DIY floating shelf tutorials are nothing new. By now, you’ve probably read a million of them….mostly the same thing, maybe just with varying board sizes. But what about SEAMLESS floating shelves?
I am hoping to take it up a notch and show you a way of making them that looks a little more professional and gets you thinking a little more outside the box. (Since we are making boxes here, let’s just say pun was intended with that last sentence haha)
Today I want to show you how to make what I call “seamless floating shelves.” Now, obviously, there are SEAMS by definition. But when I say “seamless” I mean that they are hidden. It looks more realistic and you don’t see any board ends when it’s finished. See how clean this looks?
I think this way of making floating shelves just looks a little more professional and like you are hanging one solid piece of wood on the wall instead of a hollow box…even though it is, actually, a hollow box 🙂 It’s all about perception, folks. Fake it til you make it, right?
So if you want to take your floating shelf game up a notch, let’s get building.
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To make these Seamless Floating Shelves, you will need:
1×6 boards (length based on your shelf size)
2×2 boards (length based on your shelf size)
1 1/4″ Brad nails
2 1/2″ wood screws
Step 1: Bevel Board Edges
First, you will need to bevel the edges of your boards 45 degrees. For this project, I used 1×6 boards. If you want deeper shelves, you can use wider boards. But since I used 1x6s (which are actually only 5 1/2″ wide), I tilted my table saw blade 45 degrees and adjusted the rip fence about 5 1/2″ from the tilted tip of the blade. You just want to barely cut off the corner, but not take off much width.
Run the board through to get your beveled edge.
Now, the length of board you need to bevel is at least 3 times the length you want your shelf to be. Once you bevel this much board, cut the board into thirds using a miter saw (three pieces the length you want your shelf). Take one of these three boards and adjust your rip fence again so that you can get a beveled piece 3″ wide.
Run the board through with the already beveled side against the fence. Then flip it over and do it again. So you get two 3″ wide pieces with edges beveled like shown.
Now you are ready to cut everything to size and assemble.
Step 2: Miter Seamless Board Ends and Trim to Size
Now your work at the table saw is finished, so move over to the miter saw. Adjust your miter saw to miter 0 degrees, but bevel 45 degrees. Bevel the ends of your 5 1/2″ boards like shown so that the total length of the boards is the length you want your shelf. You want all your bevels to go toward the INSIDE of the board.
Then, bevel the ends of the 3″ wide piece, too, the same way so that the total length is the length of the shelf you want.
Cut two more pieces of the 3″ wide boards like shown 5 1/2″ long. One end should be flat and the other beveled 45 degrees.
Step 3: Glue Seamless Shelf Boxes Together
At this point, you should have pieces that will fit together like this:
If you fold all these pieces up together, you will get a hollow box. So that’s what we will do 🙂
Run a bead of wood glue along one of the bevels on one of the wide pieces.
Then fold over the long narrow piece and using a nail gun, shoot a few nails in to hold it together until the glue dries.
Flip it over and glue and nail the other wide board onto the other side.
Finally, glue along the edges of the small pieces and attach like shown. Nail these pieces in place as well.
Use clamps to make any adjustments or pull any pieces square as needed. While the glue dries, move onto the next steps.
Step 4: Build Floating Shelf Support Hangers
In order to hang the shelves, you need to build the shelf support. It’s made from 2x2s. If you bevel everything like I’ve shown, a 2×2 (which is actually 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″) should fit perfectly into the hollow box opening.
So, cut one 2×2 the length of your shelf MINUS 1 1/2″ and cut three more pieces 3″ long. Glue and screw (using 2 1/2″ wood screws) the support together like shown with one piece on each end and one in the center.
Step 5: Finish and Hang Seamless Floating Shelves
Putty all corners of the shelf box and use an orbital sander to smooth down all corners and edges. Putty is a life saver on projects like this. It can really help smooth out and get those perfect looking corners.
Finish the shelf before hanging. You can stain or paint as desired.
Once you are ready to hang, find the studs in the wall and screw the support from step 4 into the studs using 2 1/2″ wood screws. Make sure it’s level!
Then, slide your box over the support. It should fit snug. If you want, you can add a few screws through the top to hold in place, but I don’t advise nails. If you ever want to remove them, it’s much easier to remove a screw than a nail 🙂
And there you have your seamless floating shelves!
I really like building my shelves like this because it looks more like one solid chunk of wood vs several nailed together…even though that’s really what it is.
These style floating shelves will take a little more time and require a little more effort to build than some I’ve seen, but I really think the little extra is totally worth it. What do you think? Don’t you like the clean seamless look? Do you think it’s worth the extra work?? You won’t hurt my feelings if you say no 🙂
So, if you want to take your floating shelves up a notch and try making them this way, be sure to pin this for later! 🙂
Until next time, happy building!! 🙂