Do you love the look of floating shelves but you don't have the budget currently to hire a carpenter to build you some? If so, don't despair. There are special brackets that allow you to turn nearly any board into a floating shelf. They are relatively simple to install, use, and customize. The following can help you get started with this project.
The most common type of floating hidden shelf brackets resemble metal rods that are smooth on one end and threaded to screw into the wall on the other end. The threaded end is screwed into the wall, preferably into a support post, while the smooth end is inserted into the shelf to hold it invisibly. These can be installed easily by anyone that is confident enough to use simple tools. There are other designs of floating brackets available, but these usually require carpentry knowledge, as the construction of the shelf is more involved for using with these other designs. As long as you don't plan for the shelves to take a lot of weight, the metal rod style is the easiest style to choose.
You can use nearly anything as a shelf, as long as it is twice as thick as the metal bars and you have the ability to drill holes into it. Wood is most common, but lightweight "air concrete" shelves can also be molded and then holes can be drilled into place with a masonry bit. The holes should be the same diameter as the bars to ensure they slide in snugly. Space these holes along one edge no more than 10 inches apart, spacing them as evenly as possible. Then, finish the shelf as desired. Once done, you can slide it onto the brackets, using a rubber mallet to lightly tap it into place until it is flush to the wall.
The most common issue is making sure the shelf is secure. It's best to install the brackets into a wall stud when possible -- you can use an electronic stud finder to find their location behind the drywall. If you can't place all the brackets in a stud, at least try to get two brackets in the stud. For the other brackets, drill into the drywall then insert a plastic sleeve-style drywall anchor into the hole. As you screw the bracket into the sleeve, it expands and creates a better hold without a stud.
With a little bit of planning and careful work, you will soon have beautiful floating shelves for displaying items or for storage. Contact a bracket supplier for more help or to order the hardware you need to start your project.