If you have ever wanted to make the IKEA LACK floating shelf you found the right place! I will show you how to make the famous IKEA LACK floating shelf with just a few tools. Building floating shelves is a great beginner woodworking project no matter you skill level. This floating shelf can be made to any length or depth.

I believe the best thing about this floating shelf is the jig and mounting hardware we are going to use to hang this shelf. I found these amazing floating shelf mounting brackets made by Sheppards Brackets! I think the best feature to these floating shelf brackets is that there is a routing jig and hole jig you can use to perfectly cut, drill and install the floating shelf brackets. If you are planing on making and selling floating shelves as part of your wood working business I would highly recommend purchasing the routing jig.

Lets talk about the materials and tools you will need to build this project.


  • 1/2” Maple Plywood https://bit.ly/2OHdd3H
  • 1/2” MDF https://homedepot.sjv.io/jMjkv


  • 58″ Sheppard Bracket Routing and Hole Kit | https://amzn.to/3uaz4AT
  • 58″ Sheppard Bracketing Floating Shelf Bracket | https://amzn.to/37rvskb


  • Miter Saw | https://amzn.to/2XgnJCo
  • Table Saw | https://amzn.to/2XfJliB
  • Router | https://amzn.to/3jyntqt
  • Earlex Sprayer | https://amzn.to/3pCmkQh
  • Drill Set | https://amzn.to/3rBC6Ml
  • Orbital Sander | https://amzn.to/3skFGfh
  • 24 in. Quick Grip Clamps (4 clamps) | https://amzn.to/2LrPlO2
  • Tape Measure | https://amzn.to/2wGQGLU
  • Micro Jig GRR Ripper | https://amzn.to/2Xy05ze
  • Speed combination square | https://amzn.to/3jXi10w
  • Level | https://amzn.to/3qzUs0n


  • Titebond 3 | https://amzn.to/3dyUEXo
  • 180 Grit Sandpaper | https://amzn.to/3ahWs6D
  • Brad nails | https://amzn.to/3tHB2sa
  • Edge Banding | https://amzn.to/3qufLjD
  • Edge Banding Trim cutter | https://amzn.to/3s6Cdjx
  • Iron | https://amzn.to/3qw1XFo
  • Satin Polyurethane | https://amzn.to/2LZMiPR
  • Foam Brush | https://amzn.to/3u9Yj6e
  • Wood Glue Dispenser | https://amzn.to/3bhaK7F

Step 1 | Watch My Build Video

In this video, I show you the step-by-step process and tools needed to build the IKEA LACK floating shelf.

Step 2 | Cut Down Your Material

You will need to cut down your 1/2″ Maple Plywood and MDF to the length and depth you want your shelf you be. If you want to build my exact shelf you can download the plans here. I recommend using a table saw to break down your sheets of plywood and MDF. However, you can always use a track saw.

Cutting plywood on a table saw in a wood shop

Step 3 | Assembly Your Floating Shelf

Assembling your floating shelf is really easy! You simply need a brad nailer and wood glue. I recommend using a cordless brad nailer, it makes the nailing of your pieces together much easier and faster. Don’t forget to apply the wood glue evenly.

nailing a floating shelf together using a brad nailer

Once you have nailed your inner supports together you will need to attach the top. To attach the top you do NOT want to us a brad nailer…the main reason is you do not want to put any holes in your shelf. To attach the top you will just use wood glue and clamps.

clamping wood together to make a floating shelf

Step 4 | Rout Your Floating Shelf Groove

Next, attach your Sheppards Bracket Router Jig and rout out the back of your floating shelf. Make sure you center your jig and set the depth of your router bit correctly before you begin.

Installing the Sheppards Bracket Router Jig

Take your time when routing out your groove. I would recommend using a mask or respirator as it will generate a lot of dust.

Routing out a floating shelf using a sheppards bracket router template jig

Step 5 | Drill Your Holes For The Floating Shelf

After you have routed out the back of the shelf you can drill the holes for the mounting bracket. To set up the Sheppards Brackets Hole Jig you will need to line up the mounting holes of the hole jig to the same mounting holes you created when attaching the routing jig. This will ensure everything lines up correctly.

Drilling holes in a floating shelf using a sheppards bracket hole jig

After you drill your holes using the hole jig you will need to remove the hole jig and finish drilling the holes. The reason you have to do this is because your drill needs to drill the full length of the mounting rod and because the jig has a collar on it you are not able to do this with the jig attached. Be sure you keep your drill at a 90º angle when drilling other wise your hole will not aline correctly when you install the mounting bracket.

Drilling holes in the back of a floating shelf using a sheppards bracket jig

Step 6 | Attach The Edge Banding

Next will will want to glue your edge banding to the outer edges of your floating shelf. Make sure your iron is not using any steam…you want to set your iron to be hot but not so hot it would burn your veneer.

Applying Maple Edge Banding with an iron

After you have applied the edge banding to the sides of your floating shelf you will need to trim the edges using an edge banding trimmer.

Trimming edge banding with and blue edge banding trimmer

After you have trimmed the edges of your shelf you can install the front edge banding. Be sure the glue cures and dries correctly. If it does not properly bond to the shelf it will bubble and cause issues when you apply your finish.

Step 7 | Apply Your Finish

Before you apply your finish I recommend sanding your shelf using 180 grit sand paper. After you have everything sanded smooth you can apply your finish. I recommend using Varathane Polyurethane Satin Finish. I like to spray my polyurethane on rather than using a sponge brush because I believe it leaves a better smoother finish. I use an Earlex Sprayer for applying my finishes.

Spraying polyurethane using an Earlex sprayer

Step 8 | Install The Floating Shelf

This was my favorite part the the entire project. I really loved hanging and installing these brackets. The hardest thing about hanging the floating shelf bracket was locating the studs.

hanging a sheppards bracket using a dewalt drill

After you screw in your first screw in the center of your bracket use a level to ensure your bracket is level before screwing in any additional screws.

Leveling a sheppards bracket with a stabila measuring stick

Next carefully slide your shelf onto the mounting bracket. Make sure you push your shelf all the way to the wall.

Installing a LACK Floating Shelf

Once you are done take a step back and enjoy all your hard work!

DIY IKEA LACK Floating Shelf Gray Sofal and Black and White Checkard Pillows Gray Walls

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

This has to be one of my favorite projects I have done. There was something so satisfying about making my own floating shelf using basic materials. I really like the Sheppards Bracket Router Jig and floating shelf mounting bracket. They are well made and would use them for all my floating shelf projects moving forward. If you have any questions about this build please leave a comment or post a comment in the video.

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