DIY Reclaimed Wood Floating Shelves

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Wreath and decorative pillows are from Target. White quilt and shams are from Ikea like 6 years ago.

When I was designing our master bedroom, I had an image in mind, like I usually do with projects, but it has taken a while to get things like I want them. The floating shelves are a project I had been planning for a while, and we finally made some time to get them hung up. It was a challenge at times, but they look great. Also, they’re still hanging after several weeks, so I think they’re going to stay! It’s no secret that I love old wood. Above our bed, we hung an old wood door. It’s more like a shed door versus a door with a knob, but I love the warmth it brings to the room. When I was thinking about what wood to use for the shelves, I wanted it to compliment the door. We had old barnwood from our previous kitchen table that matched the door almost perfectly. It’s not the ideal size, a little wide, but they are working great, and we didn’t have to purchase any wood to make the shelves! It’s actually a simple-ish project. If you buy your wood at a store like Lowe’s, they will usually cut your pieces down to size. Letting them cut the wood means less work for you. Below is a supply list.

  • wood of your choice (we used 1×12 reclaimed wood in 2′ pieces)
  • 5″ metal brackets (2-3 per self depending on length; we used 2)
  • stud finder (trust me these make so many projects easier)
  • screws (1.5″ for the wall mount and .5″ for the shelf mount)
  • screw driver
  • measuring tape
  • level
The old barnwood ready to go.

First, I used washi tape, my favorite tape ever, to measure how big I wanted the shelves and where to position them. The washi tape let me see a picture of what the shelves would look like without damaging the walls. I thought I wanted three shelves, but we ended up going with two. The boards we used are true 1x12s, and I feel like they are a bit too wide. I would suggest using something more like a 1×10. However, I do like all the space the deep shelves provide for some decorations.

Once you have all your supplies ready and you know where you want your shelves, it’s time to start hanging. I do think you need two people for this job. It was tricky for us because the studs were not in the perfect places, but we made it work. To make the shelves look like they’re floating, you want to hide the top of the bracket behind your shelf decor or books.

First, attach the brackets to the wall. We used the shelf to help make sure the brackets were level but didn’t attach the shelf yet. Once the brackets were in the wall, we marked the holes on the shelf and predrilled some starter holes in the bottom of the shelf. The old wood is hardwood and can sometimes be a little tough. Repeat this four times, and before you know it you’re done! Then, comes my favorite part-styling.

I wanted these shelves specifically to hold our books. Honestly, I’d love to have a huge library! There’s something cozy and relaxing to me about books, so when we were trying to figure out storage for our collection, I thought our bedroom would be a good place to keep our books. I was right. The shelves make our bedroom look much more complete. All I have left to do now is hang curtains, which will likely turn into another DIY because I have expensive taste. I also want to add some lamps to the side tables but haven’t found the perfect ones yet.

I turned some of the books around because all of the different colors made things look really busy which is not what I wanted.

The DIY “floating” shelves would be a great addition to any room in your house. I do love the look of reclaimed wood, but a simple stain would be beautiful on new wood too. Tag me in your display @annakateturner. I would love to see how you make these your own.

After taking all the styled pictures, I found another box full of books. Hahaha! These shelves will be full soon.

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