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7 Great Floating Shelf Ideas for Everyone

Everyone loves the look of a floating shelf, but not everyone realizes how many things you can do with this idea. Creative endeavors tend to build upon the work of one another, creating things that are ever more complex.

Shelving, while it may seem mundane, is no exception. One quick internet search pulls up dozens, even hundreds (and thousands) of different floating shelf ideas.

image - 7 Great Floating Shelf Ideas for Everyone
7 Great Floating Shelf Ideas for Everyone

Once you realize that you can form these shelves into virtually any shape you want, you begin to realize how much creative potential exists here.

To fully emphasize that potential, let’s discuss some of the best floating shelf ideas that we have seen.

Repurposed Plastic Barrels

You’ve probably seen old plastic barrels laying by the roadside or elsewhere. You might even know people who use them for utilitarian purposes.

Believe it or not, a cut-out section from a plastic barrel makes for an excellent circular floating shelf. Some people might call it more of a “stash hole” than a shelf, but it works in the same way.

We would argue that a circular wall shelf is still a wall shelf.

Obviously, you will want to clean and paint something like that before you hang it on the wall. You will probably also want to add a single flat board in the lower middle of the circle, hung horizontally like a separate shelf.

that will allow you to have a flat space on which to place items that require such.

Lettered Floating shelves

If you take floating shelves and form them into the shapes of various letters, you can (of course) spell out whatever you want.

This allows you to create things that are uniquely customized for their space. For instance, if your home is decorated in a certain theme, you can choose a word that fits that theme.

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Floating Shelves Shaped Like Clouds

Although it might not suit everyone’s style, we think this is a really cool idea. Some people have created floating shelf designs that are made to look like clouds. There are many possible variations on this idea.

For instance, you could just make one that forms the outline of a cloud. Or, you could go so far as to sculpt 3-dimensional clouds from foam blocks or even repurposed styrofoam.

If you happen to have access to a 3D printer, that might also be a good way to get some clouds on the wall. When combined with blue wall paint, this kind of thing gives any room a much more open and spacious feeling.

Combination Planter Box/Wall Shelves

Have you ever thought about the idea of combining a window box planter with a floating shelf? Well, a few others (including ourselves) have considered such.

To do something like this correctly, you would need to be especially careful about mounting. The added weight of the dirt would make things a lot heavier.

That being said, this idea is only realistic if you use the right kind of plants. You aren’t going to grow vegetables in something like this, that much is for sure.

Instead, look for small decorative plants with very meager needs. Something like petunias will probably do very well in a combination shelf/planter, provided you place them in a sunny spot.

Floating Corner Shelves

There’s something vaguely stylish about a corner shelf. Not only that, but it’s a very utilitarian design. It allows you to have an excellent display shelf that can prominently display numerous things at the same time.

If you put all of those things in line on a single long shelf, they just wouldn’t stand out as much. We’re not surprised to see that a few people have built floating corner shelves, and we think that’s an excellent idea.

Hanging them on the wall would be one of the few ways in which corner shelves can become even more space-efficient.

The Floating Tree

We have also seen designs in which people made their floating shelves look like tree limbs, spreading out across the wall.

By using a polygonal shape (i.e., no curved lines) you can have the look of a tree limb while still having flat places to set your things. If you are going for a more naturalistic kind of decor, you couldn’t ask for a better idea than this.

Floating Shelves With Built-In Drawers

In many cases, a floating shelf is just a block of wood. All the craftiness went into the mounts, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

If you take that block of wood and add a drawer, you have basically created a floating dresser. Not only is it a cool idea, but it also increases the storage potential significantly.

If you are so inclined, you could even make it a hidden drawer with a hidden release lever.

Combination Floating Shelf/Towel Rack

This is another one of those functional ideas from iirnTree, but it could be a great space saver for people with small bathrooms.

This kind of floating shelf is essentially just a wall box, but a small “guardrail” is placed in the front to keep towels and washcloths from falling out.

A bar can then be added to the bottom so that more towels can be hung from there. By adding a small rack to the top, you can also have a great place to store your extra rolls of toilet paper.


This is just a small sampling of the wonderfully creative ideas that we have seen from people out there. If you think about your needs and the limitations of your space, you might just be able to come up with a great and innovative idea as well.

Human beings are capable of elevating anything to an art form, even if it’s something as simple as a wooden board hanging from the wall.

We hope that we have given you plenty of fuel for your own creativity and that you will return again soon.

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