Make Your Own Floating Shelves With This Simple Technique

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Introduction: Make Your Own Floating Shelves With This Simple Technique

About: Discover woodworking, concrete, LEDs, home decor and DIY projects you'll love.

Have you ever wanted to make floating shelves? In this instructable, I'm going to show you one of the easiest methods to make your own. These shelves are easy to make, and the best part is you only need a few hand tools. So whether you are looking to store your gear, decorate a room or just give 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. Well let's dive into this build and ill see you in the next step.

Step 1: What You Need

What do you need?

(1) Southern yellow pine: I used 8 x 1.5 x 96 inches

(1) 1/2in Oak Dowel, 36 inches 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 three equal parts.

Step 2: Dowels

Cut the dowel

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


Back to the lumber

Place a mark two 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 1.5 inch. 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 sanded down. I find the easy-to-place 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 you are 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 pin fits 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, I transferred the same marks to the other brackets and drilled 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 shelves so I can not confirm the maximum weight load. However, I'm confident these will hold 50 to 60 pounds.

Thanks for checking out this instructable. If you like to see more of my projects, check out my links below to take a look.

Until next time!

Social Media links:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/DIYCreators

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Morediycreators/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diycreators/

My Plans: https://gumroad.com/diycreators

Furniture Contest 2017

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2017

1 Person Made This Project!

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66 Discussions

0
Stephan26
Stephan26

4 months ago

Good job and thank you! Will be using your technique this weekend for one of my teenagers' room.

1
chris.decke
chris.decke

5 months ago

This is a great Instructable, with pictures and easy to read instructions.If I may make a suggestion, when it come to drilling the holes and ripping the wood, drill the holes first before you rip the wood, this ensures the holes for the shelf and the wall brace are lined up perfectly.

Great job

0
aberg5
aberg5

8 months ago

Great work man A+++.

0
KaitlynC2
KaitlynC2

1 year ago

Legitimately I'm making these after we get back from work next week. Super simple, going to use metal threaded rods instead to give additional support to make cat shelves. This is great, thank you so much for the upload!

0
cubby22
cubby22

2 years ago

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

0
dragon flyer
dragon flyer

Reply 2 years ago

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

0
doing2much
doing2much

2 years ago

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.

0
ShawnC6
ShawnC6

2 years ago

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

0
DanC66
DanC66

2 years ago

Such an elegant solution!

0
imserlick
imserlick

2 years ago

Thankyou! Great instructions!

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

2 years ago

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

0
wells1784
wells1784

2 years ago

REALLY ENJOYED THIS INSTRUCTABLE. VERY CREATIVE WAY TO MAKE SHELVES.

0
roscomay
roscomay

2 years ago

Bloody good idea..

Do you mind if I pass it on?

0
Real TJ
Real TJ

2 years ago

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

0
diycreators
diycreators

Reply 2 years ago

Thank you

0
TonyD105
TonyD105

2 years ago

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!