31 Floating Shelf Plans [Ranked]

DIY Floating Shelves

Floating shelves earn their name because they appear to 'float' without visible supports.

If you're looking to add some minimalist shelving to your living space, scroll through our list below of 31 floating shelf blueprints. 

There are a bunch of different types you can build: reinforced kitchen storage shelves, computer tech shelves, entertainment area book shelves, and even bathroom shelving to store spare towels and assorted toiletries. 

Whether you're a trained carpenter or a novice builder, you can find an easy-to-build plan below. Some of our readers combine plans for unique visual effects- perusing Pinterest is also a great way to get inspired.

Contents

31 Floating Shelf Plans

1. The Smooth And Shiny Floating Ledge Shelves Project

When you're scratching your head what to do with your dull white walls, decorative shelves are an excellent idea. And anawhite.com has just the thing - beautiful 72" wood wall shelves that will add character to any room. What's great about these floating shelves is that you can hang and remove them easily. Moreover, you can make them as long as you need them to be to cover your wall with no special tools required to build them.

2. The Yellow Plywood Small Wall Ledge Shelves Plan

If you are wondering how to build some cheap shelves for your home, you can check these free floating shelves plans by anawhite.com. Thanks to them, you can make two 48" shelves for walls with minimum skills and materials. You need 1/4" plywood, 1 x 2 utility wood, 120 grit sandpaper, wood filler, paint, and primer. What's also great about this design is that building these beautiful shelves won't take you much time - just a couple of hours in the afternoon.

3. The Extra Strong White Kitchen Floating Shelf Blueprint

Is your kitchen too dull for your taste? Then you can spice things up with some white floating shelves. You can use these wood shelves to store tons of stuff because the builder has designed them to be heavy-duty and sturdy. He uses 3/4" sanded plywood for the tops and bottoms of the shelves and 1 x 6s clear pine for the front and the sides. Schematics show you how to build these open shelves, but the plans are advanced and suitable for someone with experience in woodworking.

4. The Simply Lovely Rustic Lumber Wooden Shelving Build

Are you looking for wooden wall shelves that are elegant but easy to make? Then this is the design for you. These two modern wall shelves will take you a couple of hours to build, and you don't need any special skills or tools. To facilitate things, the builder recommends that you have the plywood cut down at the store especially if you don't know how to use a circular saw. Since pictures are illustrating the building process, even a beginner won't have any issues.

5. The Chunky Thick Bar Wood Kitchen Hanging Shelf Design

Every kitchen needs shelves to add character and provide space for all the stuff you need at arm's length. But you don't have to spend a fortune on new floating shelves when you can build one by yourself. And each shelf will cost you no more than $20 thanks to anawhite.com. Keep in mind that the plans are for 55 1/2" floating kitchen shelves, so if you want something bigger or smaller you'll have to tweak the design.

6. The Short Computer Area Big Floating Tech Shelf Idea

In just one afternoon you can build a pretty black floating shelf to match your interior. The builder uses Ana White's floating shelves design and modifies it to shorten the length of the shelf to match the length of his pre-existing bookshelf. To achieve this fantastic look, you can use Benjamin Moore Super Spec paint in black for the finish. And the whole project won't cost you more than $20. A real bargain, isn't it?

7. The Corner Entertainment Center Horizontal Floating Shelves Project

Here we have another modification of the wonderful floating shelf plan by Ana White. This time the builder uses the design to make a floating corner entertainment center - two bookshelves with space for a TV between them. The creator warns that the floating shelf is not sturdy enough to hold the weight of a TV, but you can use it for gaming systems or a DVD.

8. The Floating Corner Wall Frameless Entertainment Stand Plan

If you are looking for plans to build a corner entertainment stand, you've found the right place. This stand measures 40 inches in length and 27 inches in height. What's unusual about this floating shelf/stand combo is that it has a hidden base underneath to support the weight. You must also screw the stand into wall studs otherwise it might fall. The whole project requires three sheets of 3/4" plywood, 1 x 2s, hinges, and knobs.

9. The 9 Inch Deep Floating Deep Kitchen Shelving Blueprint

Another modification of Ana White's free plan gives us these floating black shelves which will transform any small kitchen into a special place. The builder tweaks the original design and changes the depth of the shelves to nine inches. But if that’s not what you are looking for, you can alter the size of the shelves to suit your kitchen space. To achieve this rich black color, the builder recommends gloss black finish.

