Floating Book Shelf




Introduction: Floating Book Shelf

I have always been fascinated by the concept of floating shelves. My girlfriend loves books and she told me that she would love to have a floating shelf visually consisting only of a book. Most of the "floating book" shelves out there in the internet simply work by attaching the book using 2 brackets. To hide the brackets more books get stacked on top. Even tho we liked this concept I decided to take it a step further and hide the mechanism that holds the book in place while also only using a single book.
This is my version of the floating book which is surely not perfect but fairly easy and it works and looks great!

Step 1: Getting Your Things Together

Basically there's not much needed for this build. You'll obviously need some kind of book. Size doesn't really matter here, however, I discovered that the bigger the book is the more stable the entire structure is in the end.
In addition to the book you will need some sort of solid wood that is roughly the same size of your book (more about that later).
Tool wise there's also not much needed. You will need some sort of wood saw, wood glue, a sharp knife for cutting pape, a paint brush and a ruler.

Step 2: Cutting the Pages

The first step is to get rid of all the paper you do not need. So grab your knife your ruler and your book and start cutting. You gonna wanna cut out the middle section of each page so that in the end only at the very top and the bottom paper is left (check out the pictures since this is kind of hard to explain). You should make sure that there is at least 2 cm of paper left on each side.
Also, you might wanna keep the pages since there's lots of cool stuff to use them for (check out what my girlfriend came up with at the end of this instructables).

Step 3: Building the Support Structure

This step was probably the most difficult one for me to figure out. I wanted it to be strong enough so that you could actually use the book as a shelf. Initially my plan was to use some sort of steel structure but since the goal of this instructables is to be as simple as possible so that everybody can do it I decided to use wood instead.
I went ahead and measured the height of the empty space inside my book and found a piece of wood that fit exactly (you could, however, just as well use multiple pieces and glue them together).
I cut the piece of wood to size, so that it fit perfectly inside my book and sat flush with the outer edge. Now I cut away one strip on each side, not going all the way to the end though! (Again, check out the pictures) This was necessary so that I could drive screws through the wood and into the wall.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Now that everything is set it is time to put all the pieces together. Take your paintbrush and carefully start applying glue to the inside of the book. Then take the two wooden strips you just cut of the main structure and slide them into place. One on the very left side of the cavity and one on the very right. Make sure your support structure still fits inside of the new created smaller cavity and apply pressure to the book to let the glue set.

Step 5: Finishing

Now all there's left to do is mount the support structure to a wall of our desire and slide on the book.

Step 6: Final Thoughts

I am very happy with how it all turned out because the book seems to magically stick to the wall. Also, it is surprisingly strong. It sure can not at all withstand the same amount of force a shelf with metal support could, but it works like a charm with not too heavy objects.
I know that there are several different and more reliable options on how to construct a floating shelf but the goal of this project was to be as simple as possible so that everybody could build it. And it is!
If you like this I would appreciate a vote in the shelving contest!

Thank you for reading!

Also, as promised here's what my girlfriend used the pages erg removed from the books for.

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    21 Discussions


    1 year ago

    but you broke the book ;(

    Finally! A use for those old Psychology books I've been keeping in boxes in the basement for the past 20 years.

    Good instructable !! Thank you for sharing !!

    How could you make a shelf longer than one book? You could string multiple books together, I suppose, but is there an easier way? Also, I presume you glued the pages of the book together, right? That part wasn't very clear... Absolutely brilliant idea! I think I'm going to put these shelves next to my bed and make a headboard out of the pages.

    2 replies

    Unfortunately, I can't build this until I can remodel my room in two years. :( But I'll post a picture if I remember. My only concern is if the book on the end fell off, the rest could come off too. Did you glue or screw the book into the support?

    Hm, I haven't thought about it yet. I like the Idea though! The same concept should still work. Just using a longer piece of wood and putting books next to each other. I'll try that one asap!
    Yes I did indeed glue the pages together, sorry for not being completely clear ;)

    deffinitely post pictures of it down here once you're done. Would love to see it :)

    I really like that you used supplies and a method anybody can try out. Unfortunately, a lot of the instructables titled " quick" and " easy" are way advanced for the likes of me. So I appreciate your entry a lot! Also, the book paged wallpaper is very nice. Did she simply glue it to the wall? Is there any top coat or extra expert touch added to it? I've seen other versions, but yours is nicely uniform without being boring.

    1 reply

    Thank you very much! Yes, as mentioned above it was the primary goal of this ibles to create something everybody can do :)
    Yeah, she used wallpaper adhesive. We just sort of did a second layer with the adhesive, since it dries clear. But it's mostly for helping it stick to the wall, cuz I like how you can still feel the pages :)

    It's a good looking simple shelf. You figured out a way to make this that anyone can do. It doesn't take a lot of expensive tools or supplies. I love it!

    1 reply

    I love this. What a simple yet creative way of using you old favorites that might have missing pages (children's books). Definitely going to try this.

    1 reply

    I can't wait to see pictures of your final result :)


    2 years ago

    Coolest wallpaper I've seen on Instructables. Looks like book pages, which book?

    1 reply

    We used the pages I cut out from the books used for the shelves, those are books I don't read anymore and some of them were older than others so the pages had slightly different colors which I liked a lot because I could mix them up (I think I used the pages of four different books, some of which I had since I was a kid an some I just purchased more recently) :)

    Super awesome! I love books and vintage decor, so this would be perfect for me! Great weekend project, good luck


    2 years ago

    realy good job