Saturday Morning Workshop: How To Build a Floating Shelf with Secret Drawer

Learn how to make this sleek, modern floating shelf with a secret hiding place for your valuables.

Next Project

A few hours






Follow the step-by-step plans, video tutorial and tech art below to make this simple floating shelf that includes a hidden drawer for secret storage.

Tools Required

  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Nail gun
  • Table saw
  • Utility knife

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2-in. 18-gauge brad nails
  • 2’x4’ 1/4” Plywood
  • 3” Washer-head screws
  • 8’ 1x3 Board
  • 8’ 1x4 Board
  • Self-adhesive veneer
  • Wood glue

Hidden Drawer Cutting List

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Cutting List

Hidden Drawer Tech Art

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Tech Art

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Rip the 1×4

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Rip Board

Rip the 1×4 board to 2-7/8 in. for the shelf sides and front. This will give you about 1/8 in. tolerance for the drawer section of the build and let it slide nicely.

Step 2

Cut the Plywood to Size

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Rip Plywood
Cut the 1/4-in. plywood on the table saw to (1) 11-1/4 in. x 22-3/8 in. for the drawer and (2) 12 in. x 24 in. for the shelf.

Step 3

Crosscut the 1×3 and 1×4 Boards

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Crosscut
Crosscut the pine boards to size, according to the cutting list above, on the miter saw. Make sure to double-check your measurements!

Step 4

Assemble the Drawer

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Assemble
Fasten the drawer together using glue and  2 in. 18-gauge brad nails.

Step 5

Assemble the Shelf

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Assemble Drawer
Assemble the shelf with glue and 2 in. 18-gauge brad nails. Here are a few tips to help you build and install DIY floating shelves in your kitchen.

Step 6

Rough Cut the Veneer

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Rough Cut
Set the drawer on top of the veneer and cut the veneer to a rough size

Step 7

Apply the Veneer and Cut to Size

Floating Shelf Secret Drawer Stick On Veneer
Stick on the veneer and cut along the edges of the drawer with a utility knife to the correct size. Lightly sand the corners and edges with a high-grit sandpaper to get the veneer to match.

If you want to learn more about some veneer techniques, check out this article.