Make Your Own FLOATING SHELVES With This Simple Technique





Introduction: Make Your Own FLOATING SHELVES With This Simple Technique

Ever wanted to make floating shelves? In this instructables I'm gone to show you one of the easiest methods to make your own. These shelves are easy to make and the best part you only need a few hand tools. So whether you are looking to store your gear, decorating a room or just giving the bathroom a facelift, these shelves could be a quick fix. For around $10 you can gather the materials to build all three shelves.

By cutting down a dowel rod into small pieces you can cut the cost down by eliminating any brackets. With a few adjustments, this method can be tweak to fit most application. We let's dive into this build and ill see you in the next step.

Step 1: Whats You Need?

What do you need?

(1) Southern yellow pine: I used 8inX1.5inX96in

(1) 1/2in Oak Dowel, 36 in long

(6) 3-inch wood screws (two per shelf)

(3) 3/4 to 1-inch wood screws (one in each shelf) Safety

Other materials

Minwax Gel Stain

Pre- Stain Wood Conditioner

Spay on polyurethane

First thing, cut the lumber into 3 equal parts.

Step 2: Dowels

Cut the dowel

I am using a 36in oak dowel. At the 4 inches in length, they are very strong and takes a large amount of force to break. Starting from one end to the other, place a mark every 4 inches. Then, cut the dowels at the mark, you should end up with 9 pieces.

Back to the lumber

Place a mark 2 inches from each end, and then place another in the middle. Draw out a line, then make a center mark.

Drilling the hole

Add tape on the bit to set the depth of the dowel. Drill out the hole.

Step 3: Ripping the Lumber

Although I used my circular saw, a table saw can be used to easily make these rips. I set the guides to make a rip depth of 1.5inch. Keep in mind the rip needs to be along the side with the holes "previously drilled".

During this process after each rip, I marked and numbered the parts so I knew which rip belong to each other.

Step 4: Shaping the Dowel

The trick to making this step successful is to sand down a portion of the dowel. A part of the dowel will pass through the back bracket of the shelf. This part can be left unsanded, it will make for a tight fit. The rest of the dowel will need to be sand down. I find the easy to place the dowel in the chuck on my drill and spin it on the sandpaper. The main reason I didn't make a larger hole is simply, that I don't want the dowel rod to be loose. While your sanding at this point you can also sand down the remainder of the parts.

Step 5: Adding a Security Screw

After confirming that each dowel pins fit easily. Hammer the dowels through both parts. They could come apart with minimum effort. Next, make a mark in the middle of the center dowel. Then place a clamp near the middle. Pre-drill and install a screw in this area. This will lock the shelf in place.

Step 6: Adding Finish

After everything has been sanded down. See below for how I finished the shelve. You can paint or apply any finish you like.

Step 7: Mounting

These shelves can be mounted on any wall. In my situation, I mounted them to drywall.There are other methods of mounting, but finding the stud in the wall would give more strength.

After finding the studs in the first stud wall using a stud finder. I looked for the second one, made a mark on the back bracket and the wall. Next, transfer the same marks to the other brackets and drill out a hole to sink the screw heads.

Simply screw the shelves in place and slide the shelves on to the dowel rods. Then add the security screw to finish up.

Step 8: Glamour Shots

Here a few ideas for the use of the shelves. I have received a ton of questions about the weight limit. I have not put a max weight on the shelve so I can not confirm the maximum weight load. I'm confident these will hold 50 to 60 pounds.

Thanks for checking out this instructables. If you like to see more of my projects just check out my links below to take look. Until next time

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    62 Discussions

    Replace dowling with steel bolts you will increase the weight capacity/displacement 10 fold.

    1 reply

    I'd been thinking you could make the shelves stronger by adding more dowels, but this would be even better!

    French cleats 'might' be stronger - but how much weight would one put on a shelf like this anyway! Yours is THE only method that I've seen by which one can make literally floating shelves - without any signs of supporting hardware etc.

    Very clever!

    Voted for you.

    Thank you for your tips and tricks. I just about to start this at my house. Thank You


    8 months ago

    Such an elegant solution!

    Thankyou! Great instructions!

    These are gorgeous and I love how simple they are! Might need to use this to build some shelves for my plants :)


    Bloody good idea..

    Do you mind if I pass it on?

    Nice way to do this using only wood and a few mounting screws.

    1 reply

    so many good ideas in this instructable! from the support of the wood during cutting to the sanding of the dowels and more! thanks very much, i can’t wait to make some floating shelves!

    1 reply

    Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it.