How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

Whenever I see a kitchen on pinterest or HGTV I think – I need rustic floating shelves! I figured they must be easy to find/buy. So I bought them from Pottery Barn. They were too wide (12″). Wrong color (mahogany). Heavy. Expensive. I then bought them from Ballard Designs. They were too thick (3″). Way too heavy. Expensive. I’m starting to sound like Goldilocks. I also looked at Etsy. Surprisingly expensive. And what if I didn’t like their “custom” shelf?  I had a specific look in mind and a specific space requirement. So I decided to make them myself.

Length – 4 feet
Width – preferably 8 inches
Width – 1 inch
Color – is rustic a color?
Weight – something light that could hold kitchen knick-knacks so the shelves would not rip out of the plaster walls

Cordless Drill
1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Common Board
Blind Shelf Supports
7/16″ X 6″ Drill Bit
Miter Saw
Wood Stain (of your choice) & Brush

First, I had to buy the brackets to actually make the shelf bracket
“float”. This was the most expensive part of the project. The blind shelf brackets we used could hold the capacity of 50 lbs for an 8” deep shelf that is 34” or less long. I opted to use 3 brackets per shelf since I wanted a 4 foot long shelf. I bought the Blind Shelf Supports on Amazon for $20 per pair.

You will also need a Cordless Drill and a 7/16″ drill bit. I purchased this one: Irwin Tools 7/16″ X 6″ Speedbor Max Drill Bit

Next, I went to Home Depot to pick up a piece of 1 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Common Board for $12. The board size and weight seemed to be a match for my dream rustic floating shelf. I had an associate cut the board in half on-site since I wanted 2 shelves. I lightly sanded both shelves and stained them with  Varathane Wood Stain in Carbon Gray. I quickly applied the stain and wiped off the excess immediately with a paper towel.

How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

I then drilled 3 holes (using my 7/16″ drill bit) into the back of each shelf. I then installed the Blind Shelf Brackets on the wall making sure that the bracket rods corresponded to the shelf holes. This took some time to center the brackets on the wall and match up the rods with the holes. I would recommend using a 4 foot level (if you have one) to make sure your brackets are level before really securing them or adding the 2nd screw to the bracket. Once mine where in the correct spots I then secured the screws with plastic anchors (as  I mentioned I have plaster walls therefore finding a stud was nearly impossible). I would definitely recommend installing the brackets into studs if you have drywall for extra support.

How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

Lastly, I slid the wood shelves on to the brackets.

How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

The whole processes was way easier than I anticipated. I love the outcome. I always knew my kitchen needed these shelves. But finding the correct shelf proportions and color “out-of-the-box” was a challenge. All in these 2 shelves cost me $90 (brackets, drill bit, wood, and stain). Money and time well spent!

How to make Rustic Floating Shelves
How to make Rustic Floating Shelves

Accessorize shelves with just about anything! I stuck with primarily white dishes and added in some cookbooks, a planter, a candle, mugs, jar of coffee beans, little birdie salt & pepper shakers and a cow creamer dispenser. The whole display really adds character to my over all white kitchen.

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