DIY: The $22 Shelf You Need In Your Life

Ahhhh! Guys I’m sooooo excited to finally be sharing today’s post with you. Last week, I started mentioning this DIY to you, and we finally have it hung up and styled exactly how we want it. I am SO FREAKIN IN LOVE with our newest edition to our living room and I think you’re going to love it too.

Last February, I started pestering Trevor for a shelf. We had a “gallery wall” filled with pictures from Jackson Hole in our living room and I just wasn’t happy with it anymore. We decided awhile ago that we wouldn’t make/buy any home items anymore that we couldn’t see in our house someday. And honestly, I wasn’t feeling a gallery wall in our apartment or my future.

So he told me to start looking for a shelf.

I spent a few months trolling websites, blogs and Pinterest looking for the perfect shelf that we could purchase. But nothing I saw was right. I had a very specific idea in mind (more like a mantel than a shelf), and whenever I found something close to what I wanted it was $200. I started getting frustrated and stopped looking. Then, life happened, and I totally forgot about the shelf.

Fast forward to June and Trev and I were ordering our anniversary present to each other. We decided to purchase a big canvas from our wedding. We got it and were so stoked! It was even more beautiful than we hoped. (If you’re looking to purchase a wedding canvas, head over to Shutterfly! We ordered the second largest one and it seriously is stunning! My parents ordered one a big one from our wedding too in color and it was gorgeous as well! If you’re looking to order one, they’re on sale for 40% off right now!!!) We took down that ugly gallery wall and hung up our beautiful new canvas above our couch. And it looked like this…


Wayyyy to empty.

Trev looked at me and said “So… did you ever find that shelf?” I told him I couldn’t find what I wanted for what we were willing to pay. I drew him a picture and showed him a few Pins and he said “Babe. I can make that. For cheap too.”

And guys… Trev outdid himself. I am THRILLED with how it turned out!

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

So pretty, right?!

And guess what guys? This is the simplest and cheapest DIY I’ve shared to date. No joke! (It’s even cheaper than the travel boxes I shared forever ago.) If you have 2 hours and $22 in your pocket, you can make this gorgeous, 60 inch floating shelf too.

Curious how we did it? Let’s get started!

First things first… head to Lowe’s! (Or Home Depot. Whichever you prefer. We went to Lowe’s this time because it’s right around the corner from us.)


*Now, please keep in mind that we only had to buy our wood and stain. We already had everything else we needed! If you need to purchase anything else, this shelf will cost you a little more than $22… but shouldn’t cost more than $30.

Shopping List

  • 1×6 (2)
  • 1×4 (1)
  • 2×4 stud (1)
  • Stain (We used Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean. PS… you only need the small can!)
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Screws (1 1/4 inch, 1 1/2 inch, and 3 inch)

Tools You’ll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Staple Gun
  • Radial Arm Saw (Or whatever saw you have on hand)
  • Table Saw
  • Sander 
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig

Now it’s time to start your project! Begin by deciding just how long you want your shelf to be. We chose 60 inches, because it filled up our wall just enough, but didn’t over power the length of our couch.


Measure your 1x6s and your 1×4 to your desired length, and then cut them with your saw.


Now, you can grab your wood glue. We’re going to start assembling your shelf… already! (I’m telling you, this project is such a quick and easy one!) Lay your 1×4 flat, and apply wood glue to to the edge of it.

Then, stick the 1×4 to the 1×6. (Eloquent words, I know!) It should look something like this…


And then add a clamp to each end while the glue dries.


Now grab your staple gun, and add staples to the edge for extra hold. We did about 6 or 8. Do whatever you feel is necessary to keep your boards from falling apart!


Then, repeat with the other 1×6.

When you’re done, you should have the start of your shelf! It will look a little something like this…



Next, it’s time to make the sides. Use the leftover wood from the 1x6s for them. Measure the inside width and depth of your space, and make the necessary cuts. It should slip right in perfectly if you’ve done it correctly!


And just like before, we used wood glue, clamps and staples to put it together. When you finish, repeat on the other side!

And voila! Your shelf is complete!

Cute Handyman Not Included.

But you’re no quite finished yet…

Now that your shelf is made, it’s time to make the support for your floating shelf. Because this is what is not only going to hold up everything you put on your shelf, but also attach it to the wall, you want to make sure it is heavy duty and sturdy! Which is why we chose a 2×4 stud to make it.

Obviously, the 2×4 is too big to fit inside your shelf. First you need to rip your 2×4 with the table saw. We ripped it to about 1 3/4 inches, however, you’ll want to measure the inside of your shelf to be sure it will fit. (It should be snug, but you shouldn’t have to force it in.) This piece, will be the main support of your shelf. Next you need to cut it down so it will fit inside your shelf. It will be just under the length you have chosen. Ours was right about 58 1/2 inches. It will vary for every person, so grab your tape measure before you cut! Set the chunk you’ve cut off to the side. You’ll need it in a minute!


Once you’ve cut and ripped your 2×4, it’s time to make little arms for your bracket. (My awesome technical words… not Trev’s.) Use the leftover chunk you just cut off your ripped 2×4 to make these arms. To make them the correct size, measure the depth of the inside of your shelf, and subtract the width of your 2×4. For a 60 inch shelf, we made four “bracket arms”.


Next, grab your Kreg jig and drill a hole into each arm, and then attach to the main support for your shelf. (We used 1 1/4 inch screws that came with the Kreg jig for this.) In the end, it will look something like this!


Check to make sure the support fits inside your shelf. The support bracket and the back of your shelf should be flush. Take a few minutes to pre-drill a few holes through the bottom of your shelf into the bracket arms. This will give your shelf extra support when it’s time to hang it later!


Now it’s the easiest part… sanding and staining! Before you sand, you may want to hammer in the staples and fill with wood filler if you don’t want them to show. (We did!)


Sand it lightly to make sure the stain will adhere smoothly.


Then stain! We only did one coat, because we really liked how it looked.


Once it dries, your ready to hang it up!

First, we measured where we wanted our shelf to go, and found the studs. We used 3 inch screws to attach our support to the wall.


Then, slide your shelf onto the support. This is where your pre-drilled holes come in! Use the 1 1/2 inch screws in your pre-drilled holes on the bottom of your shelf.


Finally, step back and admire your BEAUTIFUL new shelf.

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I just love it so much! (I’ll link decor items below.)

See, I told you it was easy peasy!

Will you be trying out this DIY in your home?! Be sure to send pictures my way if you do. I’d love to see it!

Interested in my decor? You can find it here!

 Tobacco Basket (small)
Ceramic Jug
Glass Vase
(Mine is old. This one is similar!)
Farmers Market Box
Vintage Books are from a library sale 🙂

Good news guys! I survived the Metallica concert last night! (Thanks to my ear plugs!) I found out something about myself… I’m SOOO not meant to fit in with the Rock n Roll crowd. HAHA While the music may not have been my cup of tea, they put on a spectacular show. I actually got to watch most of it. Pretty cool experience!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with lots of fun things planned! We’re working all weekend. Ugh.

I’ll be back Sunday with what is probably going to be a very boring weekend round up.


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