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.


An hour or less




Less than $20


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

  • 3/8” plug cutter
  • Clamps
  • Drill press
  • Drill/driver
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2 in. FH Screws
  • 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 2×6. 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!