When I was pregnant with Isla and had my baby shower, I perused Pinterest for some cute decoration ideas that I would be able to later incorporate into her nursery. I always loved the look of those floating paper flower poof things (scientific name), so I ordered some off Etsy, used them for the shower, and then hung them in her room where they’ve been ever since.
When she got big enough in her crib she started pulling at the bottom of the paper flowers until she’d ripped down one entire flower and partially destroyed the rest. Her room is a fairly decent size with cathedral ceilings and a lot of wall space, so I wanted to replace the flowers and put something in the corner that would be a nice focal point, would transition well from the toddler life to later years, and would be multifunctional. So we decided on DIY floating corner shelves in a triangle shape.
I came across these shelves over at Not JUST A Housewife, and while I love them in white, I knew I wanted to go for a warm, stained wood for Isla’s room. Her furniture is white, but hanging in her room is a framed picture an old friend made her, and I wanted to tie the two together. Plus, I love the natural look of wood.
This project was really easy and took hardly any time (if you don’t count the time spent waiting for stain to dry), but I love the custom look these DIY floating corner shelves provide.
What you’ll need for your DIY floating corner shelves:
- 1×2 — 8′ long
- Three 24×24″ pine wood squares (cut in half to form triangles)
- Three 4×1/8″ wood panel — 3′ long
- Miter saw
- Brad nailer
- 1″ Brad nails
- 3.5″ cabinet mounting screws
- Stain color of choice (we used Minwax Early American, available in stores)
- Dry cloth (we used part of an old t-shirt)
The first step in making these DIY floating corner shelves was to decide where they would be placed on the wall. We found the studs, measured how far out they were from the corners, and this determined how far out our shelves would come. Next, we measured from wall to wall at our furthest points to figure out how long our shelves would need to be, which was both the long side of the triangle and the length for the front. We eyeballed on the wall where we wanted each shelf to be. Keeping in mind how thick the shelves would be, we used a pencil to mark these spaces.
After we knew our measurements, we went to Lowe’s, and we were lucky enough to find pre-cut pine wood squares that measured to exactly what we needed–24×24. We cut these squares in half from corner to corner with a miter saw to form two triangles. Next, we cut our front pine strip to 25″ long. (This remains a rectangular shape.)
(Please note: It may make the most sense to measure and cut this strip after the shelves are up on the wall. You’ll want to make sure there are no gaps between the wall and the end of the wood.)
The last cuts we needed to make were for the support beams. For each shelf, there were three support pieces–a corner piece and two side pieces. We cut the corner pieces to 6″ long and mitered them at a 45-degree angle. These two corner pieces were then nailed together and screwed into the corner of the wall with the cabinet screws. Ensure that you drill into the studs. Next, cut your remaining support pieces to roughly 6″ long and position them on the wall on the studs, as mentioned earlier. Screw into the wall with the cabinet screws.
After we cut all our wood to form six triangles (top and bottom of the shelves) and three long rectangles, we stained anything that would be visible. We stained one side of each of the triangles and the front, top, and bottom of the rectangle pieces. We let these dry overnight.
We started screwing the support pieces into the wall when the stain was dry and we were ready to hang the shelves. First, we screwed in the two corner pieces (you can see from the photos where the screws went in). Next, we made sure the two side pieces were level with the corner piece and screwed those in.
Your support pieces are hung and you’re ready for step 5. We used a brad nailer to nail the bottom piece to the supports. Make sure the triangle is stain-side down, and nail from below. You’ll want to start with the bottom so it’s easier to see what you’re doing. We then nailed the top triangle, stain-side up. We followed this by using the brad nailer to attach the front piece to the shelves, stain-side out.
Repeat for the remaining two shelves, and voila! All done.
We have yet to finish decorating these DIY floating corner shelves. I will post updated photos once they are complete.
Note: We started with the bottom shelf and worked our way up. In hindsight, I think it would have been better to work top to bottom
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
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