Floating Shelves

DIY Wall to Wall Floating Shelves

DIY floating shelves

So you have an empty wall and are trying to find ways to fill it up, but you want it to have a duel purpose. Maybe you need something to organize your kid’s playroom like what we did. Well, My best suggestion would be some wall to wall floating shelves. Most floating shelf out there is basically an arm and a leg. Thats only for one shelf and its not even in your size or vision too. No worries to thatI can show you how to make some bomb wall to wall DIY floating shelves with the minimum about of tools and that won’t break the bank.

The Breakdown of the Floating Shelves

The only major tools you will need is a circular saw, a drill, and a hammer. Pretty sweet right. The total cost in lumber was about $40ish for two 8ft 3.5 inch thick shelves and $55ish for a 5.5 inch thick shelves. The price may vary depending on where you are located, but I would say thats not a bad day. Also if you don’t want them wall to wall you can just modify this tutorial and add side facing. These are totally customizable.

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  • Drill
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer/ or nail gun
  • Stain Brush
  • Measuring Tape (I like to use one that has the measure labels for me, Its a pain trying to remember what is 5/8 or 7/8 )
  • Square
  • Pencil


These make for a pair of 3.5 inch thick Shelf at 8 ft long at 1 ft deep, adjust for the length of your wall.

  • 1-1x4x8
  • 4-2x3x8
  • 1-1/2 inch thick 4’x8’ Plywood
  • 2’’ spax screws ( I freaking love these suckers, no pre drilling to do, and very very rare to you split the wood.)
  • 3 to 3 1/2’’ spax screws (or self tapping screws)


1. First you want to rip your plywood down into 11 1/2’’ sheets. This will give you a little over a foot depth. Just enough room for what you will be putting on them. You can rip the boards at home with a Kreg rip jig and your circular saw, or you can have your local home improvement store do it. 

2. Secondly, mark the studs where you will be placing the shelves at. Now if you are adding side facing cut off 1 1/5 inches off two of the 2x3x8s to make up for the addition facing. Next you want to cut two of the 2x3s into five 9 3/4’’ pieces. In order to get the size cut I needed to subtracted 1 1/2 ( the actual thickness of the 2×3) and the plywood sheet of 11 1/4 to get the measurement.

These will be legs or the stems of the cleat. Attach one at each end of a 2’x3’x8’ with your 2’’ spax screws. In addition, you will want to attach the other as well, but spread them out in a way that it doesn’t land on a stud area.

3. Now you can attach the cleat to the wall by drilling the 3’ spax screws thru the cleat into the studs. just FYI I did somewhat hang on one just to see if it was a strong hold. Yup that sucker was not going now where, but to be on the safe side I aded a few more screws. 

4. Next its time to cover these bad boys. I suggest staining the plywood and front facing first and then attaching them. I did it the other way and man was it a pain in the butt. Kept getting stain on the walls, and staining beneath the shelves was a killer on my back, Not to mention the room will smell of stain for a few days. 

5. Then once the stain is dry you can go ahead and either screws or nail them to the top and bottom of the cleats. If you want to be able to remove them easier with too much damage screwing them down is the best option, but if you plan on leaving them there permanently then nailing is the other option. 

6. Finally we can now move on to the front facing. All you have to do is nail them into the cleat and your done. Beautiful wall to wall DIY floating shelves. 

floating wall to wall floating shelves angle 2
Floating Shelves

They are great for a library in the office or a kids room like what I have done. Its an awesome focal point to any room, and by adding baskets and accessories you make it you style. You really cant go wrong with these. We used them to display our son’s big toys and to keep them off the floor. If you want to download the plans and get a step by step with pictures for more ease, go ahead and sign up to our email list and you will get access to all the free furniture plans

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