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Floating Shelf Foray

This weekend we checked another item off the good ol’ parlor/office to-do list.  We installed some floating shelves.  And because I LOVE making you wait for the big reveal until the end, you’re going to have to sift through about a dozen photos and some relentless blabber about how we DIYed some floating shelves for our his/hers office space in our parlor.  Exciting, huh?!  First off, I asked Colby to build a pair of shelves, about two feet long with an edge on them so my storage mason jars wouldn’t fall off.  Colby disappeared into his man cave and reappeared with these:

Completely made out of scrap wood from old projects.  Gotta love a thrifty man!  So we gave the shelves a stain and poly coating, again using left over stain/poly from the desk building project.

And then I made Colby hold up the finished shelves up along the wall until we determined the optimal location for the shelves.  This turned out slightly harder than expected because we wanted the shelves to fall across a couple of studs, but that wasn’t possible.  Each shelf hits one stud, which should be plenty sturdy since they wouldn’t be carrying a terribly heavy load.

After measuring, leveling, and marking out the fastener locations, Colby drilled into the wall using a 3/8″ spade bit (the shelf was only 3/4″ thick).

This left four pilot holes in the wall for the dowels, which was the fastener we decided to use to secure the shelves to the wall.

Then Colby jammed the 3/8″ dowels into the wall to test them out and also to determine where to cut them.

Before marking and cutting the dowels, Colby double checked to make sure that the dowels were level.

Then using the same 3/8″ spade bit, Colby drilled into the back side of the shelves, making sure these holes lined up with the holes on the wall, thus ensuring that the dowels would provide the most secure and even fit possible.

Then, Colby applied some wood glue onto the dowels and pushed them into the wall.

After pushing the shelf onto the dowels, lining up the holes, our DIY floating shelf was complete.

And ready for accessories.  I added the mason jars to the shelf, which was the main purpose for building the shelves in the first place.  The other shelf was empty during the time of the pictures, but since then I’ve “shopped” our house for accessories to add on the empty shelf.  I’ve gone through about a dozen different configurations and I’m sure there will be many more re-arranges to come as our office space morphs.

And you can check out the blog post about those chalkboard labels back here.  By the way, they’re Martha labels…oh how I love me some Martha.  There’s even more about my Martha obsession back here.

So my side of the desk is really shaping up.  I know I say that just about every time I post about our office updates, but I really mean it this time.  But what’s missing?  Some art!  That’s my next project.  I actually put in a little Etsy order this evening.  Of course I will share the details with you later.

And what blog post is considered complete without an updated to-do list?!  Sheesh!  Here’s how it’s looking:

  • Install the shelf
  • Hang the file storage bins
  • Build, finish, and install two floating shelves
  • Purchase and install the tv mounting bracket
  • Move all of our electronics into the command center…I mean…desk
  • Create a flamingo art project
  • Find document storage containers to start organizing our office mess into
  • Organize and officially move into the office space
  • Accessorize
  • Find a bigger rug
  • Purchase industrial, manly desk lamps
  • Find matching desk chairs instead of our mismatched pair…our chairs are like socks on laundry day…they just don’t go together
  • Tackle the cord control and make them visually disappear
  • Install a new light fixture
  • Add outlet covers (how did I forget to put this on the list before?!)
  • Replace the old mismatched curtains with something light and airy
  • Build a low bookcase to replace the Target cubes (it’s official…I decided…the cubes have to go!)

We’re getting there!  One thing at a time, right?!

Pssst…What was everyone else up to this weekend?  Any other shelf installs?  Or office organization projects?  I’m been in a serious cleaning/organization kick lately…although it seems like I make a bigger mess in the end.


  1. Thank you for posting this tutorial. I panic if something I need to hang needs more than one nail…haha! I pinned this, and this will be a nice project for my husband. 😀

    1. You’re welcome! And I’m the same way about hanging things! I have this big fear of everything crashing down. The hang test works. If you can hang off of it…and it doesn’t fall…it should be safe…but you never know! Thanks for stopping by!

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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