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DIY Floating Shelves with Pulleys

  • September 15, 2016

Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic

Hey guys! Ash and I had the best time crashing our sister’s house a few weeks ago! We took a 5 hour road trip with tools, wood and kids in tow to her house in Houston. We spent less than 24 hours and completed 6 big projects for her. We called it a “Shanty House Crash”! One of the projects we did for her home was an amazing set of DIY Floating Shelves hanging from a pulley. She had a big blank corner that needed some love, and these fit the bill! Check out how they turned out!

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large af9f6aea c098 4938 a53b 98aac5809d30

      The plywood sheets are big, and often impossible to fit into your car… Especially when you have 5 kids in the back. We like to have Home Depot make the rip cuts for us in order to get it in the car at Home Depot.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 6422b048 23da 441a b0d8 8910faa39445

      Use the cut list in the PDF attached to make your cuts. We used the RYOBI Miter Saw for this part.

    3. Step: 3

      Large c34b9f2f 7d09 45dc 9245 1a6d55810ed4

      Second step…Build your box. This shelf uses hardwood plywood and 1×6 to create the box. For this box, we used wood glue and 1.25″ finish nails to attach all of our pieces. Build the 4 sides first, and then glue and nail the top piece to that.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 455e3ed3 70cf 450c 8f04 464afb031d52

      We finished our box and stained it. While it was drying we built the wall cleat. This is made from a 2×4. We made our cuts and then used our Kreg Jig to create 1.5″ pocket holes into each of the 3 smaller pieces.

    5. Step: 5

      Large 25734dbe f3c2 4d29 83f5 eb20b70aa787

      We attached each of those three pieces to the longer 2×4 using wood glue and 2.5″ pocket hole screws.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 10ee1405 8257 4114 949e d81120a7dd57

      Once we had the wall support assembled, we attached it to the wall using 3″ screws. We used a stud finder to mark the studs in the walls and then drove the screws through the wall support and into the studs of the wall. We often get asked how much weight these shelves will hold. If you build and attach them correctly, they are strong! The box just slides over the wall support. We placed each shelf on the support, but waited to secure it to the cleats until after we added the twine.

    7. Step: 7

      Large e265b813 34df 40df acc8 11599cfaa6c6

      We used ply jute twine as our rope on these. You have a few options when mounting this to your ceiling. We decided to use our stapler to attach ours. We made a small knot through the top of the pulley to start. Then, we used our stapler to attach the knot to the ceiling with 5/8″ staples. The only actual weight that is held by those staples is the weight of the pulley, so we knew this would work great. Our next step was drilling the holes into the shelves. We used our drill and a 1/2″ drill bit to put four holes in each shelf. These holes were at the front corners of each shelf, and in the exact same spot on the bottom board of each shelf. We spaced ours 1″ from the front of the shelves and 2″ from the sides so we wouldn’t drill into our wall cleats.

    8. Step: 8

      Large f31e84a3 3e1e 4145 a3c6 92323b589767

      Once the rope wall all the way through, we tied knots under the bottom board of the bottom shelf and used the driver to attach the shelves to the cleats with 1.5″ screws.

Comments (3)


  • Hey ladies, I am impressed with this project. My father was a master carpenter and not much rubbed off on me but I am trying to learn. I really like the modern and rustic elements of this shelving project. I am going to try this because it is so unique. Not sure I have all the tools necessary but that may mean another trip to Home Depot. I will probably be in touch with specific questions, so please be patient with my novice knowledge. Thanks, Eric
    By Eric in San Diego, on September 23, 2016

  • Is there a reason why you attached the shelve pieces with screws from the outside versus the inside? If you screwed the screws on the inside you would not have left screw holes on the outside of the shelf and have to patch them prior to painting.
    By Master1, on September 23, 2016


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DIY Floating Shelves with Pulleys

by Shanty 2 Chic
Sep 15, 2016
Medium 6fbbc9c9 0ee5 46f2 8488 b9f5eb20316a

Hey guys! Ash and I had the best time crashing our sister’s house a few weeks ago! We took a 5 hour road trip with tools, wood and kids in tow to her house in Houston. We spent less than 24 hours and completed 6 big projects for her. We called it a “Shanty House Crash”! One of the projects we did for her home was an amazing set of DIY Floating Shelves hanging from a pulley. She had a big blank corner that needed some love, and these fit the bill! Check out how they turned out!

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge af9f6aea c098 4938 a53b 98aac5809d30

    The plywood sheets are big, and often impossible to fit into your car… Especially when you have 5 kids in the back. We like to have Home Depot make the rip cuts for us in order to get it in the car at Home Depot.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 6422b048 23da 441a b0d8 8910faa39445

    Use the cut list in the PDF attached to make your cuts. We used the RYOBI Miter Saw for this part.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge c34b9f2f 7d09 45dc 9245 1a6d55810ed4

    Second step…Build your box. This shelf uses hardwood plywood and 1×6 to create the box. For this box, we used wood glue and 1.25″ finish nails to attach all of our pieces. Build the 4 sides first, and then glue and nail the top piece to that.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 455e3ed3 70cf 450c 8f04 464afb031d52

    We finished our box and stained it. While it was drying we built the wall cleat. This is made from a 2×4. We made our cuts and then used our Kreg Jig to create 1.5″ pocket holes into each of the 3 smaller pieces.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge 25734dbe f3c2 4d29 83f5 eb20b70aa787

    We attached each of those three pieces to the longer 2×4 using wood glue and 2.5″ pocket hole screws.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 10ee1405 8257 4114 949e d81120a7dd57

    Once we had the wall support assembled, we attached it to the wall using 3″ screws. We used a stud finder to mark the studs in the walls and then drove the screws through the wall support and into the studs of the wall. We often get asked how much weight these shelves will hold. If you build and attach them correctly, they are strong! The box just slides over the wall support. We placed each shelf on the support, but waited to secure it to the cleats until after we added the twine.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge e265b813 34df 40df acc8 11599cfaa6c6

    We used ply jute twine as our rope on these. You have a few options when mounting this to your ceiling. We decided to use our stapler to attach ours. We made a small knot through the top of the pulley to start. Then, we used our stapler to attach the knot to the ceiling with 5/8″ staples. The only actual weight that is held by those staples is the weight of the pulley, so we knew this would work great. Our next step was drilling the holes into the shelves. We used our drill and a 1/2″ drill bit to put four holes in each shelf. These holes were at the front corners of each shelf, and in the exact same spot on the bottom board of each shelf. We spaced ours 1″ from the front of the shelves and 2″ from the sides so we wouldn’t drill into our wall cleats.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge f31e84a3 3e1e 4145 a3c6 92323b589767

    Once the rope wall all the way through, we tied knots under the bottom board of the bottom shelf and used the driver to attach the shelves to the cleats with 1.5″ screws.