10. The Bathroom Storage Floating Shelving Build

When you need some extra room in your bathroom to store towels or odds and ends, these plans are perfect. You can use them to build three small floating shelves over the toilet. The builder uses pine for the shelves, and Valspar Brown Velvet Satin finish to add character and style. It will take you around 6-9 hours to build these beautiful shelves, so it's the perfect project for a work-free day.

11. The Dining Room Wall Hanging Espresso Shelves Design

If you are looking for floating shelves ideas to match your dining room wall, you can take a look at this fascinating design. These long floating shelves are perfect for displaying precious items or just keeping stuff close at hand. The plan is based on the Barn Beam floating shelves, which you can also find on anawhite.com. And the great thing is that you can tweak the length to suit your needs.

12. The Bathroom Towel L-Shaped Floating Shelf Idea

For those of you that want a shelf in the bathroom but have limited space, this design is the solution to the problem. Thanks to it you can build stylish bathroom floating shelves. The builder uses pine and plywood for the construction and white semi-gloss finish to add character to this beautiful white floating shelf. Even though it might seem like a complicated project, it's not that hard to make even for a DIY novice.

13. The Barn Beam Mini Ledge Floating Shelf Cabinet Project


This plan combines the best of two designs - Ana White's Barn Beam Ledges and Young House Love Floating Shelves - to create large and sturdy floating shelves. There is a shopping list to make things easy for you and diagrams that show you the dimensions of these heavy-duty floating shelves. You'll also need a circular saw and a drill bit set.

14. The Colorful Entryway Picture Frame Floating Shelf Blueprint

If you are looking for a modern floating shelf to impress your guests, this long shelf will do the trick. The builder uses Ana White's design and modifies it to fit a large wall. He uses pine and 1/4" plywood as building material and high gloss finish. What's also great about these shelves for walls is that they won’t take you forever to make – just an afternoon.

15. The Cheap And Decorative Thin Floating Shelving Build

Are you looking for something to spice things up in your living room? Then these gray floating shelves are perfect for you even if you don't have any prior experience in woodworking. And that’s not all. It's easy to customize the size of the shelves to suit your wall, and you can decorate them as you see fit. To achieve this rustic look, the builder uses gray chalk paint and dark wax.

16. The Ornamental Memorial Living Room Floating Shelving Design

When you see this floating wood shelf, you can hardly believe that it's not bought from the shop. What’s more, it’s not difficult to make at all if you follow the provided instructions carefully. The decorative wood scroll that catches the eye immediately can be found in the store. Don't forget to use wood filler to hide all the ugly spots and Minwax Golden Oak finish to paint the shelf. You can also use this design to refresh an old mantel.

17. The Modern Cream White Living Room Wall Floating Shelf Idea

Building floating shelves is not a difficult matter when you have a good plan to follow. Just like this one. You need 1 x 3s and 1/4" plywood, free time, and basic carpentry tools to make these modern floating shelves and nothing more. Another fantastic thing about this shelf design is that you can customize it to any length you want. Moreover, there are detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures which illustrate the building process.

18. The Free Floating Children'S Room Shelving Idea

If you happen to have some old pallets, you can use this free plan and build a floating nightstand for your bedroom. And it will cost you almost nothing especially if you have screws and paint left from other projects. One more great thing is that you can make two box shelves out of a single pallet. In case you're feeling bold, you can arrange a few stands and make a wall storage box. And there are detailed instructions and diagrams to help you along.

19. The White Cubby Box Floating Shelf System Project

These floating box shelves are perfect if you want something elegant and modern for your living room wall. Each box measures 40 x 40 cm, but you can change the size to suit your needs and wall space. The most challenging part of the project is making the cuts and keeping them straight. The builder recommends that you use jigsaw so make sure that you know how to use one. Or get someone to help you with the cutting. You also need keyhole hangers to hide the hanging hardware.

20. The Walnut Stained Picture Frame Floating Shelving Design

These long floating shelves are perfect for displaying artwork and adding character to your living room. Moreover, they are simple to make and easy to remove. You'll need seven 1 x 3 x 8' furring strips, Minwax Special Walnut Stain, and satin poly finish to make three brown floating shelves. For the final assembly, you'll also need 2" finishing nails and wood glue.

