Floating Shelves

Updated: Oct 1, 2018

What we did and how we did it:

Hi guys! Probably the most asked about addition we’ve done to our house is our floating shelves on either side of the fireplace. Now, when I say “we” I really mean that I dream up what I want and my sweet hubby does all the actual work. I’m totally up for running to Home Depot with him, making snacks and providing a great playlist to work to; but when it comes to the actual work- I’m totally useless. However, I would say we’re a great team: I have the vision and he brings it to life- teamwork right!?!

Anyway, here’s the info you really want, what we used to construct the shelves and how we made them. These shelves seriously transformed our living room and we were able to build all 6 shelves for only $120. Each shelf is 40” long and 10” deep and 5 ½” tall.

We were inspired by the floating shelves that we found on Shanty 2 Chic’s website and basically followed the same instructions and only made modifications to the size!

Materials List:

2- 1x10” white wood (used for the top of the shelves)

3- 1x6” white wood (used for the face piece and side pieces of the shelves),

2- 10’ 2x4s (for the back of the shelves)

2- 6’ 2/x4s (for the arms of the E)

4x8’ -1/4” thick Plywood, ripped at 9 ¼” wide and 38 ½” long

Small box 2 ½” screws (for the E)

Small box 3 1/2“screws (to attach to wall)

Wood filler

Painter’s tape



Tools Needed:

Finish nail gun


Stud finder

Sanding pads, 220 grade


Table saw- or ask Home Depot to rip plywood for you

Miter saw

How we built them:

Cut list:

1. Cut the 10’ 2x4 into 3 - 38 ½” pieces. Do this for the other 10’ 2x4. These will make the back of the shelf (the long part of the E). Stay with me, it will all come together J

2. Cut the 6’ 2x4 into 9- 7 ¾” pieces. Do this for the other 6’ 2x4. . These will be the arms of the E.

3. Cut 12 – 1x6 pieces @ 9 ¼” and 6- 1x6 pieces @ 40”- these will be the sides and fronts of the shelves.

4. Cut the 2- 1x10” boards (used for the top of the shelves), each into 3- 38 ½” pieces. You will end up with 6 pieces for the top of each shelf.

5. Rip the plywood into 6- 9 ¼” wide pieces (this is the underneath of each shelf).

6. Cut ripped pieces of plywood to 38 ½” long.


1. Now it’s time to put together the E for each shelf by attaching the short 2x4s to the long 2x4. Be sure to pre-drill holes and attach with 2 ½” screws. You should end up with 6 E pieces.

2. We planned out where to put the shelves- we taped it out directly on the wall so that we could visualize it- I’m a very visual person and I needed to see it to decide on placement. We allowed for 16 inches between each shelf.

3. My hubby then used a stud finder and marked out where the studs were.

4. It’s now time to attach the 6 E’s to the wall. Making sure it is level before attaching to wall. Also, remember to pre-drill into the stud and then attach the E with 3 ½”screws. Now all E’s should be attached to the wall.

5. Now to assemble each shelf. Attach the top piece with finish nailer (38 ½”- 1x10) to the E. Making sure all sides are flush (VERY IMPORTANT TO BE FLUSH). Trim if needed. Repeat for each of 6 shelves.

6. Take 9 ¼”- 1x6 pieces and attach to each side. Make sure they are flush on the top and on the front. They will hang over underneath.

7. Then take the 40” 1x6 and attach to the front of each shelf. Everything should line up flush.

8. ***insert photo***Next take the 38 ½” plywood and attach to the bottom of each shelf. May need to trim to fit. Now each shelf is assembled- yay!!

9. Wood putty all nail holes.

10. Use sanding pad to lightly sand all surfaces.

11. We taped off around each shelf and then stained! We used Rust-oleum Carrington and I love the rich color! The hubby wiped on one coat of stain, let it sit for about 5 minutes then wiped it off. You can find the stain HERE on Amazon.

12. Final step is to cover in a polyurethane. We used a clear, satin Rust-oleum polyurethane.

13. That’s it! Now time to decorate and with all the money you saved on building these yourself you have lots of extra $$$ for décor J

14. I buy most of my home décor from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods. I have linked most of my items on my Instagram account.

Thanks so much for stopping by for this DIY tutorial- I hope your shelves turn out just as amazing as ours did! If you do make them, send me a pic of the finished project- I’d love to see it and feature your pic on my IG page!



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