diy: suspended wooden shelves


earlier this week i shared how i’m living in – and loving! – my new teeny tiny bathroom, check it out if you haven’t yet! one of my favorite parts of my little makeover was the shelves that are hung over the toilet. if you recall from my last post i just couldn’t find the right shelves that would fit the space, that also looked good and could hold everything i needed it to. so naturally my mind went to making it myself! like any project i pulled some inspiration images to help me visualize it.


i love the use of simple materials and the ability to have multiple shelves, via


i toyed with the idea of perhaps finishing the wood and what different materials might look like, via

there are endless floating shelves, rope shelves, etc but i liked the style of the two inspiration images above. both looked simple to make, would be pretty low budget and also give me the flexibility on width and length of boards.

here’s what you’ll need:

  • boards in your desired size, i went to my local hardware store and bought a long pine plank and had them cut it down into three 18″ long pieces (with some scrap leftover)
  • polyurethane, since these would be in the bathroom i wanted to make sure there was a protective coating
  • rope or cord, i used this one
  • c-hooks for mounting, similar
  • other supplies like drill, sandpaper, paintbrushes were helpful


i deliberated for awhile whether i wanted to finish the boards with a paint or stain but ended up really loving the look of the knotty pine. the poly coats gave it a little extra warmth but i really liked how natural it was.

mark hole to cut

i marked the bottom of the boards one inch in from each side.

drill holes

i then used a drill bit that was slightly larger than the cord i was using to drill holes in the spots i marked.

poly boards 2

after i gave it another light sanding to smooth out the rough edges and rubbed it down with a tack cloth i applied the coats of poly. you can’t tell too much from the picture but the poly warmed up the wood and helps bring out the grain of the wood.

progress 1

*sorry for the poor quality of progress shots, i quickly snapped them on my phone* i started by screwing in the c-hooks and tied the rope on. i didn’t measure the rope and just cut a long length to give myself a lot to play with. when adding the board i kept the knots loose to adjust as i was going. the level was soooo helpful in this process.

progress 2

i followed the same process of level, adjust, level, adjust for all the shelves. it was a little tedious but it really didn’t take that long.

shelf close up 2

shelf close up

and ta-da! i love it and it works so perfectly for my storage needs and gives my space a cozy, spa-like feeling. what do you think? would you try making shelves like these?

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