I am so excited about this post because this is the first thing that I have ever built! I have been wanting to build these shelves for a few months but haven’t gotten to them. This past weekend, I finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it. These are easy, really easy. Honestly, the most difficult part is waiting for the stain to dry in between coats. The project is even easier if you have the wood cut for you at Lowe’s. I followed Katie’s tutorial at Bower Power Blog and made my own changes as I needed to. I wanted my shelves to be built in and the length came out to be 32.25 inches, so adjust your measurement to reflect how ever long your shelves will be.

These are going in this super awkward section of our bedroom. The carpeting is slanted here, making it impossible to put a piece of furniture. These shelves will make the space both more functional and pretty!

Benjamin moore sea star
See how crooked that jewelry box looks? The floor in this corner is so uneven!

Here’s your shopping list with a cost breakdown

1 2 x 4  ($4.33)
2  1 x 12 x 8  white wood board  (for both it was $23.98)
1  1 x 6 x 6. White wood board  ($5.69)
Minwax Stain in Dark Walnut  ($7.77)
Carpenters Wood Glue  ($2.98)
Wood Screws at least 2.5 inches (price varies)

Total cost for wood: $34.00
I am not including the cost of the other supplies because you will have so much left over that they can be used for many projects.
Here are the stain and poly that I used and my wood pieces all lined up ready to be stained.

how to build wood shelves
dark walnut stain
satin polyurethane

The secret of floating shelves is that they actually have a built in support system inside the shelf. This is what you will use your 2 x 4 for. Cut the 2 x 4 to the length of your shelf. Since I was making two shelves, I cut two pieces to 32.25. Use the left over wood as your supports. I cut mine to the width of my pine board shelves which was 11.5 inches, minus the back piece of my 2 X 4, which gave me a measurement of 10 inches.
I had originally planned to put four supports for each shelf, but the Lowe’s man laughed at me and told me this was completely unnecessary, so I went with only two, one on each side.
Using your wood screws, drill your two smaller supports into both ends of your longer support piece.
Here’s me and my little helper screwing together the pieces.

chunky wood floating shelves
True carpenters wear Hello Kitty and high pony tails!
shelves without brackets
bedroom shelves
easy diy shelves

Meanwhile, you have to prepare your wood. My wood was really nice and didn’t have any rough edges, so I skipped the sanding. If you have rough spots, go ahead and sand! I gave each board two coats of stain, waiting 6 hours in between. When sanding, always wear gloves, and put a thin coat on using either a clean rag or brush. Let sit for 15 minutes and then wipe off any stain that hasn’t been absorbed. Once everyone was nice and dry, I did put a quick coat of water based poly, but since these will be up on a wall untouched, I don’t know how necessary that was.

cheap wood shelves
diy cheap wooden shelves

To assemble, drill your supports into the studs. I drilled on the side pieces and the back pieces to make it extra sturdy. Using your wood glue, glue your top piece into the support. Either use a wood clamp or hold that baby down with your hands for as long as your type of glue requires.

wood glue
We only had one wood clamp so that basket is full of books to help weight it down

Next glue on your bottom piece and again use the clamp.

Finally, your front piece gets glued on. We used the clamp again here, but since it only could hold in the middle, the hubs and I took turns pushing the wood with all our might!

I let mine sit 24 hours before decorating, and here they are all finished! I absolutely love them and can’t wait to build more for other areas of the house! I hope you try these DIY Chunky Wood Floating Shelves! They are so easy and inexpensive!

how to build floating shelves
floating shelves tutorial
Is it just me or does my new wall color look different in every single picture?! Its Sea Star by Benjamin Moore if you are wondering! Goes to show you how much a paint color changes in different light and why you should always put a test patch on your wall first!

I am soooo thrilled to say that this post has been featured at Tater Tots and Jello, one of my favorite blogs! She featured these shelves in a round up of 20 DIY Home Project Ideas. See the feature here  Great Ideas-20 DIY Home Projects

See this Post Here…
The DIY'ers

TDC Before and After

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26 thoughts on “DIY Chunky Wood Floating Shelves

    1. Katie, thank you so much for reading my post and commenting!! Your blog has taught me so much and I’m so grateful!

  1. Just found you on ThriftyDecorChick. I’ve been wanting to do something like this in an inset area in our master bath. Thanks for the inspiration and instructions. You did a great job!

    1. Michelle, I’m so glad you liked the tutorial! Please let me know when you try them! I’d love to see pictures!!

  2. I really like this! Looks easy enough to do, also. I noticed you have “The Fault in Our Stars” on your shelf, I just ordered it and can’t wait to read it!!

    1. Thanks Jenna! They are really easy, I hope you give them a try. I am a super big book nerd and built these shelves for the soul purpose of displaying my favorite books! “The Fault In Our Stars” is just incredible, you are going to love it! This copy on the shelf is actually an autographed first edition and it is like my most prized possession!

    1. I have had so many people mention the books on the shelves! I am glad I am not the only book nerd! I absolutely love Diana Gabaldon and have been impatiently waiting for Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!

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  4. Nice start guys…I went through the website and I found that you made decent point for Keep up the topic that everyone can choose one of the best. Thanks.

  5. They are wonderful looking shelves. So simple to make and very effective in terms of space creation. Great Job! I have floating shelves pretty much anywhere i can put them in my house. My next project is to build floating shelves around the tv on my living room wall. Going to be a tough project i think. I got the idea from http://www.howtomakefloatingshelves.com/ Wish me luck!!

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    wall decor book shelf

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