How to Build Floating Bookshelves

Floating bookshelves are clever storage solutions. Cheap to construct, these shelves lend a modern look to a space. Moreover, these are ideal for small spaces where you do not have much of floor space to place standing display shelves and book cases. Here is a simple guide on how you can construct a floating book shelf at your home, office or shop. 

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Wooden planks – thickness depends on the size of the shelves
  • Measuring tape
  • Chop saw
  • Sand Paper
  • Marking chalks
  • Electric drill
  • 3 inch screws
  • Metal screws
  • Hanging brackets

Step 1: Buy the Material

Needless to say, the most important material for floating shelves is the wooden plank. Ensure that you buy at least 1-inch-thick planks. Planks of lesser thickness will not be stable or strong enough and will not be able to carry much load. A 1 inch plank is ideally suited for 3 feet by 1 foot shelf. If you want to install larger shelves, you would need to purchase thicker wooden planks. Also ensure that the brackets you purchase to hang the shelves are sturdy and of good quality.

Step 2: Select the Space to Hang the Shelves

Floating shelves can be hung on any wall. As any designer will tell you, proportions are very important, so measure the exact length and breadth of the shelf you would like to install and ensure that it compliments the size of your wall.

Step 3: Mark and Cut the Shelves

Once you have the measurements, mark the wooden planks and cut with a chop saw. Now sand the edges carefully so that you have a smooth and clean finish.

Step 4: Attach the Hanging Brackets to the Shelves

Now your shelves are ready to be fixed to the walls. Attach hanging brackets on the wooden shelf. Leave 3 inches from both ends and attach the outer most brackets. Then attach another one in the middle of the shelf. 3 brackets are sufficient for a 3 feet long shelf. However, if your shelf is any longer, it is advisable to attach more brackets for ample support.

Step 5: Attach the Shelves to the Wall

Now hold the wooden shelf against the space you want to hang it on. Ensure that you are holding it straight and steady. Enlist the help of a friend if needed. Once the shelf is held in place, mark the spots on which you need to put screws to hang the brackets on the wall with marking chalks. Now drill in screws at the spots you have marked. You can now proceed to hang the shelf on the screws. Ensure that the shelf is hung firmly.


To further enhance the look of your floating shelf, you can accentuate the wall on which you hang the shelf by painting it in some bright and vibrant color. Alternately, you could also paint your shelf! Now coordinate colors for your shelf display and throw in an artifact or two to liven it up. Be as creative as you like. This can be a focal point in your room and form an attractive display.