Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build Floating Bookshelves

This 1-hour floating bookshelf project offers a perfect opportunity to learn how to cut plugs for hiding screws, and it'll add some really cool interest to your reading area, too.


Along with being visually interesting, these floating bookshelves are super simple to build. They use minimal material and require only a table saw or circular saw, a miter saw and a drill.

Tools Required

  1. 3/8” plug cutter
  2. Clamps
  3. Drill press
  4. Drill/driver
  5. Miter saw
  6. Table saw

Materials Required

  1. 1-1/2 in. FH Screws
  2. 2x6 oak

What It Takes

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Cost: $10
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Click here for another incredible floating shelf project

Cutting List

Simple Floating Bookshelves Cutting List

Tech Art

Simple Floating Bookshelves Tech Art

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Mill parts to size

Simple Floating Bookshelves 1

Rip a 45-degree bevel on one edge of the 2x6. Rip the beveled edge free, so the offcut is 1-1/2 in. x 1-1/2 in. Cut two 6-in. lengths for the beveled ends (A). Make another rip at 1-1/2 in. for the sides (B).

Step 2

Assemble the shelves

Simple Floating Bookshelves 2

Drill 3/8-in. counterbores into the end of each side (B) using a Forstner bit. Clamp the frames together and drill pilot holes. Remove the clamps and drill a clearance hole through the counterbores in the sides. Fasten the sides to the beveled ends with 1-1/2-in. flat-head screws.

Step 3

Make plugs

Simple Floating Bookshelves 3

Cut plugs using a drill press and a 3/8-in. plug cutter. Pop out the plugs with a chisel. If you don't own a drill press and a plug cutter set, use 3/8-in. dowel stock instead.

Step 4

Insert plugs

Simple Floating Bookshelves 4

Glue and insert the plugs into the counterbores. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp towel. Let the glue dry. Use a handsaw to cut the plug flush, protecting the wood surface with a piece of cardboard, and then sand. Finish the shelves however you'd like!