Last month I redid my kitchen and added DIY corner floating shelves. I wanted something custom to perfectly fit in the corner between my cabinets and fridge. They look high end and support a ton of weight because of how they are built. This is a project is an intermediate level project as you need to be precise to get professional looking shelves. \
how to make diy corner floating shelves
With our kitchen renovation, I changed the layout of the kitchen and moved the fridge to the side wall so I could have more lower cabinet storage and counter top space. However, I didn’t want to add an upper cabinet because we had plenty of storage space, but I wanted more decor space!
Here’s how the kitchen corner looked before the DIY corner floating shelves were installed:
It was just a black hole of wasted space. But I knew that an L shaped shelf would add tons of decorative storage- yes please!
And now I have pretty floating shelves that are custom, have under cabinet lighting built in, and have a place to display my collection of rainbow dishes. I think they make the room feel bigger. Since they’re open, they allow the eye to move around. And it added a really pretty element to the room. Instead of an upper cabinet, having functional decor is a huge benefit to me!
I love how my shelves turned out and now I’m excited to teach you how to make your own too! These don’t just have to be for a kitchen. They could work in a bathroom, living room, bedroom, or laundry room. Since these are 100% custom, they can be built to any size and can be painted in any color. Aka- they’re super versatile!
Ready to make the DIY floating shelves? Here’s what you need
- 2 Sheets Plywood 1/2″ thick(depending on the size and quantity of shelves, you might only need one sheet)
- Wood Glue
- Brad Nailer
- 18 Gauge Nails
- 1″ Screwsfor the frame
- 3 1/8″ Screws for attaching the frame to the wall
- Wood filler
- White Paint– Ultra Pure White in a Satin Finish
Here are the measurements we used for creating our floating corner shelves. This is very specific for our shelves, but I thought it might be useful to show exactly what we did.
step 1- rip plywood sheets with a table saw for supports
Start by ripping the plywood sheets into strips of 2 1/16″ with a table saw. That’s a super specific number, but it makes for 3″ tall shelves once assembled. We wanted our two shelves to be the exact height as our 3″ tall subway tiles. Since these are custom, you can go with whatever height you want.
step 2- construct the arms of the frame
Next, use wood glue to put two pieces of the plywood strips together. This creates the support arms for the frame of the shelves. In addition to the glue, we ended up also using 1″ screws to keep them tight against each other. Then a clamp was put on the wood to hold it together while the glue dried. The arms are 14 9/16″ long.
Note- if you have other wood on hand, you can use that. We felt like ripping the plywood into strips was the most cost effective and made for the most professional looking shelves once assembled. Plus, this is a very strong method of construction.
step 3 attach the arms onto the back of the frame
And now, build the frame for the arms to connect to. The length of the back and side depend on what size your space is. For us, the finished shelves measure 32 1/4″ wide on one side of the L shaped shelf and 38 1/16″ wide on the other side. We wanted the shelves to end up being 15″ deep so we cut 14 9/16″ long support arms.
Can you tell how custom these are so they fit perfectly?!
The above illustration shows how the frame is built. The back (gray) is one piece of plywood. Cut that to the correct size and then attach the arms (green) which are two pieces of plywood glued together. Finally, fill in with one more piece of plywood (blue) so that the back and side of the frame are two pieces of plywood thick between the arms.
Use wood glue and screw the two pieces of plywood together to finalize the frame.
Next, use screws to attach the frame to the wall. Make sure to screw the shelves into the studs for a very strong shelf.
step 4- finish assembly
Now that the frame is on the wall, it’s the exciting part! Time to add plywood to the top, bottom, front, and sides to finish up the shelves. None of the frame will be showing. Instead, it’ll all be covered with plywood for a beautiful finish.
Cut the wood for the top, bottom, front, and sides to the correct size with a table saw. Then use a brad nailer to secure it onto the frame. Since our shelf goes in a corner, we cut a rectangular piece of wood for the top and bottom of one side and then cut a smaller rectangular for the other side.
Note, we also used a router on the bottom of our shelves to attach under cabinet lighting. This is obviously an optional step. For a kitchen I 100% suggest taking the time and expense to add it though.
Finally, use wood filler over the nail holes to create a smooth finish. Then, use caulk in the seams and along the wall to fill any cracks. Once that has dried, use a few coats of white paint to finish the shelves.
