Michael has much more restraint than I do and has convinced me not to build shelves for every room. Below I’ve shared instructions for making one of my favorite DIY projects: DIY floating shelves.

These shelves are a bit more complicated than the DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves I shared earlier on the blog but well worth it. They’ve added a ton of extra storage and made a small, boring bathroom feel more inviting. As inviting as a bathroom can be I guess! We love them so much that we are also planning to add them in our master bath too.

We followed the free plans available from Shanty 2 Chic and were able to print out materials lists and plans to follow which made it super easy. Check out their full post here for plans and video instructions!

Here’s what you’ll need to build their shelves for yourself (below builds 3 shelves)

  • 1 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′ pine or whitewood board
  • 2 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ pine or whitewood board
  • 1/4″ hardwood plywood material
  • 3 – 1″ x 4″ x 6′ select pine or whitewood boards
  • brad nailer
  • Kreg Jig (optional but recommended)
  • 2.5″ pocket hole screws
  • 3.5″ torx or wood screws
  • Wood Glue (Gorilla Wood Glue is our go to)
  • Painters Tape (I swear by Frog Tape)

Making the Boxes


To begin this project we started with board cuts. Each of these shelves has a frame which is built first. Michael did make a few adjustments to the plans here but the overall result is the same.

Next, we used a stud finder to locate the studs for attaching the shelf supports. A stud finder is one of our favorite tools and it makes it so easy to find and mark studs. We use this stud finder.

Then we used a drill to pre-drill 2 holes where each stud lined up. This was a great tip from the original post by Shanty 2 Chic and helped keep the wood from splitting when we attached the shelves.

Once the braces are mounted, the project begins to move quickly.

To start the shelf box, we attached a 1/4″ hardwood plywood piece to the bottom using wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

The final step is trimming it all out and creating the floating shelf boxes. We used whitewood but you can used pine if you prefer. The whitewood option will be cheaper.

You’ll cut the remaining pieces for the top and sides and attach them using  wood glue and 1/4″ brad nails.

Time to Stain

With the DIY floating shelves complete, you can move on to staining the shelves. We stained them in place by using Frog Tape around the edges. Take your time on this one or you’ll be breaking out the touch up paint like we did!

decormademedoit.com - DIY Floating Shelves staining and touchup

We used Midwax Jacobean like on our DIY Industrial Pipe Shelves because we had extra left from staining our floors. Read about those shelves here. Once the above shelves were dry we added a single coat of Midwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

Next we had to touch up the wall paint, but you can skip this step if you are a staining boss. We were not! 🙂

Remove the Frog Tape slowly while the poly is still drying.

Now We Style

Unlike the shelves in our living room, the DIY Floating Shelves look pretty much like they did the first day we put them up.

decormademedoit.com - DIY Floating Shelves

If you are using these in a bathroom I recommend adding essentials like:

  • Extra toilet paper or handtowels towels  stored in a cute basket
  • Magazines or a quirky book
  • Artwork
  • Sweet smells (these are in a bathroom so we included a candle, room spray & eucalyptus to make sure the smell was always pleasant 😉 )

Here is what they look like now:

decormademedoit.com - DIY Floating Shelves

Have you completed this DIY project?  Let me know how they turned out! Just share #decormademedoit with your #shelfie or leave me a comment below.


basket & dried flower arrangement: At Home Stores
room spray: Bath & Body Works
black & white art, candle, dried defuser reeds, & vase: Marshall
framed artwork: personal collection, Debbie Anderson original
book: personal collection

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