I can’t believe the overwhelming response on the floating book shelves that we did in the nursery! I have been obsessed with that thought of these ever since I saw them in my inspiration room and I am so glad to see that I am not the only one loving the idea.
So how can you get this look in your space? Well here is what you will need. The measurements below are to do this on a wall of a similar size to ours – you will need to adjust if you want to do a larger/smaller space.
- 6 – 1’ x 4’ x 6’ Poplar Boards Pre Cut Boards
- 6 – 1’ x 8’ Poplar Trim Pieces
- 20 – 1/4” x 4” Flat Head Hanger Bolts
- 2 – 1/4” nuts
- Chalk Line or Level
- Stud Finder
- Wood Glue
- Finishing Nails
1. Measure your space and determine layout
We had an extremely scientific method for laying out the shelves. It consisted of me standing back and saying “I think I want six, with the first one starting about this far from the ceiling and the last one right above the outlet.” Seriously – that is how we got started. But it worked and from there we were able to decide that we wanted 13 inches between each shelf and that would give us a total of six.
We also had to determine length. Again – it was extremely practical. “I want it to be this far from the window and this far from the other wall.” (I know you guys can see me all pregnant directing my poor hubby around with the ruler. The man has so much patience to put up with me!) We marked those lengths and were able to figure out that we would only have cut down a 6’ board by a minor amount to make that length work.
2. Find the studs and mark your lines
Once we had the layout figured out – we used a stud finder and a chalk line to mark each shelf. You will want to find the stud on either end of your shelf and mark those at how far apart you want them height-wise. Then you line up your chalk line on the two ends and snap it to get a level line. Once you have that line – you can mark the studs in between your two ends.
3. Install hanger bolts
Now if you haven’t ever worked with a hanger bolt – this is what they look like. See how they are threaded tight on one side and looser on the other? The tightly threaded side is called the machine threaded side. The loosely threaded side is called the wood threaded side. You are going to install the wood threaded side into the wall and leave the rest of it out to mount the shelf on.
To install them, you need to find the center of the stud along the line for your shelf. Pre-drill a hole for the hanger bolt. Then thread the 2 1/4 inch nuts on the machine thread side of the hanger bolt. Tighten the two nuts against one another using two wrenches to make a place on the hanger bolt that you can use a socket on. Then use either a deep socket with a ratchet OR deep socket on a drill with an adapter. Slide the socket over the two tightened nuts and screw into the wall up to the end of the wood thread. It is critical that you keep them as straight and centered as possible. As you install them – they will look a little like the picture below.
4. Cut your boards and trim to length and attach trim pieces
Next you need to cut your boards down to the length you have determined you want for your wall. If you want to have trim on the ends of the boards then you also need to account for that in your measurement. Use either a miter box or a miter saw to make the corners of your trim all pretty! Below is a close up of what our trim looks like – I didn’t get pictures the day the hubby was working on it! (Bad blogger!)
Once your trim is cut – attach onto the shelves with a little wood glue and some finishing nails. A nail gun makes quick work out of this but isn’t a necessity.
5. Mark where hanger bolts will line up and drill holes into shelves
Once you have your shelves constructed you will need to take them into the room and line them up against your hanger bolts based on where you want the shelf to start and end. Mark the center of where each hanger bolt will line up and make sure your marks are centered on your shelf. (NOTE: Make sure you have your shelf flipped the right way when you are marking it! We had one that we had to redo because it was upside down when we marked it.) Once those are marked you want to drill a slightly larger hole (either a 3/8” or 5/16”) into the shelf. Test fit shelf on wall by sliding over hanger bolts – make any adjustments necessary to get a snug and secure fit.
6. Paint shelves
Once your shelves are all ready to roll – all you have left to do is paint them. We ended up painting the same color as our trim in the room, but you could get really creative with these.
7. Mount and make pretty
Finally – all you have to do is slide the finished shelf over the hanger bolts and you are ready to decorate. I think shelves like this would also look amazing as a gallery ledge with lots of pictures or artwork.
How about one more shot of these in the room! Ahhh… I love them so much!
So there you go! Those are all the steps you need to make these fantastic shelves for yourself. They really aren’t that challenging to make! Now that you have seen the how to – are you going to try it? I wanna know!
P.S. Make sure you check out the full nursery post for a recap on the design and the how to for all the great projects that went into the room!
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