21. The Easy Diy Wide Industrial Shelving Idea

If you are wondering how to make floating shelves when you don't have any experience working with a saw, you've found the right design. You just need pine boards, glue, a stapler, and Rust-Oleum stain. To avoid cutting the boards by yourself, take accurate measurements and have the store cut the lumber for you. You also require a wire shelf track system to install the shelves.

22. The Natural White Nursery Room $10 Deep Cube Ledges Project

A nursery room won't be complete without some cool shelves, don't you think? Now thanks to this plan you can build two white floating shelves for your baby room and spend no more than $75. And the whole project won’t take much of your time –you’ll be ready to hang the shelves in a couple of hours. High gloss white finish is what you need if you want the same color as this one.

23. The Reclaimed Recycled Wood Floating Storage Shelf Blueprint

The moment you see these small floating shelves, you'll fall in love with their cute design. But that's not even the best part. These floating office shelves have a hidden drawer on the inside so you'll have even more storage space available. The drawers are only 2" deep - big enough to store documents where no one will bother looking for them. The project is not that complicated, and you can use whatever reclaimed wood you have to make the shelves.

24. The Imitation Book Knickknack Floating Shelf Build

If you are wondering how to build deep floating shelves, you can find some ideas here. However, be careful. If you make the shelves too deep, they might fall from the wall. Make sure that you use appropriate hardware.

25. The Imitation Book Knickknack Floating Shelf Build

These mini floating shelves are so cute that your guests won't be able to tear their eyes from them. And they will bring distinctive character to any room thanks to their unique book-like design. The builder uses fiber boards and 1 x 2s for building the shelves and card paper and scrapbook paper for decorating them. You'll need at least a day to make these simple floating shelves, so it's the perfect project for the weekend.

26. Title

If you are wondering how to build thick floating shelves, you can find some tips here. The builder uses 1/2" thick plywood for the shelves and modifies Ana White's Young House Love shelves to suit her needs. Read everything carefully so that you mount the shelves correctly.

27. The Master Bathroom Dark Walnut Storage Shelves Design

Bathroom floating shelves are an excellent option for those with limited bathroom space. You have to keep these towels somewhere, right? Then try these short floating shelves. They don’t require anything special just - 1 x 2", ripped 1x4" for the front, poly on top and bottom, a free afternoon, and a little bit of inspiration. To achieve this beautiful brown color, you can use dark walnut finish.

28. Title

If you are not sure how to modify Ana White's floating shelves design, don't worry. These instructions will help you build short floating shelves and give you some advice how to change the measurements.

29. The Large Bracketless Wall Hanging Shelves Idea

These walnut floating shelves will look magnificent in a small bathroom, and they will provide you with some much-needed space for storage. However, there are no detailed instructions so you'll have to rely on your skills and creativity. And the project will cost you up to $150 depending on what materials you have at hand.

30. The Handsome And Inexpensive Mediterranean Floating Shelves Idea

For less than $20 you can build long floating shelves perfect for displaying items. They are made out of old hollow core doors, 2 x 4s, lag screws, and cleats. You'll also need a circular saw or a table saw and an edge guide to cut the door. There are well-written, step-by-step instructions, so even a novice won't find this plan difficult to execute.

31. The Home Depot Diy Unique Floating Shelf Project

DIY Floating Shelves - The Home Depot

When moving into a new home, it's great to add small, familiar touches such as photographs, mementos, etc. to make it feel like "home." What better way to display those items than on stylish floating shelves? I built these DIY floating shelves in my bathroom.

These DIY floating shelves are an excellent choice if you want something stylish to display your family photos and pictures. The builder provides step-by-step instructions and shows you the exact dimensions to cut the lumber. And there is also a list of the necessary tools and materials to facilitate you.

How To Install Floating Shelves

If you have decided to decorate a part of your house with floating shelves, there are some things that you need to learn before you start doing anything.

The first thing that you should learn is what material your wall is made of.

Whatever the material of the wall, it is always preferable to hang the shelves to a wall stud in order to get the best supportive base for the shelves.

shelf

You can use a device called a stud finder, which detects metal in walls basically, to find locations where these wall studs are located, and then you can plan where to hang your floating shelves.

