Raised in California and transplanted to Utah. Married my college sweetheart from Montana, and we are raising 4 nuggets together. I love all things DIY projects and doing them on a budget. I don’t mind messing up and am ok with the 90/10 rule - nothing is perfect over here and it’s fine by me! Encouraging all ‘wanna-be’ DIYers to just get out there and try it! You will be so glad you did.”
I am a fan of floating shelves, pipe shelves, and bracket shelves – there are so many to choose from and I love the different styles they come in. I have a lot of different shelving units that I have incorporated into my home, from custom built to simple DIY styles.
You can buy them or build and there are many different price points. I will share how to make the different shelves and then how to buy them (if you are aren’t up for building). I will also rank them by difficulty from a BEGINNERS DIY point of view, and by price, like this:
NOTE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIANT LINKS, WHERE I GET COMMISSIONS IF YOU CHOOSE TO PURCHASE FROM THEM, AT NO COST TO YOU. ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Ok, let’s get started and I hope you will find some new ideas for your home. Make sure to pin your favorite ones to Pinterest so you don’t forget!
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I call this shelf the “original” floating shelf because these were the first floating shelf styles I saw many years ago when they started appearing. This “floating” shelf has become so popular and there is so many ways to achieve the look. I have built a few for myself and for friends as well.
There are two ways I have hung them, with cleats and with brackets. I will explain both.
These are the floating shelves I fell in love with. They are very versatile and can be done in an afternoon. They do require more tools and more cuts than other shelves. You install a cleat first (this is the wall mount base) and then attach the shelf unit over top.
My favorite tutorials for these shelves are found at Shanty2Chic.com and they have a wide variety of ways to create custom looks. Check out their blog here. The one I used for the bathroom and laundry shelves is found here.
If you are wanting a floating shelf but do not want to make it, you can have it custom made from Shelfology. They have so many options and styles. But because you are having it made you will be at a much higher price point. They will come completely ready to install (after the 3 week production turnaround) and can go up in minutes. Instead of a wood cleat they use metal cleats or brackets. I absolutely love mine. I chose the Aksel Shelf in Ash for my office (you can see the website here). Want to see the entire renovation in 60 seconds? Watch the IGTV video here!
Additionally you can find floating shelves online that aren’t custom, but are at a much lower price point. Here are a few that I love:
If you don’t want to build your floating shelf completely from scratch, and don’t want to spend a lot of money, I have the perfect solution for you. Out of all the shelves I have built, this one is the easiest “custom” style I have seen. It requires 2 brackets, a 2 inch x 8 inch board and some stain.
You can choose your color and your length, and it can be done in an afternoon. The reason why I ranked them as medium difficulty is because you need to drill holes into the wood for the bracket to sit in. You can check out my IGTV channel to see the tutorial here.
Here are the brackets that I used for this project:
Plumbers pipe floating shelves are also a great way to create this look in your home. They are similar to floating shelves but have a plumbers pipe base to hold them up, instead of a hidden cleat or bracket.
These shelf units are fun to do, kind of like a lego kit, but they are messy. If you purchase black plumbers pipe from the store, it will be greasy. You can read how to clean it here. If you use the chrome pipes they are not greasy. You can spray paint them, but I have found that it will scratch off if they are handled a lot.
Want to make some yourself? I have a blog post teaching you how to build these shelves that can be found right here. Here is a few other pipe shelves I have made over the years:
The materials I used are usually found at The Home Depot like these:
If you want these type of shelves but do not want make them, I absolutely Furniture Pipeline. They make the shelves for you and you put them together when they arrive. They also have DIY kits and the piping to buy that is ready to use. Additionally they sell pipe decor and furniture – check out their website here.
These are some of my favorite Furniture Pipeline Shelving units that I have in my home:
The cost of plumbers pipe shelving can add up to a lot. I tried creating the same look but with PVC pipe that was painted. It ended up being really easy and very cheap to do.
This project will just take an afternoon, but you do need to let the paint dry on the PVC pipe. I have a whole blog tutorial on this project that you can read about here. I did find that they are not nearly as strong as the plumbers pipe, so I would be careful to not place heavy items on a PVC pipe shelf.
A simple L bracket (or sometimes called a corner bracket) shelf is very easy and a great starter DIY. You can also purchase them, so let’s talk about both options.
A L bracket bracket shelf is basically a floating shelf, that uses a L bracket or corner bracket instead of a cleat. Hence it does not appear as “floating” because you can see the brackets. There is minimum work required and can be installed very quickly. I have written a tutorial on how to create one in just an afternoon. Check that out here.
Here is a few of the brackets I like:
You can also purchase a L bracket shelf from The Home Depot at a very small cost. Most are MDF board and come in different sizes. I added a set of these in a bathroom and they have held up well.
The Home Depot has tons of options, just head to the shelf isle and you will be able to check out the styles you like best.
What if you do not want to build a shelf for your home? There is no shame is saying it! Here are few more that I have tried that might help you as you decide what your type of shelf is!
You can find a local woodworker who will custom build a self for you. This 6 foot shelf in my living room was built by a craftsman in my area for $150. Search your ads, Facebook or Craigs List.
Years ago when I was a young mom, it was really hard to find nice wood shelving in a store. Now you can find them anywhere. I have a few in my home that I really like that were purchased.
Here are a few that I also love:
I hope these shelf ideas help give you some inspiration as you decided which style works for you and your home! Want to get all my tutorials straight to your inbox? Sign up for me weekly emails right here: