Introduction: Floating LED Shelf

My desk has always been rather dark and the one lamp I had barely gave me enough light. I also always am in need of more space to store stuff. So came up with a way to provide more light to my desk and give me some extra storage space. I made a floating shelf with a built in LED light so that it would take up no surface space on my desk and add some space to store stuff. It took me about week from start to finish to make it, but it could easily be built in a weekend. The shelf is only 2 feet but it lights up my whole desk and it looks amazing.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

The first thing you need to do is gather the tools and materials needed for the project.

I included links to all the stuff I purchased from amazon, but everything else can be purchased at Home Depot or Wood Craft.


Warm white LED strips,

12v power adapter, (make sure you use one that is at least 2 amps)

Acrylic glass.

2 inch construction screws.

1 inch washers.

1/8 inch plywood.

1 inch by 3/4 inch pine wood.

Wood glue.

5 minute epoxy.


Table saw or band saw.

Clamps. (you will need at least four of them)

Drill press. (optional)


Sandpaper. (your going to need 120 and 220 grit)

Soldering iron.

Brad point drill bits. (6mm and 4mm)

A 6mm forstner drill bit.

Tape measure.

Glue brush.

Woodworking triangle.

A dowel centering tool.

Wooden pegs.

Step 2: Build the Bottom Half the Shelf

My shelf is 2 feet by 7 inches but you can change the length to anything you want.

Start by cutting 1 inch strips of the plywood, you will need two that are 2 feet long and two more that are 5 inches long. Cut a 7inch by 2 feet piece of the acrylic and peel the cover off. Sand both sides, (I forgot to sand mine until a later step but you can avoid a lot of problems by doing it now) the sanded glass will diffuse the light and make it so you can't see all the stuff inside the shelf. Before you glue your wood down line it up on top of the glass to make sure it fits together the right way. After your satisfied, mix some 5 minute epoxy and apply it to the wood, and clamp onto the glass using the edge of the table as shown in the picture above, after its dry you can do the same thing with all the other edges so that it looks similar to the last picture.

Step 3: Build the Walls of the Shelf

Cut a 1 by 3/4 inch board down to 2 feet and then cut two more down to 6 inches. Mix some epoxy and apply it to the 2 foot board. Clamp it down on glass making sure you keep it flush with the other two layers. Use a square to two line up the other two boards and glue them down.

Step 4: Build the Top Half of the Shelf

Cut a piece of plywood so that it is 2 feet by 7 inches. On the bottom side of the wood Use a strait edge to make a line on each long side that's about 1 inch in from the edge. Then draw a line 2 inches from the top and another 2 inches from the bottom so that it looks like the picture above. Draw two lines spaced 1/4 inch apart every half inch so that you have something similar two the second picture. These lines will make sure you keep your LED strips properly spaced. After you have all your lines drawn, you can start laying the LED strips, peel the cover off the adhesive and start about 1/4 an inch from your top line on the left side. Once you reach the other line, cut the strip and start the process over. When you have laid down all six strips solder each strip together making sure you solder the + to the + and the - to the -.

Step 5: Build the Shelf Bracket

Start by cutting a 1 by 3/4 inch bard down to 22 inches. Then cut 3 more down to 5 inches and lay them out in the shape of an E(the center is at 11 inches). Mark each of them with a letter (as shown in the first picture) so that you can tell which side of the board is the top. Then drill holes in each of the shorter boards using the 6mm drill bit (go about a half inch deep). Then put your dowel centering tool into the hole and use your square to make a dent in the board, repeat the process for all three boards. Drill holes right on the dent using the 6mm drill bit. After you have drilled all the holes, brush some wood glue all over the wood pegs and the surfaces that touch and push the boards together. after you have done all three make sure you clamp them down.

Step 6: Step 6: Drill Holes for the Power Cord

Now that you have bracket finished, its time to drill holes for the power cord. Measure 2 inches from the left side of the bottom half of the shelf and drill a hole using the 4mm drill bit. on the back side of your shelf bracket draw a line about 1inch in from the left side and then drill holes about a quarter of the way through using the forstner bit, so that you have a cavity like in the picture above. The last thing you will need to do to slightly bevel the center beam with some sandpaper, so that it can ride over the LEDs when you slide the shelf on.

Step 7: Step 7: Mount the Shelf Bracket to the Wall

Use a stud finder to mark were 2 good studs are on your wall. Then hold your bracket up to your Wall and mark were you wont your to holes so that your shelf is centered. make the two holes with the 4mm drill bit before putting the screws in (otherwise you will split your wood). Then take one screw and one washer and screw it into the stud loose enough that you can still move the board around. make sure its level and then put the other screw in. Then tighten both screws up.

Step 8: Glue the The Two Halves Together

Start by running a bead of wood glue on the three boards and spread it out using a glue brush. After you have thoroughly covered the boards, place the top piece on, Line it up, and clamp it down. Wait about 24 hours and then you can remove the clamps and sand it.

Step 9: Slide It on and Test It Out

All you have to do now is slide the shelf over the bracket and plug it in. It should be a snug fit, so you may have to wiggle it around a little bit.

I hope you liked my instructible, I plan on making more in the future.

Thanks for reading.

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