Project: Kid's Bathroom - DIY Chunky Wood Floating Bathroom Shelves

This week we will be revisiting past #projectkidsbathroom posts leading up to the BIG REVEAL of the finished bathroom! I know you have all been waiting and I am finally ready to share the space!
So join me each day this week as we look back at all the project we've done!
You can catch up by clicking the links below:

Part 1 : The Before
Part 2 : Tile


We made more progress in the bath this week!

One area we wanted to tackle was this little nook between the tub and window wall.

Here is the before...
Before of wood shelves.


Although functional, it wasn't very interesting and lacked a certain finished quality, wouldn't you say?

With all the effort we are putting into updating the floors, I knew we couldn't leave it looking like this.

Before of floating wood shelves.

(forgive my poor photos...this is the most awkward corner ever to photograph!)
I really wanted to beef up the shelves and like with most projects around here, enlisted the help of my husband...cause he gets me.

One day and a couple cigars later, we have shelves!

DIY Floating Chunky Wood Shelves in a bathroom - AFTER

I had my husband, Justin, write up a tutorial for you! Take it away hon!

Shopping List:
1-  3/4" Sheet Plywood
1- 1"x4" Pine Board
2- 1"x2" Pine board

The cut list for this project isn't really going to matter a whole lot unless you are trying to fill the exact same size opening for shelving that we were. If you are curious though here it is….

Cut List
3/4” Sanded plywood – 8pcs @ 24”x 16.5”
1x4" Pine board - 4pcs @ 16.5”
1x2 board – 8pcs @ 18” (for this I used excess 2x3’s sitting around the garage and ripped the 3” side down to 2”. )

*** This can be made with ANY type of wood. We use pine because it is cheap and since I don’t plan any of my projects before starting them.. Mistakes happen. Pine is the most affordable and in my opinion one of the easier woods to work with.***

Step 1:
Cut your 4x8 sheet of plywood to the required dimensions of the shelves you would like to build. A little tip on cutting a straight line on sheets of plywood… Find a straight edge (I prefer a piece of flat stock steel, but all I had was my 4’ level) clamp it to the top of the plywood and run your saw along the edge of the straight edge to make your cut. Most of the saws I have used have a 1.5” plate on them. When you measure from the blade to the edge of the plate on your saw just set your straight edge that far away from your cut line.

How to cut plywood for shelves
Step 2:
Cut your 1x4" Pine (or whatever wood you choose) to the length of the face of the shelf. For us this was 16.5”.

Step 3:
Cut your  1x2 wood to about the same depth as your shelf. How long/wide your shelf is will determine how many of these pieces you will need. I would say on average one every 2’ should be great. I used two in our shelves, probably overkill but like I said I over build everything.

Step 4:
Lay one 3/4 piece of plywood flat on a work bench, counter, whatever flat surface you have and face nail a 1x4 piece to the front edge of the plywood.

Step 5:
Attach as many of the 1x2 pieces for bracing as you think you will need to the plywood with the 1x4 attached to it. Make sure youe 1x2s are inset enough to clear the shelf brackets on the wall. SEE Step 7

Step by step on building shelves.
Step 5:
Attached the second piece of plywood to the 1x2 that are attached to the other piece of plywood.

Step by step tutorial on building floating shelves

Building shelves, step by step tutorial
Step 6:
Finish however works for your decor. Our finish is one coat Jacobean* and one coat Classic Gray*. (*indicates affiliate link) I then beat it up really good with a hammer. Sanded and then finished with a wipe-on poly.

(*** side note from me, Amber, maybe its best not to let your really big strong husband do the distressing...unless you want it REALLY REALLY REALLY beat up.)


Distressing Pine for floating shelves

Step 7:
This step I didn't have to do, but likely you will need to. You will need to figure out how to hang it. Our house had 1x1 ½ boards already attached to the walls so I just built these to fit over the existing “brackets”. If you are needing to build something to attach your new shelves to I would recommend something just slightly smaller than the 2” support inside your shelves. This way if your “brackets” are smaller you shouldn't have any installation issues. 

Step 8:
Slide your shelf over the wall brackets and nail in place (from the top) using a finish nailer. Ours are pretty snug and the nailing might be overkill, but we chose to do it anyway.

Step by Step Tutorial on how to build DIY Chunky Floating Shelves

So again, here is where we started...

Before of floating wood shelves

and here is the final result!

DIY Floating Wood Shelves. Bathroom Shelves


They came out just how I wanted them!

Nice chunky wood shelves and that were very inexpensive to build!

From the front they almost look one solid thick piece of wood, don't you think!?
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