And here we have the finished floating shelves. I love how they are the perfect blank slate for decor and make the room appear bigger! When I first added the rainbow dishes, it looked a little bare so I have slowly added coordinating colorful cook books and mugs from the Lenox Village collection.
I’ll do a post soon all about the rainbow cookbooks because I happen to believe they are the perfect functional and decorative accent in a kitchen. Don’t they look pretty?!
I’m of the opinion that decor looks prettier layered and gathered over time! Besides the rainbow dishes and ice cream art, all of these are second hand finds. I still need to find some mint and pink cook books, but that’s part of the fun!
is it cheaper to build your own shelves?
For our shelves, we spend about $100 on two sheets of plywood. The rest of the supplies we had on hand. For two custom shelves, I am very happy with that price. Instead of building the support frame, you could also buy these floating shelf brackets and then add a plywood box around the brackets. That’d keep it cost effective.
After pricing out shelves pre-made and the option of making my own, I found that it was less expensive to buy the materials and construct my own. Plus, pre made shelves just didn’t come in the custom corner size I needed.
If you’re doing rectangular shelves, you can always search for some from a store. They’d probably cost a bit more than building your own, but save on time.
do you need studs for floating shelves
For a shelf over 16″ wide, you might as well anchor it into the stud since you’ll go over at least one. The more studs you can drill into and attach the DIY floating shelves too, the stronger they will be. I suggest using a stud finder to locate the stud and then make sure to drill the frame into it.
If you don’t hit a stud when installing, you can use a wall anchor or toggle bolt to help the shelves stay on the wall. You’ll have to be cautious about what you put on top of the finished shelves since it won’t support as much weight.
how much weight can floating shelves support?
It depends on the material the shelves are built from, how many studs were screwed into when installing, and how deep the shelf is. A standard floating shelf can support around 35-50 pounds. Mine feels very secure and I’d guess could hold up to 100 pounds easily.
There you have it! My cutie diy corner floating shelves. We worked so hard on customizing this kitchen and adding special elements. I love sharing them with you! Let me know if you have any questions.
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How do you hang corner shelves without brackets? ›
Use a kit that is labeled to support more than the weight of the items you plan to place on it. You can also mount shelves using support pins or ledges. A support pin functions the same way as an invisible bracket in a floating shelf kit. It resembles a long rod with a flanged end, and fits into the shelf from behind.How do you support shelves in a corner? ›
Corner shelving should be fixed to the support battens - with the shelf in position, mark underneath the side of the supports onto the shelf. Drill a hole halfway between the marks and the edge of the shelf to take a small screw, and countersink the top side of the shelf if necessary.How much weight can a floating corner shelf hold? ›
But how much weight can a floating shelf hold? TLDR: A floating shelf can hold 45-50 pounds for every wall stud that your floating shelf bracket is attached to. For instance, a 3' shelf that's attached to two wall studs can safely support ~100 pounds.What can I use to make floating shelves? ›
The most cost-effective way to create DIY floating shelves is to buy a larger piece of wood and cut it into smaller sections using a miter or circular saw. Obviously, you'll want to customize the size to fit the space you plan to hang them. We cut ours to 25 inches per shelf.How do you hang corner shelves without nails? ›
Popular adhesive strips include Command picture hanging strips, Scotch reclosable fasteners, and Velcro removable mounting strips. You can buy these products from most craft and office supply stores. For extremely small or light shelves, a moldable adhesive glue like Sugru may also work.Can command strips hold floating shelves? ›
In fact, Command actually makes small picture ledges that are just shelves you hang on your wall using their adhesive strips. You could also buy their large picture hanging-strips and use them on the back of floating shelves. The downside is strength and stability.Can I install floating shelves without drilling? ›
Floating shelves add a sophisticated touch to your interior design. If you are living in a condo, drilling is a big no-no. The good thing is that you can install floating shelves without the need to drill, thanks to No More Nails.What angle is a corner shelf? ›
What angle do I cut for a corner shelf? The angle depends on how you want your corner shelf to look. You can put the pieces together at a 90-degree angle with straight cuts. Or you can cut each piece at a 45-degree angle, so they fit together in the center of the shelf.How high should a corner shelf be? ›
In most cases, corner shelves work best when installed between 42” off of the base and “eye level”. When installing as a Foot Shelf, a comfortable height is about 9” to 12” off the shower base. To smooth out a seamfill bead with your finger, dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and then dampen your finger.How do you stabilize a corner bookshelf? ›
If it has a backing, drive 3-inch screws through the backing into the studs behind the bookcase. Use washers with the screws to distribute the load. Alternatively, if there is no backing, affix 1-inch metal corner brackets to the studs and the underside of the top shelf or the sides of the bookcase.
