finished Floating Shelves for Beginners

Floating Shelves for a Non-DIYer

Guys! I made floating shelves. Can you believe it? I was getting tired of how plain our bathroom looked, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on having to either hire someone or searching high and low for shelves that looked like my vision. So I took matters into my own hands!

Now, I am by no means a DIY-er nor will I ever be. I considered it for a hot minute, but then I said “Nah” and hung up my husband’s drill. I, however, did manage to make 2 floating shelves for our bathroom, or should I say “throne room” and 2 above our tub in my short-lived DIY career and I want to share how I did it!

These are really pretty simple, and if you like or are good at math, it will be a sinch! I followed the instructions from Angela Rose Home and catered it to what I had lying around/what I could find at Home Depot. Full disclosure, we live in a new development, so I was able to find some plywood lying around that I used to make the ones above our tub which was a huge help.

The tutorial by Angela just about says everything and instead of reinventing the wheel, I wanted to share an amazing person’s hard work. I did want to make some recommendations for you beginners like me though in hopes that you will avoid making the same mistakes I made.

Plan Ahead

I am not always the best planner when I get really excited about something. I sometimes get in the mindset of “I’ll figure it out” and I do. However, to save as much time as possible, planning it out is huge. Draw up what you want the floating shelves to look like. Measure your space to see how much wood you will need. Make a list of what you have so you don’t get more than you need. Planning will make such a difference, I promise!

In this planning stage, also plan how high you want the shelves to be off of the toilet. I have read that the best height to be aesthetically pleasing is between 16-24 inches from the top of the toilet and 12-16 inches apart if you are doing two shelves.

Floating Shelves for Beginners brackets

Measure all the things!

That’s right folks. Eye-balling will not work so well here. Also, did you know that the distance between walls is not the same?? That’s right. I measured the front of where my shelf would be and then at the wall and the sizes were different! Here’s a trick if this happens to you, sand it down! If you have an orbital sander (one of the circle-looking ones that you plug in) you can sand wood down about a quarter of an inch.

It’s also important to measure and re-measure things because numbers can start to blend together and the key to making this look good is to have things as exact as possible. Where are all my perfectionists at? This one is for you.

Get Long Enough Nails for the Studs

I didn’t really know this, but the stud isn’t as close to the outside of the wall as I thought it was. As such, one of the screws I put in, even though it was at a stud, was not drilled into the stud. So, yeah. Get long enough screws. It will make a huge difference.

Floating Shelves for Beginners brackets

Pocket Holes are WORTH IT

Pocket holes allow you to drill at an angle into the wood to join them. They are amazing and 100% worth it. They provide a stronger hold and make it so you can hide the holes. A small pocket hole jig at Home Depot costs about $30 and is enough if you are just doing small projects. You will also need a clamp and special pocket hole screws for these, but again, so worth it.

Check the Stain

The stains will look differently on each piece of wood, depending on the type and the softness of it. Usually, places like Home Depot will have posters that show you what each stain will look like on each piece of wood. Use this! It will save you from having to make multiple trips to the store because you didn’t have the right stain for your wood.

Floating Shelves for Beginners stain

If you decide to make some shelves of your own, let me know! I am so excited to see what you make and how beautiful it will look. And if it doesn’t turn out how you expected, no sweat! Just keep trying and learn from your mistakes. At least you tried something new, right??

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