How To Build Floating Shelves For Books

Floating bookshelves are a great way to display your book collection and make the most of the vertical space in any room. They’re easy to build, but figuring out where and how to mount them can be tricky. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps from start to finish, including some tips on getting it done without a power drill or other tools.

Step One: Find the studs


If you have a drywall wall, there’s no need to worry about finding studs. Just attach your floating shelves right over the drywall and call it a day. But if you have an unfinished or plaster wall, now is the time to locate all of the studs so that when you nail in your new floating shelves later on, they’ll be firmly supported by something sturdy. You can find them using one of these methods:

  • Use a stud finder (recommended!)
  • Use a tape measure (not recommended)
  • Nail into the wall with just enough space for a pencil between each nail (not recommended)
  • Hammer into the wall until it sounds solid (not recommended) You want to make sure that whatever method you choose will provide accurate results without damaging any existing walls or structures within them.

Step Two: Measure

Now that you know what you want to build, it’s time to measure the space where your shelves will go. The first thing to measure is the width of your wall. To do this, simply use a measuring tape and mark off across from one corner of your bookshelf area. Then make another mark at the other end of the wall (this should be where your window or door is) and connect these two points with a straight line. If necessary, use a level to ensure that this line is perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Next, measure from floor-to-ceiling height in inches so that these measurements will remain consistent throughout construction as well as final placement on walls (you may need this information when deciding which type of supports to buy). If there are studs located near where you plan on putting up floating bookcases then take note of their locations using masking tape or chalk lines; otherwise skip ahead right now until next week!

Finally – measure distance between shelves so they match up correctly later on down below when attaching them together via their respective sides/ends (if applicable).

Step Three: Make a template

To make sure the shelf is straight, use a level to ensure that the studs are aligned with each other. If you don’t have a level, use something as simple as an old CD case or even a book will do. Draw a line down the center of your studs with a pencil so it’s easy to see where they are when you’re attaching the plywood later on. Then, measure and mark off how wide your shelf should be from left-to-right across each stud using a tape measure or yardstick once again (don’t forget about any trim around doors and windows!). To get an accurate measurement for height, put your bookcase on top of two sawhorses or chairs so that it’s at eye level and then use another measuring tool such as an old ruler or yardstick to determine how tall each section should be before cutting any pieces with some help from a jigsaw

Step Four: Cut the shelves

Once you have the shelves cut to length, you need to trim them with a router. This will make them perfectly straight and look great when assembled with the floating shelf brackets.

If you don’t have a table saw or circular saw, don’t worry! You can still get those clean edges that show no trace of the wood grain by using a miter saw or jigsaw. Just make sure that your cuts are straight and even—you don’t want crooked shelves.

Step Five: Prep the walls

Now that you have all of the materials, it’s time to start building. Safety first: remove all furniture from the room. Remove all pictures from the walls. Remove all light fixtures from the ceiling. Remove all electrical outlets from the walls, baseboards and door frames. Remove any window frames in your way as well so that you can get a good view of your work area without getting distracted by anything else around you.

Step Six: Attach the shelves

Once you’ve attached the brackets, it’s time to attach the shelves. Again, use a level to make sure that each shelf is level and straight. If you are attaching these bookshelves to studs (and we hope you are), use a stud finder to make sure that the screws will go into studs instead of just drywall (the common alternative). If everything looks good with the level and the stud finder has confirmed that there are indeed studs behind where you want to screw in your shelves, then drill some holes for those screws.

Building shelves can be fun, and they look much better than pre-fabricated ones.

Building shelves can be fun, and they look much better than pre-fabricated ones. If you are building shelves for books, you will need to make sure they are strong enough to support the weight of the books. You can make your own custom brackets for these shelves. Make sure your brackets can support this weight.


Building the shelves and mounting them is a relatively simple process, but the end result will add a whole new level of sophistication to your home or workspace. We hope you found this article helpful, and look forward to hearing about your own projects.

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