DIY Rustic Modern Floating Shelves: part one

Here’s a problem you may be able to relate to… I live in a track home in the suburbs and have a lot of big walls and not a lot of definition when it comes to defining one room from another.

And although I love the open concept, it’s a challenge to add character and interest into a space.  But I think I nailed this one and I am super excited to show you these rustic modern floating shelves that we built!

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at the beginning of this project, but absolutely love how they turned out.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure.

 These Vintage Revivals inspired Modern Rustic Floating Shelves solved 2 main problems for me.

One, they provided definition for my living room (which is actually just part of a giant room right when you walk into my home that includes the entry, dining room, and living room.)

And two, they provided a place for me to display some pretty things.  I don’t have a lot of opportunities to do this in my house and think it adds so much personality and warmth.

This post turned out to be really long so I broke it up into 2 parts.

Today I’ll show you how we built the shelves, and tomorrow I’ll show you how we installed them.

Ok. Onward!

Supplies:

(Each of my shelves  is 43 inches long, 10 inches deep, and 2 inches tall.)

Just a little FYI… You can order all of your supplies on HomeDepot.com and they will gather it all up for you and all you do is pick it up!  No more wandering around the store lost! Yipeeee!

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

Step 1: Cut your wood.

Again, I made five 43 x 10 inch shelves.  Your cuts will change if you change the size of the shelf.

  • Cut ten, 43 inch long pieces of 1 x 3 wood.
  • Cut ten, 8 inch long pieces of 1 x 3 wood.
  • Cut fifteen, 8 inch long pieces of 1 x 2 wood.

Step 2: Create a template

Before drilling I made a template so that I made sure I was drilling into the center of my boards.  They’re quite thin, and you don’t want them to split.  To do this I took an outline of how wide my boards were and marked 2 holes in the center.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

I poked holes in the paper where these marks were and used it at the end of my 43 inch boards to mark where I would drill.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

Step 3: Pre drill holes for the backs and start a wood screw in each hole.

Be sure that the screws you use have a flat head on them because they will be up against the wall and you don’t want them to interfere with the board being flat against the wall when you install the shelves.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

Step 4: Attach side pieces (your eight inch 1 x 3s)

Lay your 43 inch board (the one you just started the screws in) and an eight inch 1 x3 on their sides at  90° and check to make sure they’re square.

Attach the two pieces by screwing in the screw you just started so that it goes into the end of the 8 inch piece.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

Step 5:  Attach your front boards.

Lay your front board (43 inch board) in place and pre drill a hole through both your front board and the side piece.  The size of your pre drilled hole will depend on the size of the hex bolt you are using.

Then, insert the hex bolt with a washer to hold the two pieces together.

Now you have the frames of your shelves!

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

Step 6: (Optional) Stain your shelves.

Step 7: Cut the tops for the shelves.

Take a measurement of the inside rectangle  of your shelf frames and cut a pieces of underlayment just a hair smaller so that the underlayment fits just inside of the frame.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

This wood is super thin and will splinter.  See this quick tip to make sure the wood doesn’t splinter.

Note**If your tops are slightly too tight, use a sander to shave them down a little bit.

Step 8:  Put the tops on.

Take your shelf top (underlayment) and lay it on a flat surface and put your frame over it, making sure that the underlayment fits just inside the shelf frame on all sides.

Lay 3 pieces of your 1 x 2’s on top of the underlayment and from the outside of the frame nail in place with a finishing nail on both sides.

Flip the shelf over (holding the top in place) and you’re done!

*Note: I did not stain the tops of my shelves because I really liked the two-tone look.

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

RELATED: DIY SHARPIE HEXAGON “WALLPAPER”

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

DIY rustic modern floating shelves

The hard part is over!  So go kick your feet up and I’ll be back on tomorrow to show you how to install them!

RELATED: HOW TO INSTALL YOUR FLOATING SHELVES

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Easy DIY floating shelves - complete tutorial to build and install them. #floatingshelves #industrialmodern

About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don’t consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

37 thoughts on “DIY Rustic Modern Floating Shelves: part one

  1. Love these floating shelves! I am sharing this to Pinterest.

  2. […] Rustic Modern Floating Shelves: Complete tutorial to build 5 rustic modern floating shelves from scratch about $50. These shelves add so much character to my space and give me some display space… (via Hey there, Home) […]

  3. Shakera says:

    What did you use to mount them on the wall?

