How to Make Your Own Floating Shelf

What You'll Need
18-inch hollow-core wooden door
Straightedge guide
Tape measure
Lag screws
Drill bits
Electric screwdriver
Wood glue
Stud finder
Wood chisel

There are many homemade shelving projects that you can do, and one of the easiest is your own floating shelf. What makes a floating shelf something special is that they appear to be suspended in air. A floating shelf is installed directly to the wall studs, so it can support a decent amount of weight. The metal brackets cannot be seen because they're hidden inside the hollow cavity of the shelf itself. This is one of those homemade shelving projects that can either be really simple or very elaborate. Following are some simple instructions for you to follow in order to create your own basic floating shelf.

Step 1 - Cutting the Wood

The shelf itself is the hollow-core wooden door. Use the saw with a carbide blade (to ensure a smooth cut) to cut the door in half lengthwise. Make sure that you use the straightedge guide to get a very straight cut. To be certain that the cantilever strength is maintained, the floating shelf should not be more than 9 inches wide. The length, however, can be as long as you want it. For the purpose of this instructional it will be assumed the shelf will be the full length of the door. Use the tape measure and determine the thickness of the door. Cut the 2x4 to the thickness as well as the length of the door.

Step 2 - Preparing the Wall

Determine where you want the floating shelf to be positioned, and draw a line in pencil to the length of the shelf. Use the straightedge guide to get a straight line. Take the stud finder and slide it along the line for the shelf. When you find a stud, place a pencil mark. Drill 1/4 inch pilot holes at your marks. Hold the cut 2x4 up to the wall and line it up with the holes. Drill 1/8 inch holes through the 2x4. Insert the lag bolts and tighten them with the wrench. Use the level to make sure the wood is level.

Step 3 - Hanging the Floating Shelf

In order to finish the floating shelf, the door needs a little more preparation. Turn the door over so that the cut side is facing you. On the inside of the door you will notice a sort of cardboard membrane. Break away as much of this membrane as you can by using the wood chisel. Try to get at least 1-1/2 inches deep within the door and along the entire cut side. Carefully scrape away the glue from the inside of the door. Slide the half door on to the wood bolted to the studs to make sure it fits. Remove the door and place wood glue along top and bottom of the inside of the door as well as on the top and bottom of the 2x4. Slide the door back on the 2x4. Nail the door in place along the wall.