DIY Faux Floating Shelves

Slowly but surely I’m making progress in the bathroom. The painting is done, the vanity is in (for the most part), the new lights and new mirror are up and we’ve added a couple of DIY faux floating shelves.

Add a rustic touch to a small bathroom by installing DIY faux floating shelves over the toilet for much needed storage.

I’d like to give equal time to every project (and stall for time while I finish up the vanity πŸ˜‰ ), so we’ll focus on the faux floating shelves today.

I wanted something on the wall over the toilet, and I needed some storage (this bathroom is teeny tiny), so shelves were the right call. Budget is always a consideration when I do a project and this one was no different. After looking at several options, we ditched the idea of buying pre-made shelves and went with something we could DIY.

DIY Faux Floating Barn Wood Shelves

I had a few small pieces of old barn wood leftover from our Illinois kitchen remodel, so we decided to use that. The biggest issue we had was how to attach the wood to the wall so that they would be sturdy enough to hold some decor and bathroom necessities.

My first thought was to use shelf brackets but the studs were in odd places behind the sheetrock, and we needed to hit them in order to keep the shelves from falling down. We had no idea what to use, so the project stalled until I found these aluminum flat bars at The Home Depot. It was the perfect size and it gave us just enough room to add holes so we could attach the shelf to the wall, and hit 2 studs. 

aluminum rod from The Home Depot

The Home Depot

One $12 strip was all we needed for both shelves, making this project come in way under budget. 

aluminum rod from The Home Depot
It probably took us longer to measure everything and to make sure we knew exactly where the studs were so we could drill the holes in the aluminum strip.

How we did it…

Once all the measurements were taken and we knew where the studs were, it was time to get the shelves ready to hang.

To attach the aluminum strip to our precut wood, we drilled 3 holes in the strip and 3 holes in the wood, evenly spaced. Then we drilled the 2 holes in the strip that lined up with the studs, so that the screws would hit the studs.

Adding DIY faux floating shelves over the toilet in a small bathroom.

Once all the holes were drilled into the aluminum strip, we attached it to the wood, lining up the 3 holes across the wood with the 3 holes in the strip. Now that the strip was attached to the wood, the shelf was ready to be attached to the wall where our studs were.

All that measuring (and…let’s be honest…a little bit of arguing) paid off because we got them up, level and secure on the first shot.

It sounds complicated but it wasn’t, and It actually worked very well. I wouldn’t put anything super heavy on the shelf, but they are very sturdy.

Adding DIY faux floating shelves over the toilet in a small bathroom for or much needed storage.

There’s just enough space to add a little bit of decor among a few necessities, plus the old wood adds some warmth to the room.

You’re also getting a little peek of the vanity, paint and light fixture. I know it’s not much but I have to do something to get you to come back. πŸ˜‰

How to add a rustic touch to a small bathroom by installing a couple of DIY faux floating shelves over the toilet for much needed storage.How to add a rustic touch to a small bathroom by installing DIY faux floating shelves over the toilet for much needed storage.

Another busy week here. Hopefully we’ll be getting our new furnace before the end of the week. The temps dipped below freezing last weekend and it was very chilly in the house. 

Hope your week is a good one!

We also added industrial barn wood shelves to a guest bedroom in our Illinois house. It’s one of my most pinned projects on Pinterest.

barn wood shelves pinterest 4

DIY Barn Wood Industrial Shelves


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22 thoughts on “DIY Faux Floating Shelves

    • Thanks Leigh! I think floating shelves are done a little bit differently than my version, but I really wanted to use that wood (and not spend a lot of money), so we had to improvise. πŸ˜‰

    • I’m sorry Mary, I don’t. I couldn’t get a clear closeup of the hubs drilling the holes. We just took the measurement of the length of the board and divided it into three. Then we drilled three holes in the wood, evenly spaced, and three holes in the aluminum strip, so they line up. Then we drilled 2 different holes in the strip where the studs would fall. That’s where we would screw it onto the wall, into the studs. If you look at the one pic with the strap on the wood, you can see the hole for the stud screws and the hole with the screw in it to attach the strap to the wood.

      Hope all this makes sense. It sounds complicated but it’s really not. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • Thanks so much, Jo. We talked about using french cleats but did this instead (it was easier). So, no french cleats. We just drilled through the aluminum strap and screwed the shelf into the wall studs. They’re very secure. Hope that helps.

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