Hanging a Shelf for Dummies

Today I finally managed to correctly hang a 4-foot floating shelf, so I thought I would provide some "For Dummies" directions in case there is anyone out there with my lack of skillz.

BTW, sorry the pictures suck. I took them with my cell phone.

First, choose a shelf. I got mine from Lowes and it wasn't very expensive - I think $30. I wanted a simple design with no visible hardware. Oh and a drill is helpful! I finally realized how easy it was to use the thing and it makes everything sooooo much easier. I don't know why I didn't think of using it when I was hanging all those curtain rods.

It's very important to get at least one screw in a stud. The first time I hung it, I missed the stud (yes even with a stud finder, because I'm an idiot). I just used drywall anchors. It ended up not having enough support and so it was tilted and looked bad. My husband pointed out it was designed in such a way that you can get 2 of the screws into studs, but that didn't work out on this particular wall because it would have been completely off center and looked dumb. So I decided to have the middle screw go into a stud and I used drywall screws for the others.

I drew a level line, used a pencil to mark where the screws would go, drilled the holes, and hammered in the drywall anchors. I also drilled through the stud with a smaller drill bit. Then I screwed in the hanging contraption thing that holds the shelf. It looked like this:

Then you just slip the shelf over the hanging contraption, and screw it in on the bottom.

Now is the fun part: what to put on the shelf! So far I have a couple photos in some clearance-section picture frames from Pottery Barn. I wanted to add a little purple in the room, so I took these photos of some flowers. I also have a big 16x20 photo I want to put on it, but I haven't yet found the right frame for it (turns out, 16x20 frames are a bit of a pain to find). I'll also start looking for some other things to put on the shelf... maybe a big piece of white coral or something along those lines.

Here are the photos:


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