Build a floating shelf

floating shelf

This floating shelf is perfect for any wall. It can be used as a server, or to display a prized collection of plants. This is how you can make one.


  • Shutter board for mould, as follows:
  • Base: 1000 x 500 x 022 mm
  • Front: 1000 x 100 x 022 mm
  • Sides: 520 x 100 x 022 mm, x 2
  • Props/supports (pine): 70 x 44 mm, x 2
  • Cleat (pine): 1000 x 022 x 044 mm
  • 20 kg PPC Cement
  • 2 bags concrete stone (8 mm aggregate)
  • 2 bags river sand
  • 600 x 018 mm threaded bars, x 2
  • Reinforcing rods, as follows:
  • 900 x 006 mm, x 2
  • 400 x 006 mm, x 3
  • 4 mm full thread screws, x 30
  • Building wire
  • ABE Epoxy
  • 40 mm steel nails, x 3
  • Releasing agent: oil mixed with a little water


Electric drill, 18mm masonry bit, spirit level, pencil, tape measure, hammer, chisel, float, rubber mallet.

Step 1: Work out exactly where you want the shelf to be along the wall, then draw (straight) lines to indicate the position. The two threaded bars must be inserted into the wall to support the shelf, about 15 cm in from each end of the completed shelf. Use your lines to mark where the two holes are to be drilled. Drill the holes, 150 mm deep into the wall, coat the ends of the bars with epoxy and insert them into the holes. Chip bits out of the plaster where the shelf will come into contact with the wall.

Step 2: Make a rectangular mould for the shelf by screwing together the sections of shutter board (it should have a base, one long side and two short sides). Using the spirit level to make sure everything is straight and level, nail the cleat to the wall where the base of the mould will rest, place the mould on it and screw the base of the mould to the cleat from underneath. Support the free end of the mould with the two pine props.

Step 3: Place the reinforcing rods in the mould and tie them together with the wire. Paint the inside of the box with a releasing agent (be sure to avoid coating any areas where you require the cement to adhere).

Step 4: Thoroughly mix together 1 part cement, 2 parts stone and 2 parts sand, plus water. Fill the mould, agitating the mixture well with a trowel and tapping the sides with the mallet to get rid of any trapped air. Smooth the surface with the float and allow to dry, undisturbed, for 7 days.


Step 5: Once the concrete is dry, remove the supports and carefully unscrew the mould, and there you have it: a magic floating shelf.

The Gardener