How to Make a $7 Floating Shelf





Introduction: How to Make a $7 Floating Shelf

For this Instructables I’ll be making 2 floating shelves. Affordable, stylish and easy to make. These shelves can improve any space. Either a bathroom, living room, kids room etc. The best part about it is that each shelf can be made for only $7.

Materials (per shelf)

1- 2in x 6in x 8ft (Spruce Pine) @ your local hardware store

1- pack of keyhole hanger

1- 1/2inX 48 Dowel @ your local hardware storeOther

- Oil-Rubbed Bronze Paint

Wood Glue

Wood Glues bottle

Self-drilling drywall anchor

Tools Used

- Wood Clamps

- Drill

- Dowel bit

- Dead-blow mallet

- Circular saw

- Miter Saw

- Hand saw

- Sander

Step 1: Cutting the Pieces

I'll be using one 8 foot piece of lumber for each shelf. Cut the large pieces first using a handsaw or a power tool if you prefer.

Step 2: Putting the Pieces Together

For this project I'll be making 2 shelves. After all the pieces are cut you should end up with 4 pieces of lumber measuring at 32 inches and 4 pieces of lumber measuring at 6 inches.

I wanted to make this project doable for any beginner. So I used butt joints and dowels. For more experience viewers I would suggest Miter Joints. This will give it a cleaner appearance.

Step 3: Glue the Pieces and Sand

Apply wood glue to the corners, clamp the joints in place to prevent any shifting. You could use screws if you like, but to give a cleaner look I used two 1/2 inch dowels per corner. Mark the dowel so that it goes through both pieces of wood. Apply wood glue to the dowel as well in the hole. Hammer the dowel down till it reaches a stopping point. Now take a saw and cut off the excess. Leave the clamps in place and allow enough time for the glue to dry. Next sand the shelf using 80 grit to remove the rough texture, then 120 grit, followed by 220 grit.

Step 4: Paint or Stain?

As far as finishing It's a matter of taste. My opinion you can't go wrong with either stain or paint. I found this paint a few months back, and I had to have it. I was a bit hesitant on what the finished product should look like. I chanced it with this Oil-Rubbed Bronze paint which gave it a nice rich look to it. It wasn't too appealing after the first coat. The second coat looked amazing; I stopped there but, I have to imagine a third coat would top it off.

Step 5: Mounting the Shelf

here is a mounting tip I learned a while back. Take a piece of scrap wood and drill out your mounting holes. Then use that same scrap wood and mark the shelf and the wall. If carefully done it will line up every time.

Next, install the Keyhole hangers, be sure to drill out behind the keyhole hanger. So the screw doesn't interfere.

To mount the shelf I'll be using self -d rilling drywall anchor, each one is rated for up to 50 pounds.

Step 6: The Final Touch

Floating shelves are a great project for your home, not only do they look nice but saves you a ton of space. You can use them for many things like displaying collectibles, photos or other decorations.

2 People Made This Project!


  • Oil Contest

    Oil Contest
  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest
  • Backpack Challenge

    Backpack Challenge

60 Discussions


6 weeks ago

You make it look so easy! I am going to try this.I like the paint.Thanks for sharing!!!

What is that workbench that you are using please?

2 replies

Keter folding work table.

$80 on amazon

That's what i have, The one above could be different brand

Thanks! I found it on Amazon.


6 months ago

great DIY, gonna make some for my house. thanks for it

This is a really cool DIY project for home... Must try it some day.....

That is awesome! I can place one of them over the towel bar and it would match perfectly.

Thank you!

2 replies

You can also make a towel bar that attaches underneath the shelves either copper or plumbing pipes for an industrial look :)


1 year ago

If the shelf was made about 3/4 inch longer, so the distance between the keyhole hangers was 32 inches, then the shelf could be hung from screws in two wall studs (wall studs are typically 16 inches apart). This would be a sturdier hang - and would solve the concern about the cat!

3 replies

This is true, but not in my house! lol

Man! How heavy is your cat?! He says each screw anchor holds 50 lbs.

LOL better to be safe than sorry. Even If I use Command Hooks for something, no matter how light the object I am hanging I usually get the hooks that hold more. On an aside I have a 17 lb cat that when he lays on me he feels like he is 27 Lbs. Cats when they jump on something look like they land lightly but, if I am right the pressure of the landing makes the cat heavier. Ever press down on a floor scale and see the gauge go upward if you keep pressing down?

Beautiful shelves and great tutorial thank you for sharing :)

Wonderful !

Great video, I like it that you have kept it simple. Your $7.00 investment looks like $1,000,000 !


1 year ago

Nicely done. I can't wait to give it a try. Thank you for making this tutorial.

"Then use that same scrap wood and make the shelf and the wall."

You mean "mark" don't you? Not "make"?

1 reply