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Filed in PROJECTS & DIY — March 24, 2022

If you’re anything like me you love open shelving and creating all the #shelfies. Custom open shelving is such a large investment so in our kitchen refresh we decided to make our own floating shelves as thin as possible to look nice, sleek, and clean.


-1/2” 4×8 sheet Sande Plywood
-1×3” select pine board
-1×2 select pine board
-1 ¼“ screws
-Nail gun
-1 ¼“ nails
-Tape measure


-The plywood we chose is pricier but is sanded really smooth and has a wood grain that will take stain well. (Most plywood doesn’t take stain that well, but this will). Still will need to sand it smooth. 

-Suggest using the more expensive select pine 1×3 boards for the shelves because they’re smooth and take stain so nicely (this is the bulk of the shelf you see, what faces out!)

-The 1×2 pine boards for the brackets we used the least expensive pine since it isn’t visible and works just as well since it’s for the bracket. 

-I use an old sock/towel to apply the stain, apply it and wipe it back off so it doesn’t soak in the plywood making it darker. (plywood takes stain different than regular pine wood).

-If you choose to seal it I suggest Minwax Polycrilic in Clear Matte, zero sheen or yellowing with stain.



  1. 1. Determine how wide (far out from wall) want shelves to be. Most cabinets are about 12.5” we made ours same width as our previous cabinets.
  2. 2. Cut two matching pieces of plywood to 11” wide and whatever length for your space.
  3. 3. Cut the 1×3 pine board 1.5” longer than length of plywood piece.
  4. 4. Cut 2 1×3 pine board pieces to 11” long.
  5. 5. Sand smooth get all dust off and stain or paint. Once dry if you choose can seal it.


  1. 1. Cut 1 1×2 pine board 1.5” shorter than the length of plywood.
  2. 2. Make 9” braces for the bracket using 1×2 boards every 4” of the length of first 1×2 piece.
  3. 3. Drill pilot holes then screw each brace piece on 90’ or perpendicular to the first 1×2 piece.
  4. 4. 1 bracket per shelf.


  1. 1. Using nail gun attach all 1×3 pieces at 90’ angles, making them flush.
  2. 2. Nail the first plywood piece to the 1×3 frame you just made.
  3. 3. Attach the bottom plywood piece to the 1×3 frame.
  4. 4. Should have a hollow box (bracket will fit inside of once installed)


  1. 1. Find and mark the studs. Then, screw the 1×2 bracket into the stud making sure it’s level.
  2. 2. Slide hollow shelf over the bracket.
  3. 3. Screw shelf to the bracket from the top of the shelf closest to the wall (where it will be less visible.)
  4. 4. Add a screw on each side and in the middle to reinforce.

I hope this inspires you to create your own open shelving somewhere in your home! I love styling my shelves with all the pretty kitchen essentials. Form and function – always a win!

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I created Grace Oaks Designs based on a need for attainable design. I kept coming back to my signature style time after time and realized, this is it! We bridge the gap creating attainable design for the modern family. Home tells our stories. It's the cornerstone of where we're going and where we've been. Where beautiful style meets comfort and functionality. For an elevated everyday. It's our safe haven. Which is why I'm so passionate about creating refined casual interiors. Elevated yet livable. Because I want you to love coming home. 

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Grace Oaks Designs is an interiors and lifestyle brand located in Central IL. We offer inspiration and design services to help you elevate your everyday.