint: Painting your shelves is a versatile option. Opt for a color that harmonizes with your room’s palette. For a classic look, choose neutral tones like white, gray, or black. If you prefer a pop of color, select a shade that complements your decor.

Stain: Staining your shelves enhances the natural beauty of the wood while adding warmth and character. Choose a stain color that matches or complements your room’s existing wood furnishings or flooring.

Wallpaper or Contact Paper: Apply decorative wallpaper or adhesive contact paper to the back panel or underside of your shelves. This is an excellent way to introduce patterns, textures, or even metallic accents that align with your room’s style.

Tile or Mirror Backing: For a touch of elegance, attach small tiles or mirror tiles to the back panel of your shelves. Mirrored backs can create a sense of spaciousness and reflect light, making the room appear larger.

Decals or Stencils: Personalize your shelves with decals or stencils. This allows for intricate designs or patterns that match your room’s decor theme. You can choose from a wide range of options, from botanical motifs to geometric shapes.

Natural Elements: Integrate natural elements like reclaimed wood, driftwood, or textured fabrics to enhance the shelves’ rustic or bohemian appeal. These materials can add warmth and a touch of the outdoors to your space.

Metallic Finishes: Consider metallic paints or finishes for a touch of luxury. Gold, silver, or copper accents can bring a sense of opulence to your floating shelves, especially in more formal or contemporary settings.

Can you offer creative design ideas for customizing floating shelves to suit different rooms?

Customizing floating shelves can enhance the functionality and style of various rooms in your home. Here are some creative design ideas to suit different spaces:

Living Room:

Create a minimalist display with open-backed shelves and sleek finishes to showcase books, art, or decorative items.

Incorporate LED strip lighting under the shelves for an ambient and modern look.


Install floating shelves with a rustic, reclaimed wood finish to display cookware, dishes, or mason jar storage.

Add hooks or pegs underneath for hanging utensils or cups.


Opt for floating shelves with a waterproof finish, such as glass or acrylic, to store toiletries and towels.

Use clear or frosted glass shelves for an airy and elegant feel.


Install floating nightstand shelves on either side of the bed to save space and provide convenient storage.

Paint the shelves in calming or contrasting colors to match your bedroom decor.

Home Office:

Create a workspace with floating shelves for organizing books, files, and office supplies.

Use floating corner shelves to maximize space in small home offices.

Kids’ Room:

Install colorful floating shelves in playful shapes to store toys or display children’s books.

Incorporate chalkboard paint on the shelf backs for artistic creativity.

Dining Room:

Use floating shelves to showcase your collection of fine dining and glassware.

Install shelves with built-in wine glass holders for a touch of sophistication.

Entryway or Mudroom:

Design floating shelves with built-in cubbies or hooks for storing shoes, keys, and bags.

Add a cushioned bench beneath the shelves for comfortable seating.

How To Make Floating Shelves


Learning how to make floating shelves is a rewarding and practical DIY project that can elevate the functionality and aesthetics of your living space. Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the essential steps, materials, and mounting options to help you create custom floating shelves that suit your needs and style preferences.

By carefully selecting high-quality materials and employing the appropriate mounting method, you can ensure that your floating shelves are not only sturdy and secure but also seamlessly integrate into your room’s decor. The versatility of floating shelves allows you to tailor them to fit various rooms and purposes, from displaying cherished items in the living room to organizing essentials in the kitchen or bathroom.

Whether you choose to paint, stain, or add decorative elements to your shelves, customization offers endless design possibilities. The end result will not only provide valuable storage but also become a focal point that enhances the overall ambiance of your home.

As you embark on your floating shelf project, remember to measure accurately, use safety precautions when handling tools, and take your time to achieve a flawless finish. With the knowledge and skills gained here, you have the confidence to tackle this DIY endeavor and enjoy the functional and aesthetic benefits of your customized floating shelves for years to come.


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Once you have a good idea of the type of bubble slides you’re looking for, it’s time to start shopping. They are comfortable, stylish, and versatile, making them a great addition to any wardrobe. One of the best places to shop for bubble slidess is online, where you can find a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes. 

You can also find bubble slides on websites like Etsy, which offer unique and handmade options. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a pair that fits your style and budget.

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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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