Unique Floating Shelves (Plus DIY Stain)

It’s the weekend friends!! How excited are you? Its drill weekend for my husband so I have a long one ahead, but it is still the weekend, and after a very long week, I am excited to enjoy some time with my guys. We might even spend Saturday at the Long Beach Aquarium!! I hope you have some fun things ahead. You know I am always trying to give you fun weekend projects to work on with your honey.. I am sure I am their favorite person when you mention another DIY project. I know mine wants to ban me from Pinterest and my favorite bloggers. I always seem to have another project on my list that I have been “DYING” to try. He says I say that every time. Hehe.


I have a lot of excitement from you on these little floating shelves of mine so I thought I would share the details and allow you to join in the fun. The husband says I NEED to be honest with you all. He swears I always say things are much easier that they are, and that every blogger swears it is sooo easy, but when it comes to the actual project, maybe it was harder than we claim. He thinks I should rate it on patience levels. How much patience do you need for this project. I like this because I agree. I have way more patience than he does so this project was super easy… you just need patience to get it just right. So for this project I give this:

Project patience level

For this project you will need:

  • 3 1X10 Common Boards (Home Depot)
  • Rope (Also at Home Depot)
  • 2 Large Planting Hooks
  • Fine Steel Wool
  • Vinegar
  • Mason Jar
  • Foam Brush
  • Tools Needed:
  • Drill
  • 1 ” Spade Bit
  • Stud finder or anchors


Step One: Create Stain / Stain Boards

I love mixing and matching stains to get the colors I want. For this project, I knew that color I wanted, and it could only be achieved by making my own from scratch. This process takes a day or so, so if you need to do this quickly, I would just find your favorite stain at your hardware store. To make your own stain, place one fine steel wool into a mason jar and fill the jar with Vinegar. Let this sit for 24 hours. I have a jar that I made over a month ago and love to use it when I need it. The steel wool has almost completely dissolved now. This will give a warmer stained look, so if it is too warm, add some more vinegar and it will cool it down a little. When you stain using steel wool, be sure to wear gloves. I learned this lesson the hard way once… not fun. When you paint the boards with the water like substance, you will not see an immediate change. Let them sit and you will see the color transform by the minute. This is what mine looked like:



You can also do a quick sand over the top to give them that farmhouse rustic look.

Step Two: Drill holes through boards

I measured each corner 1.5 inch and then took a piece of paper to connect them at a square. Like this:



I used a 1“ spade bit and drilled the holes at all four corners.

My little helper doesn’t like pants so this is usually the way we end up. I have given up on the battle. We may have to work on this when he gets ready for school.


Step Three: String the Rope

Next you will send one end of the rope through and tie a knot at the bottom. Then you will send it through the next board. This time measure 12 inches (or the general amount of space you want between your shelves) It is okay if it is not perfect because you will almost definitely have to readjust once they’re up on the wall. Continue stringing the rope all up the one side and when you get to the top of your first shelf, give yourself at least 2 ft of rope to ensure you have wiggle room with hanging it in the end. Then send it back down the other side directly next to that hole. Knot the first shelf and continue down with the same measurements as the first side.


Next repeat the steps on the opposite side.

Step Four: Hang the Hooks

DSC_0065Using a stud finder, locate studs and secure hooks. We had studs exactly 4 ft apart, which was the same length as my boards so it worked perfectly. If you are not able to find studs, make sure you use good anchors, as these hooks will be holding the entire weight of the shelves.

Step Five: Hang your Shelves


Hang the top of the ropes on the hooks and decide how far you want them to hang. You can then knot the top to set it at the perfect height.

Step Six: Level the Shelves

This is what mine looked like at the beginning. So do NOT panic if yours are all over the place.


First tip: Start from top to bottom and work one shelf at a time. You have to level it both ways across the boards and from front to back.



As you level the shelves, have one other person hold up the shelf as you move the knotted rope up or down. You should be able to loosen the rope and move it easily.




Step Seven:

Style and Decorate your shelves.


If you made it through this project without any unnecessary words, or without almost strangling your each other, you did better than we did. But hey, I love my shelves and still get giddy when I walk by them. I love my hubs and am so grateful for all he helps me with. He is truly the best…. and he loves me despite all that I make him put up with.


Happy DIYing!




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