Easy How to DIY Floating Shelves Next to Fireplace

October 21, 2021

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

More About Me




Last week I shared the changes I made to our dated corner cabinet space. After having the cabinet removed, I added new flooring, new trim and shiplapped the walls….oh, and I went a little crazy painting everything black. 🙂

Corner cabinet removed and black painted shiplap walls added. A full view of the entire open space

Now to make this space pop! Let’s add some DIY floating shelves. These are so simple to build…Let’s get started….

First and foremost, I measured the space and determined that I wanted 5 shelves evenly spaced from one another. I also knew I wanted them all placed within the black shiplap wall area. Now onto the build!


Materials Needed: 

2×4’s (Amount needed is dependent on size of space and the width you’ve chosen for your shelves)

4×8 Sheet of plywood (Amount needed is once again dependent on shelf dimensions)

1×4 pinewood (Amount needed depends on shelf dimensions)

Kreg jig screws

1 1/2″ Finishing screws 

2 1/2″ Finishing Screws

Wood Filler



Tools Needed:

Kreg Jig

Miter Saw


Table Saw or Circular Saw

(Amazon Affiliate Links Included)

Step One: Build Supports

I chose to rip my 2×4’s down to 2×3’s, but this step is not necessary. All of your supports will be covered with plywood, so they will not be visible.

Cut a 2×4 (for each shelf) the length you’ve chosen for your shelf. This will be your stretcher.

Cut 2×4’s to the remaining width of the shelf. These will be your cleats. Add 1 1/2″ pocket holes to one end of each cleat….

2X4's cut down to shorter boards with pocket holes on one end

Attach (using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws) to the 2×4 stretcher, spacing each cleat out about 12″….

Supports for floating shelves

Step Two: Cut Spacers

Once you’ve figured out the spacing for each shelf, cut scrap wood to serve as your spacers between each shelf. These will be used to place your supports on top of, so that gravity doesn’t work against you and you can easily screw the support into the wall….

Spacers to put supports on top of

Step Three: Attach Supports to Wall

Now you’re ready to attach your supports to the wall. Use your spacers to set the support on as you work your way up the wall. Attach each support with 2 1/2″ screws.

Spacers and Supports for diy floating shelves

Be sure to use a level to ensure each support is straight…

Girl using a level to check the supports for diy floating shelves

Supports screwed into a wall

Step Four: Face Supports with Plywood

Cut plywood to fit across the full span of your bottom support….

Supports with one plywood sheet on it

Cut your spacers just enough to fit the bottom sheet of plywood to the underside of the support. Once again, this is to help you work against gravity and will make it easier to attach the underside plywood, while the spacer is holding it up for you….

Spacer holding up a sheet of plywood on a support

Work your way up the wall, facing the top and bottom of each support, using 1 1/2″ screws….

DIY Floating shelves faced with tops and bottoms plywood

Step Five: Face Front of Supports with 1×4’s

Rip 1×4’s to cover perfectly the fronts of each support. Cut to fit and attach with 1 1/2″ screws…

DIY floating shelves all faced with tops and bottoms

Work your way up the wall covering the front of each support…

DIY floating shelves all faced front, top and bottom

Step Six: Finish Work

Here comes the fun part. Well, almost…first, fill in all of your nail holes with wood filler and sand down when dry. Then you’re ready for stain! I chose Varathane Golden Oak stain for mine! It’s my go-to stain for everything! So Good!!

DIY floating shelves stained

Decorating shelves is my nemesis. Especially wide shelves like these. So after a few tries…

Shelves styled

Nope! That’s not it!

Corner space styled

That’s better! But still need to make some changes! Which I’ll share with you next week!

But for now, I love how these floating shelves opened up the space and just make the room feel bigger. To finish the look, I ordered a couple chairs to create a new sitting area in front of our huge picture windows. Such a cozy space….

Sitting area with two cream color chairs, a modern floor lamp and large picture windows

These chairs are the perfect addition to this space…

Cream color chair with a fiddle leaf fig behind it, large windows and diy floating shelves

Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

Don’t forget to join my VIP List below for many more great tutorials. 

Hop over to Instagram to see all of the RL behind the scenes. What am I working on now?….come check it out!

Oldie but Goodie RL Posts:

Easy How to Build Floating Shelves

Easy How to Build a Bench Seat with Lockers

How to Build a Faux Wood Beam Mantel


Read more posts like this one…

How to Build the Pottery Barn Brooks Dining Table

How to Build the Pottery Barn Brooks Dining Table

Next to room makeovers, table builds are my happy place!! Unfortunately, I don't share them near as much as I would like. It's a post that takes a lot of time to put together and sometimes time just doesn't allow it. And sometimes a table build is so good, you have to...

4 Easy Steps to DIY a Wood Slat Accent Wall

4 Easy Steps to DIY a Wood Slat Accent Wall

A wood slat accent wall used to only be seen in finer hotels with a mid century modern vibe to them. But not anymore! Bringing that relaxing, hotel-esque feel into your home, has become more and more desirable. At first people adapted ways to make their bedroom feel...