DIY Floating Bookshelves

how to build DIY floating bookshelves

First apartment, first real job, fancy part of town = really nice but really small apartment!

Welcome to Uptown Dallas, Texas!

My son gave me the task of decorating his apartment, on a budget, of course!

Once we got the essentials in place like the bed and the TV, he determined that he really needed a bookcase or bookshelves. The challenge was both the space and the budget, and the solution was DIY Floating Bookshelves…impressive and inexpensive. They’re way more interesting than ordinary bookshelves, they take up very little space and they cost less than $50.

How to Build DIY Floating Bookshelves


Corner Braces (2 for each stack of books, follow the instructions below to determine size.)
Screws for Corner Braces (Consult with your home improvement store as to the best screws to buy for your walls. You may have sheetrock, or you may live in a 90 year old house with plaster walls like mine!)


1. Look at the books you’d like to put on the shelves, and put them in stacks of 5 – 6. It works best to group books of similar size together.

how to build DIY floating bookshelves

2. Measure the depth of each stack of books to determine the size of corner braces to buy. Let’s suppose you’re first stack is 8 inches deep, subtract 2 inches and that’s the size corner braces you’ll need. Imagine a teeter-totter, these bookshelves are a balancing act, so if you bought 4 inch braces those books would teeter-totter off on the floor. Remember, each stack of books will likely need a different size brace.

how to make DIY floating bookshelves

3. Determine the layout of your floating bookshelves. If you have a skinny wall…go vertical. If you have a large wall…stagger the shelves. They’re no rules on this one.

4. Measure the width of the smallest book in your first stack, and attach the braces so they won’t show. Imagine the smallest book in your first stack is 10 inches wide, subtract 2 inches and hang your corner braces 8 inches apart. Repeat this process for each stack of books.

That’s it. Stand back and admire your impressive and inexpensive DIY Floating Bookshelves.

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6 years ago

This is great. After getting the brackets, are you balancing the books I them? Is there a special trick to it? Thanks

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