Live Pretty on a Penny: DIY Floating Shelves

DIY Floating Shelves

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hey guys!! I hope that everyone is having a fantastic week. I have a project that I am hoping many of you will like and even try! It's super easy and super cheap (in a good way of course)!

These are floating shelves...

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Well these babies can cost between $25-$55 for one ledge, which is nuts to me! So I decided that I would make my own, and you can too! Once I decided where I wanted to place my shelves, I measured the wall to determine my desired length. My wall measured at 4ft, so I knew I wanted my shelf to be 3.5ft. I went to my local Home Depot to pick up some pre-primed MDF boards, wood glue, white caulk, heavy duty screws, and painters tape.


When purchasing the MDF, I bought one of each: 1.5 x 8, 2.5 x 8, 3.5 x 8. Being that each board comes in a length of 8ft, I had them cut the boards to my desired length of 3.5ft, and kept the remaining pieces, since I had to pay for them anyway. I could always use them to make floating shelving for another room in my home. Total, I believe I spent for all three shelves, plus the extra cuts (that can make 3 more shelves), the wood glue, tape, and caulk, I spent around $20. Can't beat that! Now it's time to put my plan to work.

After I arrived home, I laid out my shelving. The 3.5 width serves as the the base of the shelf, 2.5 width serves as the backing, and the 1.5 width serves as the front of the shelf.





I then applied a medium amount of wood glue and began putting my pieces together. Please excuse my feet...oh and the glue on the floor. I got it up. I can be a messy DIY'er sometimes:)



After I attached all of the pieces, I added the painters tape to secure everything in place, while I allowed the shelves to dry overnight. After taping, I had something that looked like this:



Once the wood glue dried, I located the seam and thinly filled the seam line with the white caulk.



Cauking the seams make the pieces look continuous as opposed to looking pieced together, if that makes sense. After caulking all of my seams, the shelves were not as white as I wanted them to be, so I painted over them using a paint brush and white glossy paint that I already had at home. This step is optional, but for a cleaner look, I recommend!


Next, I grabbed the drill, leveler, stud finder, and some pretty heavy duty screws to secure the shelves into the wall.



Now for the hard part (where you may need to call in someone to help).  My husband and I put our heads together and placed the stud finder on the wall to locate the studs, which are normally 16 inches apart. After locating, I placed a pencil mark and used the level to determine if it was straight or not. I placed a total of 4 pencil marks, two in each row, approx 16 inches apart to align with the studs. After some adjustments to my pencil marks, he was able to drill through the MDF and hang the shelves. If you would like to cover the screw hole once you drill, my best advice is the cover with the white caulk, or just cover it with decor. Make sure you use a drill, as it will ensure that the screw is snuggly attached to the stud. To ensure your shelves are tight, I pushed down on mine with a little pressure once they were hung, to ensure they were secure. Make sure that you drill in deep enough so that your shelves are flushed against the wall.

Here is how they look once they are hung, and styled:






I have them setup in my foyer and I pretty much just styled them with things that meant something to me, like wedding photos, some greenery, a really cute affirmation picture, and other nick nacks. This project overall, not including dry time, took about 2.5 - 3 hours. Not bad for such an inexpensive makeover. I plan to use the remaining cuts of MDF for some shelving for my bathroom maybe? 

I hope that all of the directions on how to build these shelves were clear! If not, please don't hesitate to email me. I tried to be as detailed as possible, without overdoing it.

I hope you enjoyed and let me know if you build them! I would love to see where you placed them and how you styled them!




I'm linking up to:





17 comments:

  1. I LOVE this idea! You should come share it with us at Keep Calm & Link Up when you get a chance. We'd love to have you :o)

    http://www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com/2012/08/09/keep-calm-link-up-1/

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    1. Thanks Meredith!! I am linked! Thanks for letting me know and stopping by!

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  2. Great job Erin! These are on my weekend project list. I'm working on a laundry room makeover and shelving is on the list. I hope mine turn out as well as yours!

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    1. Thanks Donna! I can't wait to see how your's turn out. The laundry room is another great location for shelving.

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  3. Woo hoo, you figured it out! So glad you joined us :o) Come back Tuesday night...we're having a Blog Hop and I know you'd love it! We "met" tons of new bloggy friends last week.

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  4. They look awesome!! And I love them even more because I did the same thing in my daughter's nursery! ;) My husband made ours and didn't even line things up as nicely as I would like {no perfection bone in his body lol}, but they still look great. ;) I would love if you shared this at my Throwback Thursday party. I hope to see you there! Thanks for sharing :) http://www.hubbymademe.com/throwback-thursday-no-5/

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  5. Thanks Britni. I would be happy to share! Thanks for stopping by:)

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  6. These look fantastic!! I absolutely love that you made them from scratch :)

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  7. Thanks Tamsyn!! I am working on some for my bathroom makeover as I type. They are just too easy not to incorporate into other spaces! Especially since I have leftover pieces from these shelves. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. It's me again! I wanted to thank you for sharing this at my Throwback Thursday party. I'd love to have you again! And I featured you this week :) Come check it out and grab your featured button if you'd like one :) http://www.hubbymademe.com/throwback-thursday-no-7/

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    1. Thanks for the feature! I grabbed my button! Woo hoo!

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  9. ok I'm going to try this! Hope mines look as good as yours!

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  10. great idea...wonder if I can do this in my apartment...without ripping the paint off...hmmm?

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  11. any other ideas if you don't want to use nails? two sided tape maybe?

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  12. I could always use them to make floating shelving for another room in my home. Total, I believe I spent for all three shelves, plus the extra cuts ... ffloatingshelf.blogspot.com

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  13. I could always use them to make floating shelving for another room in my home. Total, I believe I spent for all three shelves, plus the extra cuts ... ffloatingshelves.blogspot.com

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  14. Wow..Magic!! this is minimalist floating shelves Designs but looks great :)

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