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DIY Floating Corner Shelves

Shelving is a great way to organize and de-clutter a space. I want to show you how to make some clean shelving that appears to have no brackets (i.e., floating shelves).

I am also going to show you how to make corner shelves, as it’s a little different from straight across (no corner) shelving.

You can make them for less than 100 bucks, and the hardest part is figuring out what you’re going to put on them when you’re finished.

Supplies:
This is list is for the three corner shelves built for a specific space. You can modify as needed for your own space.

-six 2 x 4s
-two 1 x 8 x 12 kiln-dried cedar (be sure to check for warping when choosing your lumber)
-one 1/4″ x 4′ x 8′ plywood
-1 1/4″ wood screws (I used these)
-heavy duty fasteners (I used these)
–spackle
-paint
–caulk
–wood glue

Tools:
–miter saw
–table saw
–drill
–Kreg pocket hole jig
–sandpaper
–sander
–level
–step ladder (ones like this are good since they don’t take up a lot of space and have the shelf on top)
–stud finder

Step One: Cut all your wood. I find it more productive if I figure out all (or at least most) wood material I need and cut it all at once.

Here’s my cut list for three shelves:

-fifteen 6 1/2″ x 3 1/2″*
-three 26 1/2″ x 1 1/2″**
-three 46″ x 1 1/2″**
-three 28″ x 8 5/8″* -three 20″ x 1 1/2″*
-three 37 3/8″ x 8 5/8″* -three 37 3/8″ x 1/5″*

*2 x 4 **ripped 2 x 4 ***ripped 1 x 8

Cut list for skinning the bottom and ends (1/4″ plywood):

-8 5/8″ x 46″
-8 5/8″ x 26 1/2″
-six 2 1/8″ x 8 5/8″

Step Two: Next, sand the pieces that will be visible.

Step Three: Assemble figure A (see diagram). I found it easier to clamp down the 1 1/2″ piece before screwing in the 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 pieces. I put in two screws per piece.

Step Four: Assemble the pieces for figure B (see diagram).

Step Five: Once you have the spacing all set up, studs found, and material at hand, you can start putting up the shelves .A good way to visualize spacing is to use painter’s tape

I started at the bottom and worked my way up. Install all of the A pieces first. The HeadLOK fasteners did a great job of making everything super sturdy; just make sure you’re hitting studs!

After you have the A pieces up, you can put on the B pieces. You can screw or nail those on.

A pieces of floating shelves screwed onto white wallB pieces connected to A pieces of floating shelvesStep Six: Screw or nail on the underside and end pieces.

someone holding an unfinished floating shelfStep Seven: Putty any nail or screw holes. One thing I wish I would have done is caulk around the shelves so that there were no spaces showing.

I think they still look good, but that detail would have made them a little bit better. Sand once everything is dry. I attached my vacuum hose to the sander to minimize dust.

Step Eight: Tape the wall if you are going to paint another color.

someone puttying over nail holes on floating shelf
3 unfinished floating shelves lined up to painter’s tape on white wallOnce you paint, you’re done! Time to put your stuff on display (after the paint dries, of course). Enjoy your floating corner shelves!

finished white corner floating shelves on white wall with plants, pictures, and decor on them
finished white corner floating shelves on white wall with plants, pictures, and decor on themAdd a few cool frames with prints, plants, books with unique bookends and your shelves are ready to go!

We have lots of wood DIY projects in our archives (like building custom shelves and dollhouses) so make sure to see if any of those strike your fancy as well! Happy building!

P.S. If you aren’t the power tool type of person, you can also buy some floating shelves and get the same look (this three piece set is nice).

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