Floating Spice Shelves




Introduction: Floating Spice Shelves

About: Teacher. Climber. Craftsman.

I built these walnut spice shelves to make use of a small bit of wall between our kitchen nook and kitchen doorway. The 4 shelves are cut from a single piece of walnut, then each shelf is recessed with a router. The shelves are attached to the wall with pocket holes.


Shelf wood (I used walnut)

Scrap wood for the routing jig (I used some leftover baltic birch and MDF)

Table saw

Router with 3/4 inch straight router bit

Kreg Mini Pocket-Hole Jig

1/8 inch toggle bolts (for drywall)

Pocket-hole screws (for studs)

Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat

Step 1: Shelf Blanks and Routing Jig

Shelf Blanks

I cut four blocks of wood from a single piece of walnut. Each block is 17 inches long, 1.25 inches tall, and 3 inches wide. Depending on your space, you could use any variety of wood, cut to a dimension that best meets your need.

Routing Jig

I framed up the routing jig with 3/4 inch baltic birch strips that were 4 inches wide. I used pocket hole joints for this. On top, I added strips of MDF for the router's base plate to ride against. With careful measurements I set the guides to leave the sides of the shelf 3/4 inches thick, and the front edge 1/2 inch thick. The placement of these guides depends on the router you are using, and the dimensions of your shelves.

-Because of the depth of the recess (1 inch), a flush trim router bit or guide bushing seemed more challenging than using the base plate as a guide.

I added wood beneath the jig so that the top surface would be flush with the shelf blank when sitting on a work bench.

I clamped the jig to my work bench and shimmed in the shelf blanks so that they would not move.

I routed each shelf in four layers, removing a depth of .25 inches each time. The total depth is 1 inch. I stopped regularly to vacuum, as the router is removing a lot of wood.

Step 2: Pocket Holes

On scrap wood, I experimented with the placement of the Kreg Jig. I wanted the holes centered left and right, and as centered as possible up and down. The set up instructions that come with this jig aren't very accurate, so I find some experimenting is important for perfect holes.

I set up the stop collar on the drill bit so that the 1/8 inch tip of the stepped drill bit barely came out the back of the shelves. This ensured that the bolts wouldn't rip out the back once installed.

Step 3: Finish and Install

I sanded the shelves with 220 grit sandpaper, then used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Satin. I find the Arm-R-Seal is easy to use, and looks great. I applied 3 coats, sanding with steal wool between coats.

I was able to align my shelves so that one side could be screwed directly into a stud. I used the Kreg pocket-hole screws for these. The other side was not on a stud, so I used the 1/8inch toggle bolts into the drywall. For spices, these shelves are plenty strong, and would be strong enough with just toggle bolts in drywall only.

Step 4: Bonus

With some of the leftover walnut, I made a matching kitchen spoon.

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    These shelves are gorgeous. I need to make some just like yours!

    And a side note, this is the perfect way to do an after-the-fact instructable! Excellently done on the documentation. Hope we see more from you soon. :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Those shelves look amazing! I think I'll make some in the future when I can.