Floating Shelf Ideas Add Interest

Floating shelf ideas never cease to amaze me. Creative individuals are continually experimenting with old items and upcycling or repurposing them into functional artwork. Let's face it, floating shelves can indeed become works of art - not only providing interest, but developing clever storage when space is limited.

I must confess that despite my continued amazement and love of many floating shelf ideas I've seen over the years, I've never had or experimented with any...until now. Sometimes the perfect item must first present itself. Once it does, you may ponder how to reuse it until an idea eventually becomes clear - such was the case with my driftwood floating shelf.


Rustic Beam Washed Ashore

A reclaimed beam is displayed as a
decorative lintel above a doorway.

This wonderful old beam was found washed up on the shore at the river during a 2014 New Year's Day nature walk. Its water journey smoothed the edges and gave it an appealing rustic, weathered finish. It dried for two weeks before its first repurpose over a doorway.


The age of the piece is unknown as is its prior use. The vacant hole where a peg is missing adds more character.

From Lintel to Floating Shelf

A reclaimed driftwood beam transitions from
doorway lintel to floating shelf in a bathroom.

Despite loving the beam's reuse as a decorative lintel for over a month, the floating shelf idea continued to linger in my mind. I would have attempted the shelf sooner had the correct hardware for hanging been at hand.

With much anticipation of the new shelf project, I finally made a trip to Lowe's hardware section to search for appropriate hanging hardware.



A heavy-duty sawtooth bracket is used in the center of the beam to assist with balance and weight.

Metal brackets of this nature provide
anchor points that eliminate slippage.

This beam had lots of weight to it. Because of this, experimentation with various types of brackets was required until a level of comfort was achieved. The two types of brackets shown above were utilized along with wall anchor points in studs.


Floating Shelf Ideas and Uses

A floating shelf used to display artwork.
Learn more about this frugal framed art.

Floating shelves are often more form than function. In this instance, it is being used more for interest as an artwork ledge. It could, however, provide elevated storage for toiletries such as old glass jars full of soaps or cottonballs. Hand towels could be rolled and displayed upon it or even purposely hung from its wooden pegs.


A better view: this reclaimed beam provides rustic charm as a unique focal point in this bathroom.

More Floating Shelf Ideas

Think outside the box. Just about anything with a usable flat surface can be repurposed as a floating shelf. How many things can you think of? An old step ladder or flat ladder could be hung either vertically or horizontally depending on your intended use. Imagine books lined up on the rungs or, while thinking of bathrooms again, towels rolled up and placed within the voids of the steps.

Do you have some vintage wooden skis? Imagine mounting them so their surface becomes usable. Old suitcases have been artfully repurposed for some time now...either stacked upon one another to create small tables or mounted on walls to create shelving.


Use vintage suitcases to create floating shelves. Staggering different sizes up one wall creates interest and function.

Cool floating shelves need not require the upcycled or repurposed element to be the actual shelf; the bracketing or shelving framework can be the wow-factor instead. A vintage pipe framework looks neat when coupled with a simple wooden shelf as below. Or, imagine attaching empty soup cans (open end facing outward) in a linear fashion on a wall and placing a narrow piece of wood upon them. If done in an office, the cans may multitask as shelf mounts and storage for pens and markers.

NOTE: A smooth edge can opener is ALWAYS RECOMMENDED for any repurposed can projects. These openers eliminate sharp edges.


Go industrial: galvanized pipe can be repurposed to create a framework or brackets for floating shelves.

So, get creative with your floating shelf ideas, and be sure to stop by The Frugal Tree blog to tell us about it. LIKE Frugal Interior Design at Facebook to receive notification of new ideas!








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