DIY Floating Corner Shelves

  • DIY, Handyman Magazine, Install Floating, Corner Shelves,

Remember Grandma’s corner cabinet filled with a lifetime of treasures? Here’s a modern take on that old-fashioned display method.
Floating shelves like these are simple, cheap, quick to make and free up valuable floorspace.
Installed in a corner they also have the bonus of using wasted space and can be put up in any room, as the size and number are easily adjusted.These shelves are just triangles cut from 16mm thick MDF using a jigsaw. They sit on supports with mitred ends to fit in the corners, cut from pine moulding using a handsaw.
The shelf supports are secured into the wall studs while the shelves are attached with adhesive and nails.

Secure to the wall

We used a stud finder to locate the wall studs then installed four shelves, starting 600mm from the floor with a spacing of 400mm in between to maintain an open, uncluttered look.
For extra storage, five shelves positioned at 300mm spacings can also be installed.
For a neat flush fit it’s important to check the adjacent walls are square to one another using a builder’s square before cutting out the shelves.
If the walls are out of square, mark and cut out a cardboard template for the shelves, then check the fit is correct. To cut out the shelves transfer the template to the MDF. 

Finding wall studs

Corner studs are easy to find so attaching at that point will be easy, but the next stud may be a little too far away to suit the supports. If that’s the case, secure the shelf support at the outer end using a plasterboard gravity toggle.
Drill a 10mm hole through the plasterboard then pass the machine screw through the batten and wind it into the toggle head. Insert the toggle through the plasterboard, pull back and tighten the screw with a screwdriver.

Step 1. Cut the shelves

Mark a diagonal cut line across two 600mm squares of MDF and cut triangles using a jigsaw and a sharp timber blade. Round over all cut edges with 180 grit abrasive paper.

Step 2. Prepare the supports

Use a mitre box and handsaw to cut eight 500mm shelf supports with a 45° angle on one end and a 45° mitre on the other. Sand all cut edges and apply two coats of acrylic paint.

Step 3. Paint the shelves

Apply at least two coats of semi gloss acrylic to the shelves using a small roller, leaving it to dry between coats. Paint the underside of the shelves and the front edges.

Step 4. Mark the shelf positions

In the corner, mark the support positions, starting 600mm off the floor then spaced at 400mm for three more. Use a spirit level to extend 500mm long lines across the walls.

Step 5. Secure the supports

Check the mitre joints, use a spirit level to position the supports, securing to the wall studs with 50mm x 2.0mm bullethead nails. Punch in the nail heads and cover with timber filler.

Step 6. Position the shelves

Run a bead of PVA adhesive along the top of the supports. Starting at the base, position each shelf and secure with 30 x 1.6mm bullethead nails on both sides spaced at 150mm centres.

Click the diagram

Follow the labelled diagram to build the floating corner shelves. Measurements are in mm. 

Cutting List

Click on the cutting list to see what materials. It has the names and measurements of the materials you need to help you cut components for the shelves.

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