DIY Floating Shelves With Storage Drawers For Stylish Home Organization

It's relatively uncommon to find DIY home improvement projects that combine the quality of a craftsperson, a noteworthy level of style, and complete functionality, but Lena of A Finished House pulled it off with her three floating shelves (the lower two of which have built-in drawers) that run the entire length of the wall. Impressively, she built it all from the ground up.

"I built these shelves for him, to display his insane Lego collection, to show it off and remind him that he doesn't need to trade off what he loves for what 'makes sense,'" Lena wrote about her 13-year-old son on Instagram. "The times I'm the happiest are when I do what used to make me happy when I was thirteen – being creative, in any way possible."

Lena's creativity is certainly on display here, and it's a good starting point for another creative person to do something entirely different. There are many ways to transform your space with floating shelves, which could display other curated collectibles, craft projects, or works of art like small sculptures, while the drawers could store related equipment and supplies.

How to build floating shelves

Lena built sturdy floating shelves by mounting brackets made from two-by-fours to the wall studs and concealing them with a top, a bottom, and either a front piece for the top shelf or drawers for the lower two shelves. The shorter lengths of two-by-fours attached perpendicularly about every 18 inches frame the drawers and help support the shelves. The shelf tops, bottoms, and front, as well as the drawer faces, are made from what looks like ¼-inch lauan plywood.

Lena's approach is solid but might have a somewhat limited weight capacity. One easy solution is to purchase a heavy-duty metal floating shelf bracket, like this one from Sheppard Brackets, which can hold 55 pounds for every wall stud it's attached to. They range in length from 10 to 82 inches, and of course, the longer the bracket, the more studs it can be attached to and the more weight it can hold, although note that this will also depend on the stud spacing in your walls.

How to build drawers inside floating shelves

Lena cut the drawer sides and faces from plywood, using a clothes iron to clean up the plywood boards with edge banding, and drawer bottoms from thin MDF. She installed drawer slides before the brackets were mounted to the wall, which made it easier to fit and properly align the drawers than if everything were up in the air, and mounted edge pulls at the top of the face of each drawer to serve as handles. They're relatively unobtrusive, but another option would be to make cutouts in each drawer, which is easily accomplished with a router.

Beyond its simplicity, this project is flexible and refined, making it work as a brilliant Lego storage idea for busy parents who want to keep the house tidy or for any number of purposes. Imagine a trophy shelf with memorabilia tucked into the drawers or shelves of books above a desk with drawers hiding various office supplies. With faces matched to your kitchen cabinets, they'd make great canning shelves (with the drawers holding canning supplies), but they'd also work great in closets; shoe storage, anyone? There are lots of possibilities!