How to Create Floating Shelves

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One of the most conversation-inducing things you can put on your wall are invisible floating shelves. They are remarkable because they seem to hold items on your wall with no apparent support, and they’re beautiful because they don’t require shelving which may or may not go with your other décor.

What Are Floating Shelves?

The most common type of floating shelves are shelves of wood that stick out from your wall without a support structure around it, creating a shelf that can hold items on your wall. The best type of floating shelf are invisible floating shelves, which seem to be supported by nothing at all. While it is of course just an optical illusion, the casual glance at a magical floating shelf will not reveal how the items are staying aloft on the wall.

What You’ll Need

  • A large old hardcover book of little value that you are willing to sacrifice. (It must look good on the wall, as this will be your shelf.)

  • L bracket with a protruding length that will fit inside your sacrificed book.

  • Utility knife for sacrificing your book.

  • Drill for drilling into your wall.

  • Pen for marking spots on the book/wall.

  • Philip’s head screwdriver.

  • Small flathead wood screws.

  • Large flathead wood screws.

  • Tape measure.

  • Glue.

How to Crate the Invisible Book Shelf

  1. Use the tape measure to find the center of your sacrificed book, and mark it with your pen.

  2. Place the protruding end of the L bracket on the book, centering it off the mark you just made. Trace this image, so that you will know where the bracket will need to go.

  3. Using your knife, cut along your tracing to make room for the L bracket. Remember to cut only just enough pages so that the L bracket snugly fits within the book itself.

  4. Make a small notch on the hard cover of the book to ensure that the L bracket can sit flush against the wall at a 90° angle to the book.

  5. Drill holes in the openings on the L bracket through the book. Then secure these holes with the small screws. Note that this will not be fully secure, as you are connecting paper pages to the metal L bracket, but fortunately, it will not need to be that secure. Hold the pages down while you drill to ensure they do not flare up as you drill down.

  6. Drill two holes on the corners of the pages to help keep them in place as well. Then secure the pages with two additional small screws. Note that these screws will just be going through paper, and nothing else.

  7. Now place glue all over this page, and press the inside cover against it, so that they will be glued together. Place a sufficient weight to ensure the glue holds securely, and let it sit overnight.

  8. Now your shelf is ready to go on the wall. Find the stud you want to attach this to, and drill appropriate holes so that you can connect the L bracket to the wall.

  9. Once set up, now all you have to do is stack enough books on the shelf to ensure that the L bracket is no longer visible.

  10. Ta-da! Your invisible book shelf is now complete. Go impress your friends and see if they can figure out how your shelf magically floats on your wall.

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