DIY and Crafts

3 ways to build your own floating shelf at home

For a modern take on a bedside table that’s also a great space-saving option, practise your DIY skills on one of our floating wall shelves, each of which can be knocked out in just a few hours 


Top tips for building a floating shelf

  • There are many ways to install a floating shelf, depending on what you plan to use it for and the weight of the objects you will be placing on it.
  • Explore your options for materials at your local hardware store. Here we have used metal brackets and wall hooks as they are more discreet.
  • Make sure you always fix your shelf to a wall stud.
  • Try painting your shelf in various colours and don’t be afraid to be bold.
  • A burst of colour would look great in a kids’ bedroom.

1. Half-round shelf

Step 1
Find the centre of a sheet of 18x1200x1200mm ply and lightly hammer a short nail part way into the mark.

Step 2
Attach a piece of string to the nail then wrap it around a pencil, ensuring the string length is 300mm when attached to both.

Step 3
Stretching string tight, draw a circle (600mm diameter) around the nail.


Step 4:
Remove nail and string and cut the circle out with a jig saw.

Step 5:
Draw a line down the middle of the circle and cut along line with a hand saw.

Step 6:
Lay one half-circle flat and stand the other on top of it to form a shelf. Glue and screw the 2 pieces together with 32mm screws. Sand off edges.


2. Stand shelf

Step 1 
Take an 18x1200x1200mm sheet of plywood. Cut off a 350mm-wide strip with a hand saw. You should now have a piece of ply measuring 1200x350mm.

Step 2
Cut strip in 2: a 900mm piece for the back and a 300mm piece for the shelf.


Step 3
Attach the 2 pieces at a right angle with wood glue and 32mm screws, keeping the screws in line. Sand off all edges.

Step 4
If you are fitting a light to this shelf, buy the light fitting first then cut a hole to suit the size of the light with a hole saw.

Light it up! Feed through a cord set and attach a light or try wall light fittings


3. Floating box shelf

Step 1
Use a hand saw to cut a 350x1200mm strip off your ply sheet.

Step 2
From this strip, cut off 2 squares 350x350mm – these are the top and bottom. Now cut 2 pieces 150x350mm for the sides.


Step 3
Glue and screw the sides onto the top and bottom pieces with 32mm screws to create a box. Sand off edges.

Created by: Catherine Wilkinson and Martin Laidlaw.

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