Do floating shelves have to go into studs? ›
If your shelves are heavy or you plan on using them to hold a heavy object, installing the shelving into studs will provide optimal holding power. Of course, a stud is not necessary for all shelving systems. Depending on the product, you can support from 50 to 350 pounds without anchoring directly into a support beam.How far off the counter should floating shelves be? ›
In a kitchen, shelves should be 18 to 24 inches above the counter, with 21 to 15 inches between shelves.How high should 2 floating shelves be? ›
What height should floating shelves be? Like artwork, floating shelves look best when they're eye level, about four to five feet from the floor. If you're hanging shelves above furniture, measure about ten inches from the top of the desk or couch.How do you template a corner? ›
- Place a large piece of cardboard into the corner. ...
- Measure both sides of the cardboard from the corner. ...
- Place a straightedge on the cardboard at the point where you made the marks. ...
- Place the cardboard on a worktable. ...
- Insert the triangle into the corner.
The rule of thumb for spacing is 12 inches between each shelf but bump that up to 15 or 18 inches and you enhance that sense of exposure and accessibility. Length is where you'll see the most variation.How are floating shelves fastened to the wall? ›
The shelf casing has holes that allow the brackets to slide into place. Then the shelf is secured to the wall by tightening screws located underneath the shelf.How can I make cheap shelves look expensive? ›
- 01 of 05. Go Hardcover. Not to diss my favorite paperback titles, but hardcover books just display better. ...
- 02 of 05. Don't Display Everything. ...
- 03 of 05. Add Accessories. ...
- 04 of 05. Add Paper or Paint. ...
- 05 of 05. Incorporate Art.
For the cheapest shelves, use thin plywood and basic 2×4″ lumber. These shelves will be functional but may sag if the weight of the items you store is too heavy. For heavier items or wider spaces between supports, use thicker plywood. High-quality plywood resists sagging when heavier items are stored on the shelves.What can you make shelves out of? ›
- Pine plywood is a lightweight softwood that is inexpensive. However, it is prone to knots and splitting. ...
- Birch plywood is a hardwood. ...
- Oak plywood is a heavy hardwood that lends a rustic and sturdy charm.
If the walls are not at right angles, you can use a T-bevel to measure the angle between the walls. If you don't have a T-bevel, you can hold a piece of light cardboard against one wall and fold it so the crease is against the other, which you can use as a template for cutting the shelves.
How do you scribe corner shelves? ›
Slide the shelf into the corner, keeping the long back edge tight to the wall. If the shelf fits between two walls, cut it about 1/2 in. too long and set it in at an angle. Run a pencil along the wall to scribe the line.How do you round a shelf corner? ›
The easiest way is to use a router – a tool specifically designed for this job. However, you can also round wood edges without a router by using a hand plane, chisel, wood file, sandpaper, or even a jig saw.What angle do you cut corner shelves? ›
Each end of your 1x3 inch (2.54x7. 62 cm) board should be cut at a 45 degree angle.What is the best wood for floating shelves? ›
TLDR: The best wood types for floating shelves are solid, sustainable hardwoods that will resist warping or bowing. For modern decor, Alder, Walnut, Cherry, and White Oak are popular options. For a more classic look, try Maple or Mahogany.What do you do with a corner shelf? ›
In the bedroom, corner shelves are perfect for holding a lamp, alarm clock, or other bedside necessities. They can also be a place to store trinkets, figurines and hobby items like gaming collectibles. In the bathroom, corner shelves can be used to store toiletries, towels, and other bathroom items.How do you make a round corner box? ›
To create a simple box with rounded corners, add the border-radius property to box1 . The border-radius property is a shorthand property that sets the radius for all four corners of the box to the same value when given only one value.