How To Make Floating Shelves With Solid Wood

When your room is lacking in shelving, you might be tempted to buy some floating shelves that look like they come out of the wall. Don’t be seduced; these are often flimsy and don’t hold up well. Luckily, you can make your own wooden shelves that look like floating shelves without any special equipment! We’ll show you how to go from wanting a shelf to having a shelf in no time.

Step 1: Choose your location.

Before you begin, it’s important to choose the right location for your floating shelves. In addition to having wall space, there are other things to take into consideration:

  • Make sure that you have enough room in which to walk around and reach the wall where you intend on installing your shelving unit.
  • If there is an air conditioning unit or a window unit directly behind the area where you want your shelves, consider placing them elsewhere or otherwise planning their installation so that they do not block airflow or sunlight from reaching these units. You should also consider whether or not this placement will interfere with other electrical fixtures such as light switches and outlets; if so, repositioning may be necessary.

Step 2: Measure the area and mark where you want the shelves to go.

Now that you have an idea of what you want your shelf to look like, you’ll need to measure the area where you want it to go. Measure the length of each wall and make sure there’s enough space for your shelves. If not, maybe consider moving them somewhere else in your room or even building a whole new custom wall unit.

Measure the width of each wall as well because this will help determine how wide your floating shelves should be. You can make them any size but keep in mind that if they’re too narrow or tall they won’t look right on a large surface area like a wall; so keep this in mind when deciding between different sizes!

Step 3: Measure your shelf boards.

You’re now ready to cut your shelf boards. The first step is to measure the distance between the wall and the edge of your shelf. This measurement should be equal to or less than 1 inch smaller than the width of each board you intend on using, so that when you attach them together they will form a square shape with no gaps or overhang (unless you want an overhang). Once you have this measurement, subtract 1 inch from it and use this number as your width when measuring out each board for cutting.

If you are using a table saw, measure out each board at its full width minus one inch (to account for any small gaps in between boards) before cutting them down with a miter saw or circular saw.

Step 4: Cut the boards.

Now that the boards are dry, you can cut them to length. You can do this using a table saw, miter saw, handsaw or circular saw. If you don’t have access to any of those tools at home (and even if you do), feel free to use a jigsaw instead. Just make sure that when using a power tool like this it’s absolutely necessary. Jigsaws are great because they allow for more precision but it’s also easy for them to go out of control and take off too much material or damage your woodwork in general.

Doing all these steps will result in perfectly sized and shaped pieces that fit together perfectly well without any gaps between them

Step 5: Sanded rough edges and stain the wood if desired.

If you want to stain your wood, now is the time to do it. Stain is a great way to enhance the color of the wood and make your shelves look more professional. Some types of stains can be hazardous, so choose a stain that has been approved by an organization like Greenpeace for its non-toxic qualities.

Some wood species are naturally light in color, such as bamboo or cedar (which is actually a type of pine). These woods may not need any staining at all—you can leave them natural.

To apply stain according to manufacturer’s directions, first wipe down each piece with a damp cloth and allow it to dry for several hours if possible before applying any kind of finish. Lightly sand rough edges on each board with fine grit sandpaper until they’re smooth enough for staining (this step isn’t necessary if your pieces already have their final shape).

Step 6: Attach brackets to the wall and mark screw locations on back of board.

  • Attach the brackets to the wall.
  • Mark screw locations on back of board using a pencil.
  • Attach screws from back into wall brackets using a hand drill and self-tapping screws (or use a screw gun if you have one).

Step 7: Attach screws from back into wall brackets using a hand drill.

  • Attach screws from back into wall brackets using a hand drill.
  • Make sure you use the right size screws and that they’re long enough to go into the wall studs, but not too long.
  • If you don’t have a power drill, make sure your screws are long enough to go into the wall studs by hand with a screwdriver (and also make sure they’re not too short for this).

Step 8: Fill holes with wood putty if necessary and wipe off excess with a wet rag.

You can fill holes and cracks in wood with wood putty, which is a type of filler. Wood putty comes in different colors and is easy to work with. It gels into place within just a few minutes, so you don’t have to wait long before sanding it smooth and painting over it.

You can make wooden shelves in your house that look like floating shelves but are actually held up by brackets on the wall

Floating shelves are a great way to display your favorite decorative pieces. It’s easy to make them yourself—here’s how:

You’ll need:

  • 1×4 pine boards for the sides and top of the bookshelf
  • 1×2 pine boards for the bottom edge of each shelf (you can use 3/4″ plywood instead, but it will be heavier)
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • 4 metal brackets per shelf (each bracket should have two holes on either side of its top edge)


There you have it. 8 easy steps to creating a shelf that looks like it’s floating but is actually held up by brackets on the wall. We hope this tutorial was helpful for anyone who’s ever wanted to build their own shelves.

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