    1. We screwed them directly into the wall. It is part two of that post and you can find it right here.

  4. […] DIY Rustic Modern Floating Shelves: part one – TinySidekick. Complete tutorial to build 5 rustic modern floating shelves from scratch about $50. These shelves add so much character to my space and give me some display … […]

  5. […] DIY Rustic Modern Floating Shelves: part one – TinySidekick. Complete tutorial to build 5 rustic modern floating shelves from scratch about $50. These shelves add so much character to my space and give me some display … […]

  6. Linda Weeks says:

    Yeah, that is one good tutorial. Makes me want to go find our circular saw! I’ll get back to you on it!

  7. I absolutely love these!!! They don’t seem overly complicated to build and they have a rustic chic look that I really like. I think these will be making an appearance in my office!

  8. Saw these on Pinterest. They’re gorgeous!

  9. […] just added a few sprinkles of fall on my floating shelves, like the Thankful String Art that I made last year.  I don’t know why I didn’t think […]

  10. amanda says:

    Hi there- I really love these. I am going to attempt to make them this weekend. Thanks for posting 🙂 Can I ask which colour stain you used?

    Thanks again!

    Amanda

    1. Hi Amanda. The stain I used was miniwax in Walnut. It is the perfect shade of brown without being to orange or too dark. I’d absolutely love to see the end result! Please send me pics of your finished project to tinysidekick@gmail.com

  11. Hi Corey Could you please share a photo of the entire room. Using your design as a reference for our living room. We have the same room layout, furniture arrangement etc. Love it! Thanks in advance

  12. Adania says:

    Hi Corey Could you please share a photo of the entire living room. Using this design as a reference for our living room. We have exactly the same layout/furniture/etc. Love it! Thanks for the idea…

  13. Great tutorial, and I love these shelves! Oh, and I”m also in love with those subtle hexagon walls 🙂

    1. Your so sweet! This is definitely one of my favorite rooms in my house now. I have a few little things left to do in here, but it is coming along. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. We have an open concept home too, and I was wondering what I was going to do with one of our corners by a window. Now I have my answer! The shelves really suit your space. Thank you for a great tutorial, Corey!

    Val

  15. These shelves are great! I’m so glad you shared the tutorial! I will definitely be attempting to make some like this for my new craft room!

    1. They would be great in a craft room cause they are definitely deep enough to be useful! Loving all of your pinspiration! Can’t wait to see the end result!

  16. Oh wow, those shelves are gorgeous! I really love the giant bolts and washers holding the corners together. Pinning this, and thanks so much for sharing at Creativity Unleashed!

  17. I just love these … I have been wanting to do this in my dining room ….. great tutorial!!!

  18. This is amazing. I love that you used two different types of wood. Oh, and the print mixing in this room is amazing!!

    1. Thank you so much. This room has been a very long work in progress so thank you for your kind words. I’m hoping to finish up the DIY posts from this room soon (including the wall treatment) and get the reveal up! It is my new favorite room in my house.

  19. these turned out fantastic!! pinned it!

  20. Those are too cute! I love this idea! Stopping by from the Weekend Blog Block Party. Have a great weekend!

    Emily

  21. Megin says:

    Awesome, Corey! I can’t wait for part two.

  22. Great idea! are those hex bolts or lag screws that you used in the front? Hex bolts are not sharp so I’m wondering, if you used them, how you secured them. Lag screws are sharp, like giant screws with a hex head. I’ll check back to see which they are before going shopping. 🙂

    1. Hi Gale! I used hex bolts. They were not sharp at the end which is why I pre drilled holes. I just image searched both though and you could use either one I guess. I was mostly going for the finished detail that they gave and they both would look the same on the finished project. I’m excited to hear that you are going to give this a try! Let me know how it goes. And I’d love to see pictures of the outcome!

    2. gale says:

      awesome-thanks! I think I’d have to drill for either one so I’ll just see what we have on hand first. I do love how the bolt heads look on this.

  23. Courtney says:

    What a great idea. I love the look of the shelves, the room, and especially your blog!

  24. Love these. Way to go on building them, I would have been lazy and grabbed some from Target. I’m sure yours will last much longer, too! (I’m totally waiting for the tutorial on your hex walls… sharpie wall paper from Vintage Revivals? I’m DYING to try it out but our walls are mega textured.)

  25. Going two-tone was a great choice. It looks so good!! And you styled the shelves so beautifully!

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