DIY Floating Bookshelves

Create a floating bookshelf for any room in your home! This is a wood working project that even a novice can conquer and lets you customize shelving to your space! Floating bookshelves are great for displaying interchangeable art or books. Use in a living room behind a sofa for a wall of art that you can easily change out without putting extra holes in the wall, in a nursery for books, or in a dining room to display fun and colorful platters. Read on for the full tutorial!

DIY Floating BookshelvesView in gallery

DIY Floating Bookshelves MaterialsView in gallery


  • Wood
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • White paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wood glue
  • Drill (for hanging)
  • Screws (for hanging)
  • Level (for hanging)


DIY Floating Bookshelves GlueView in gallery

Start by measuring your space and having wood cut to size at your local hardware store. Here we used one piece of 1/2″ poplar cut 4″ wide, another piece of 1/2″ poplar cut 2″ wide, and another piece cut 1/2″ x 1/2″ wide. The length of the boards was custom cut to size for our space and will be dependent on your space and measurements. We made 2 shelves so we had 2 sets of wood pieces cut.

Place the 4″ wide piece of wood flat on a surface. Place wood glue on the edge of your other 2 pieces (the 1/2″ wide piece and the 2″ wide piece). Place them flat against the 4″ wide piece at the edges. This will create an “L” shape. from the wood. Let the wood glue dry.

DIY Floating Bookshelves HammerView in gallery

Reinforce the shelving by adding nails through the bottom of the shelf into the edges where you glued the wood together.

DIY Floating Bookshelves PaintView in gallery

Paint the shelf white (or whatever color you desire!). It may need a few coats to help even out the brush strokes. Let dry overnight.

To hang the shelving, you can either add holes to the back with a router (if you have access to one), or you can place holes through the back portion of the shelf into the wall. Use a level to even out the shelves, ensure that you find the studs, and drill screws through the shelf directly into the wall. The art, photos, or books that you place onto the shelf will likely cover those holes. Or you can opt for routed holes in the back of the shelf (or have a professional add these for you). You can then put screws directly into the wall and hang the shelf that way! Stage your shelves to show them off!

DIY Floating Bookshelves DisplayView in gallery

DIY Floating Bookshelves Pictures StorageView in gallery

DIY Floating Bookshelves kids roomView in gallery

DIY Floating Bookshelves ModernView in gallery