Rustic Tennessee Floating Shelf




I have a fairly large den (Man Cave) that has a very long wall that I have never decorated. So, I decided to show my home state some love and made a floating shelf cut to look like Tennessee (well kinda like it) but who's looking that close? SO the result is a Rustic Floating Shelf I made from leftover scrap material from where I work.

The main tools I used in this build was a screw gun, jig saw, and a sander.



I guess the first thing you will need is a large space to hang it. Luckily for me I have just a place.

Step 2: Lumber

I was able to get a pass for some scrap lumber from my employer that was finger jointed incorrectly and could no be used in product. So I was able to save these pine boards from the local landfill. They are 7' long x 5" wide by 1" thick.

Step 3: Cutting the Boards to Hold It Together

I cut (2) 30" long board to use to screw to the back side of the shelf. I ended up also using some of the cut off to screw some joints together that wanted to bow.

Step 4: Screw It Together

I sued 1 1/2" n wood screws to hold it together. I simply pulled the lumber tight together and put two screws in each board. I used a scrap piece to make the gap for my shelf to go later.

Step 5: Being Kinda Artistic?

So, I'm not going to claim this is perfect but I looked at picture of my state and trued to free hand the boarder so cut by. Its not perfect but close enough?


Step 6: Cutting It to Shape

Remember to use hearing protection! Remember to count your fingers BEFORE and AFTER cutting and make sure the amount stays the same.

Try to follow the lines you grew to outline your state as best you can with a jig saw. Just work slowly thought each piece of lumber and don't try to rush any thing.

Step 7: Smooth It Out

Okay, time to smooth out all the rough edges. I used a orbital sander but hand sanding would work fine also.


I had some extra french cleat lying around my shop. (Fancy name for 45° cut down the length of a board.) It can hold a great deal of weight, I set mine 6" down from the top board. You attached the cleat as straight as possible and make sure the short side is touching the back side of your shelf.

Step 9: Other 1/2 of the French Cleat

Attach the other side of the french cleat to your wall. narrow side again touches the wall. Try to hit studs with the screws if possible. If not, use dry wall anchors.

Step 10: Paint and Stain

I decided to paint the State white since I had a quart of white paint left over from some other project. I also decided to use Early American stain for the floating shelf to give it some contrast.

Step 11: Getting Messy

Paint and Stain as needed. Then find something else to do for about an hour. I found a cold beverage and a recliner followed by a short nap. But you can do whatever. To each his own.

Step 12: Making a Bigger Mess?

So, my wife woke me from my siesta and said the board needed some "character" and that it was too white. So. I lightly brushed some of the stain over the half dry paint and and rubbed it in by hand. She was right by the way but don't tell her I said so.

Step 13: TADA

It actually turned out pretty good, I surprise myself sometimes :).

Time to take it in the house.

Step 14: Heave and HOOOO

So, this thing weighed about 30 lbs finished. Which doesn't sound like much until you lift that over your head a couple feet. So get a neighbor, friend, or in my case spouse to help. If you can see we decided to draw a heart about where we live. Its WAY over on the left!

Decorate to fit your Man Cave. Planned on putting my old soda bottle and such on the shelf.


So, the soda bottle shelf idea go scrapped and I was told it would look better with some pictures and such on it. But I did get to keep some bottles on it By George!

Shelving Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Shelving Contest 2016



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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Nice build sir definitely will be following your work

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I try to make it easy to read and honest. Plus I kind of type like I talk. Glad you enjoyed my Instructable


    2 years ago

    Came out good. I just wanted to comment on an observation I made a while ago. While dn. south (Arkansas and a little of others), I noticed that there is quite more state pride. It's not like you hear songs made like "Sweet Home Delaware". It was very interesting to me the individualness of the states; and was a great pride of our country and these type of people. I was also glad when I got home that I saw more State flags flown than I was aware of prior (Ohio); I still haven't bought a state shirt, but maybe I'll find a small yard flag. It seems to me, sadly, that global communication will change this. Things like "Tennessee Pride" bread. -not to be offensive, but those two red and black bearded Warner bros. cartoon characters were hilarious! Barefoot and all. If people want to take barefoot as "redneck" they should try and get out of the office and off the couch, and get reminded of reality. I hope you don't take anything written here offensive as nothing is meant to be; it just reminded me of things that once occurred to me. Does Dolly live in Tenn.? I believe so, and I do appreciate her attitude. Thanks.