Introduction: How to Make a $7 Floating Shelf

For this Instructable, I’ll be making two floating shelves. Affordable, stylish and easy to make! These shelves can improve any space -- either a bathroom, living room, kid's room, etc. The best part about it is that each shelf can be made for only $7.

Materials (per shelf):

1- 2-inches x 6-inches x 8-feet (Spruce Pine) @ your local hardware store

1- pack of keyhole hanger

1- 1/2i-nch x 48 Dowel @ your local hardware store


- 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 two shelves. After all the pieces are cut you should end up with four pieces of lumber measuring at 32 inches, and four 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 experienced 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 as in the hole. Hammer the dowel down until 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 use a 120 grit, followed by a 220 grit.

Step 4: Paint or Stain?

As far as finishing, It's a matter of taste. My opinion is that 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 they save a ton of space. You can use them for many things like displaying collectibles, photos or other decorations.