How To Make Floating Shelves With 2×4

Shelves can breathe new life into dull rooms, and they’re a great way to display your favorite things. Whether you want shelves in your kitchen or living room, or even in the bathroom, floating shelves are easy to make and install. Here’s how you can make simple floating shelves with 2×4:

Gather all the necessary materials for this project.

  • 3 2x4s at 8 feet long (you can get them at the hardware store)
  • 2 boxes of nails and screws
  • Wood glue, or you can use a construction adhesive if you want to speed things up
  • 12 screws for the brackets

You’ll also need an electric drill/driver, a saw (handsaw or jigsaw), sandpaper, paint brush, masking tape and painter’s tape.

Measure the distance between your wall studs.

  • Measure the distance between your wall studs. Measure from the wall stud to the wall stud, then subtract 1/2 inch (1.27 cm). You want your shelf to be flush with the top of your 2x4s, so you’ll need to add this amount back on when you cut them in half.
  • Cut two 2x4s at that length and lay them flat on their sides against each other with their ends aligned as shown here:
  • Mark out where to drill so that when you attach it all together, one of those marks will line up with each other and create a hole big enough for a screw or nail (for example) at both ends (the same distance apart).

Cut the middle supports to size.

Cut the middle supports to size. The middle supports are the ones that will be on either side of your shelf, so measure accordingly. You can choose a size that will fit the wall, or have them cut to a certain length and add details later. Just make sure they’re both the same length and width

Now you’re ready to start building your floating shelves

Assemble the outer supports.

Once you have attached your four inner supports to the wall, it is time to attach your outer supports. Use a drill to secure each outer support to one middle support at a time. You may need someone else’s help with this part if you have not yet secured the inner supports in place or if you are working alone. Once all four outer supports are attached, use a level to make sure that they are straight and even from side-to-side.

Add the middle support pieces.

Once your outer supports are in place, use a nail gun to attach the middle support pieces. Make sure they are level with one another and straight. Space them evenly from each other and make sure they are the same length as the outer supports.

Attach the assembled floating shelf to wall studs with construction adhesive.

Use a level to make sure that the assembled floating shelf is straight. Use a pencil to mark where you will be attaching the floating shelf, and then use a drill to drill holes for screws. Attach the floating shelf to wall studs with construction adhesive.

Follow these easy steps to make your own floating shelves

  • Step 1: Materials
  • 2x4s (you will need 2 for each shelf)
  • Nails or screws (enough to secure the 2x4s together)
  • Step 2: Tools
  • Hammer
  • Step 3 Tools needed are a saw and drill bit. The size of your drill bit depends on how big you want your holes to be, so pick one that fits snugly in the hole you want to make. For example, if you are going for small holes for hanging hooks or brackets, use a smaller sized bit than would be used for large shelving pieces.


You can also use a power drill or router to create holes in the wood instead of chiseling them out. Just be careful not to cut through your fingers when putting the screws in

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