However, what if you don't want to hang a shelf in a place with a stud? You can get around that easily. First of all, observe and find out if your wall is made up of drywall or plaster. Doing this is easy.

How To Hang Floating Shelves On A Stud Wall

Simply knock the wall lightly with your fist, If you hear a hollow sound, it means that it's a drywall. If you don't hear a hollow sound, it means that it's most likely to be plaster. If you are unable to determine the type of wall by knocking a few times, it might be that you are checking an area on the wall with a wall stud.

You can get around this by knocking the wall at several different places. Once you know what kind of wall you have, you can start preparing the hardware needed for the project.

If you decide to attach your floating shelf and its brackets to a wall stud, then you do not need to get any anchors.

However, if you're working with a wall made up of drywall or plaster, then you are going to need some additional support in the form of wall anchors. Wall anchors are also called molly plugs. They can help you to build a sturdy foundation and base for your shelf. 

Normal hollow wall anchors are okay to use on a plaster wall, but for a drywall, you need to get toggle or butterfly anchors. But hold on. Before you buy any of this material, you should decide how much weight you want your shelves to hold. Each wall anchor is rated according to how much weight it can support. Just to be on the safe side, you should get anchors that are rated for maximum weight bearing capacities.

The Basics of Hanging Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are popular mainly because they help you save a lot of space. They are also elegant to look at and gives your room a feeling of high quality decor and ambience, along with framed photographs and various mementos also decorated around the room. When you set up a floating shelf, it appears as if the shelf does not have any support and seems to be floating in mid-air.

By setting up multiple floating shelves, you can give that room an amazing ambiance and environment. This trend of putting up floating shelves has become popular in recent times and most modern and newly developed homes include hanging shelves. They are aesthetically pleasing to look at as it seems as if the shelves seamlessly blend into the walls without any apparent support. This will make any onlookers focus on the items put on the shelf.

Are you interested in adding some beauty and flair to your walls? A floating shelf can be a great accessory to improve the look and feel of any room. At most hardware shops, there are a large variety of options of floating shelves to choose from, with different styles and shapes. There are also a large number of shelf materials to choose from, such as; glass, wood and various metals. You can choose from traditional looking shelves to modern and futuristic shelves. Select the shelves that will go best with the room in which you put it in.

Spice up Your Living Room with Floating Shelves

If you want your living room to look great for any guests that might come over, then adding floating shelves is a great way to do that. Your living room probably already contains a lot of decorations, books and other decorative set pieces. If there is a fireplace in your living room, you can also get equipment that will let you hang a floating shelf above it. Another thing to think about is that you can add floating shelves in the room where you watch television, probably the lounge. By adding a floating shelf to a wall near your TV, you can great increase the atmosphere of the lounge.

Putting Floating Shelves in the Entryway/Foyer

To put a warm and welcoming touch to your home, you can install floating shelves in the foyer of your home. This will give a good feeling to anyone who enters the house from the front door. It is also great to showcase decorations and other memorabilia. If you add hooks to the shelf, you can hang keys or coats etc., when you enter or leave your home.

Home Office or Workplace Floating Shelves

If your working area is cluttered and messy (whether at your home office or at your workplace), then installing hanging shelves can greatly help to clear up all that clutter. You can use the shelf to put any items that you may need in the course of your work and you can also put books there. This will allow you to express your love for books to anyone who views it. There are a number of choices to choose from when looking for smaller floating shelves for putting books in.

Putting Hanging Shelves in Your Bathroom

Floating shelves in your bathroom can make things a lot more easy and convenient for you. You can use the shelves to put bath linens and other bathroom items. The shelves will also greatly improve the ambience of the bathroom and you can enhance that by giving the shelves a wood or light finish.

Floating shelves to Spice up Your Kitchen

Putting floating shelves in your kitchen can be a great help for anyone. You can use the shelves to easily and neatly store various kitchen items such as cooking utensils, cookware, bowls and plates etc. You can find a large variety of shelves that are of all kinds of styles and shapes and sizes, in order to fit into a kitchen of any size. You can even get floating shelves with racks for wine glasses.

Conclusion

By now you must have some idea of how floating shelves can be a great way to display your memorabilia and books. This particular type of shelf, the floating shelf, gives onlookers the appearance that it is floating in midair without any support. So first of all, find out the type of walls you have and where you want to install the shelves. After that, you can buy all the materials needed to install the shelves.