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Cloakrooms and utility areas can lack a bit of sparkle – as Angel says, “they’re functional spaces that can sometimes feel a bit unloved”! However, there’s one simple, small change that can make a big difference to your interiors. With some simple shelving units, you can really transform a space and bring it back to life. Luckily, learning how to put up a shelf is simple – the hardest bit is deciding where you’d like to put them and curating your perfect ‘shelfie’!
Before you get started, take a moment to read through our DIY safety tips.
What you’ll need:
- Shelf fixings
- Floating shelf
- Wall plugs
- Ornaments and decorations
- Spirit level
How to put up a floating shelf
If you’re a beginner to putting up shelves, floating shelves are a brilliant option – they have concealed fixings and appear to be sticking out of the wall, as if by magic. Whether you’re putting up shelves on a plasterboard wall or dry partition walls, the floating shelves we’re using here are suitable for all wall types and are attached by six screw holes, which must be accurately lined up.
Step 1: Mark your screw positions
Take your floating shelf bracket and place it on your spirit level. Using a pen, mark the correct distances onto your spirit level, leaving a mark where each screw should sit. Now, when you hold your spirit level horizontally, you can see where you need to drill into the wall.
Top tip: When choosing where to position your shelf, it’s important to make sure that you’re not going to be drilling into any wiring or above a plug socket.
Step 2: Transfer screw marks to the wall
Hold your spirit level flat against the wall. When it’s level, you’ll see that the marks are exactly where you need your holes.
Taking a pencil, you can then transfer the screw marks directly onto the wall. To get an accurate line, make a mark down from the spirit level and then across to form a ‘T’ shape. Where the two marks meet is where you’ll need to drill your holes.
When putting up shelves, it’s important to take your time with these first two steps and ensure that your marks are perfectly level – nobody wants a shelf that tilts to one side!
Step 3: Drill your holes
Hold your floating shelf bracket up to the wall – the ‘T’ marks should all be visible in the centre of the screw holes.
With your guide marks now perfectly positioned, drill your holes using a hammer drill and masonry bit. Working one at a time, drill a hole at each ‘T’ intersection on the wall. Make sure to drill slightly deeper than your wall plugs and screws are long when you’re putting shelves up.
Top tip: To make clearing up easier and prevent mess, hold a dustpan underneath where you’re drilling to catch any plaster dust.
Step 4: Screw your bracket to the wall
Once your holes are drilled, you can insert the wall plugs and hang your bracket on the wall using screws and a drill with a screwdriver bit.
Top tip: For more handy ways to tidy up your home, find out how to build a mobile storage unit.
Step 5: Fix your shelf to the bracket
Now that your bracket is firmly attached to the wall, it’s time to fix your floating shelf to the bracket.
Slide your shelf onto the bracket arms. The Homebase Floating Shelf we used for this project requires two screws to fix the shelf to the bracket – one for each bracket arm. The holes in the shelf piece have already been made, so simply insert your screws securely and you’re done!
Top tip: If you’ve caught the DIY bug, take a look at our guide to creating copper pipe shelving.
Step 5: Fix your shelf to the bracket
Now that you know how to put up a floating shelf, it’s time for the fun part!
With your shelves in place, you can make them your own with a beautiful display. From faux flowers that look fresh all year round to dainty ornaments and vases, there are plenty of exciting ways to add a bit of flair to your shelving. Once you’re happy with the arrangement of your stylish new storage solution, your shelves are ‘shelfie’ ready! If you’re after some tips on how to dress a shelf, Angel’s advice would be to simply have fun and get creative with it!.
Top tip: For more fun storage ideas, read our quirky shelving options for houseplants.
There we have it – that’s how to put up a shelf! Whether you’re building a handy bookcase or looking for a neat way to display your prize possessions, knowing how to put a shelf on a wall is a skill that’s bound to come in useful again and again. Share your new ‘shelfies’ with us @Homebase_UK and explore our Ideas & Advice page to find inspiration for your next project.