“Can you please build me a…”

That is such a common phrase around our house. To be honest, the longer we are together the more I’ve begun to wonder if I married Scott for his kind heart or for his access to his father’s power tools! 😉

I’ve *patiently* waited until he had some vacation time off; I knew EXACTLY what I wanted him to build for me: floating wooden shelves.

It started with this picture in the new Magnolia cookbook

(don’t all projects usually begin with Joanna Gaines?!)

Day #1 of staycation finally rolled around and off to the lumber yard we went. I have to say, it’s nice to envision a project and then let Scott take over on the measurements and production. 🙂

We have this little nook when you walk in through our front door that I knew would be perfect for these floating shelves. Plus (a big plus!), it gives me more storage options. I thought I had a better picture of the BEFORE (whyyyyyy do I always forget to take the BEFORE picture?!) but you can see the little inset area over to the right where I had a tall chest of drawers…

I found the shelf plans online. There were other instructions from other sites that didn’t seem very heavy-duty, but the plans from Shanty 2 Chic were really hefty. She said she built her shelves extra sturdy with the idea that her 2-year-old might try to use them as a ladder -ha!

* the adjustments we made to the original plans are noted below if you’d like to make some shelves for yourself

After Scott built the shelves I stained them. Let me tell you – I am willing to paint ANYthing. I’ve painted just about everything over the years. But staining?? Yikes. Staining seems like a grown-up DIY. My parents stained things. Furniture restorers stain things. There’s not much room for messing up with staining. And there’s no painting over it once it’s done. AND THEN THERE IS THE PICKING OUT OF THE STAIN…such stress! It is not unlike picking out a hair color: Is it really this color or will it turn out two shades darker?!  I went with Provincial from Minwax. My plan was to put white dishes on the finished shelves so I wanted my dishes to stand out against the darker wood stain.

The below picture is what makes these shelves so freaking awesome. The outside box slides onto this sturdy foundation. The skeleton of the whole shelf is in this foundation. Plus, you can find your wall studs and go directly into those without having to move the placement of the shelves themselves.

And voila! The shelves look like they have been here all along. Perfectly tailored for this space. I am over the moon excited about the way they turned out! I am certain they will be rearranged a zillion times, but at the time of this post’s printing (ha!) this is what they look like. I am already envisioning more shelves in other places in our kitchen. Famous last words, Give me MORE. MORE!” 

The below pictures are a little odd and not very ‘picture perfect’ but it gives you an idea of where they are in comparison to the wall angles and corners around them.

I am so excited about the way this project turned out. Don’t tell Scott, but I’m already scheming in my head about replacing those folding doors in the laundry area. But shhhhhhh…….we’ll let him rest on his shelf success for just a little while longer.

Here’s to a successful DIY win!



  • instead of cutting each shelf at 32″ from your 8′ board, first trim off a tiny bit at one end of your 8′ board to make sure you have a straight edge (so you’ll lose a tiny bit of measurement there.) Your blade is 1/8″ thick so you’ll lose that measurement as well with each cut. Instead, measure each shelf to be 31 3/4″ wide.
  • we chose to make a 45 degree cut for each shelf corner (instead of a blunt cut.) To accommodate for the 45 degree cut, add 1/2″ to the 1×4 sides.
  • our assembly steps:
    • attach the base to the 2×3 frame (interior frame)
    • mount the frame (with attached base) to the wall
    • assemble the sides and the top together as one piece (exterior top)
    • slide the exterior top onto the mounted interior frame
    • put a screw into the side of the shelf to hold it in place on the interior frame (we counter-sunk a hole so the screw doesn’t show from the side)

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