floating shelves

I love the look of a floating shelf but I want a little bit extra for storage.

Saw a smaller version of this shelf used in a bathroom and thought I would put my own spin on it. I wanted to make it longer and larger for use in my bedroom. That was phrased weird. I meant the shelves…

Three of these shelves were made. I found the best way to build them on the last shelf. So I will share with you the best way of how to go about doing this. This walk-through will be how to make just 1 shelf. The below tutorial will be the most effective way I found on how to do this.

I will let you know what to do and what NOT to do.


Materials Used:

  1. Three 1x6x8 boards
  2. 1x2x8 board
  3. wood glue
  4. 2 Pack Cabinet Hinge
  5. 2 1/2 inch exterior screws
  6. Nail Gun
  7. Miter-Saw
  8. MixWax – Helmsman Spar Urethane
  9. Mixwax Wood Effect

I took the three 1×6 boards and cut them with my Miter-Saw to 54.5 inches long. That length was chosen because I wanted them to fit under my television nicely. I stacked all three boards on the Miter-Saw and cut them at the same time. That way they would be the exact same length.

If you have a sander, that would be a good time to clean up the edges and make them smooth.

There was a lot of extra board after that so I cut three 4-inch pieces from the leftovers.

Those will be used for the side and the middle part. If the shelf was shorter I would not need the middle part. Since it was so long I was afraid that it would start to bow in the middle over time so I made sure to add some reinforcement.

I started by gluing the 4-inch pieces down first. The middle one, and the two side pieces were glued down to one of the boards. As those dried, I put in the hinges.lining boards up with the hinges

I lined up one of the 3 boards with the bottom board.

Both the hinges were placed near the ends. I left a little tiny gap between the boards.

The first shelf I made I tried putting the hinges on after the top was glued. That was a mistake. I had a tiny screwdriver so I was able to get the hinge on but it was more difficult than it needed to be.

I found it was easier to put the hinges on before the top was glued on. That way I could drill them in and save my wrist with a tiny screwdriver.

These hinges had longer slots on each side so I drilled the screw in the middle part. This way if it didn’t line up right I could easily unscrew and adjust. Then lock it back down then screw in the rest. Which came in handy since I did not do this the first time around and had to unscrew all eight to readjust. It was not fun, so I quickly learned.

screwing on the hinges

Once the hinges were lined up nicely and the wood pieces were dried fully, I glued the top board in place. I just put glue on the tops of the 4 inch pieces and then lined up the long 54.5 inch board on top.

gluing top board


Once all that dried I flipped the whole thing over. I made sure to expose the back part. Here is where the 1×2 board will come into play. In the picture I have a 1×3 board which I thought would be better for stability but there really is no difference. I found the 1×3 takes up too much space and the 1×2 is much better AND looks much better.

shelf from the back


I had a bunch of 1×3 scrap wood so I didn’t make it snug, i just used enough to cover the majority of the back of the shelf. This is the part that pilot holes will be drilled into so that it can be secured to the wall. As stated before I think the 1×2 boards will work way better here. I had it on one of my shelves and preferred it much more.

While the shelf is still upside down I took the time to drill pilot holes into the side and middle. This will be the bottom so the screws won’t show and will make sure the board stays completely adhered. The glue is great BUT not that great.

2 on each side and 2 in the middle is enough.

drilling pilot holes in the bottom part of the shelf


After that I flipped it over. I used the nail gun on the top part since the nails were more aesthetically pleasing. big ol’ grey screws don’t look that nice to me.

nail gun


I just took 2 inch nails to the sides, middle, and the back part. Like I said before the glue is great BUT not that great.


Now to stain! I hated this stain. It took like 4-5 coats to get where I wanted it. The first coat barely did anything at all. by coat 3 I started to really notice a difference. I believe 5 is where I just got tired of doing it and decided that it was enough.

After the stain dried is when I applied the Urethane. One coat then a bit of light sanding. Then another coat after that and it was all done!

I found studs in the walls and marked them with a pencil. Then opening the shelf I could see the marks on the wall and mark the board where I needed to do a pilot hole.

I also did a few extra holes just because I really wanted it to be secure and I wasn’t good at finding the studs…

Screwed it to the wall and I was done!

open shleves


finshed shelves

This project was a bit harder than others I do. Mostly more time consuming. If you would like to learn how to make a fun shelf to display your booze then click here!