Build Your Own Custom Pantry Shelves

Build Your Own Custom Pantry Shelves

I’m so excited to share how we constructed these built-in pantry shelving for our seashore home. They’re surprisingly simple to assemble and will be simply personalized to any house, even for those who’ve obtained a small pantry or easy pantry closet. They’re made completely of two issues: 3/4″ MDF sheets and 1 x 2″ pine boards (effectively, and a few screws and nails). Plus, this course of will be simply tailored to simply about any house the place you need to add some customized storage or shelving (bedrooms, playrooms, residing rooms, and so on). So even for those who’re a newbie, you are able to do this. Critically.

DIY pantry shelves built around a refrigerator

The approach we used is one we’ve used twice earlier than: first in our son’s room and later for our front room built-ins (proven beneath). Name me a creature of behavior, however this methodology is simple to execute and we’ve at all times liked the completed look.

white built-in bookshelves around a doorway in living room

Instruments & Supplies Wanted:

*I like working with MDF for tasks like these as a result of it’s cheaper and it finishes smoother than plywood. However MDF must be painted, so clearly use plywood if you would like a stained wooden search for your mission.

A Video Of Our Pantry Construct

We documented the development of our built-in pantry cabinets on Instagram Stories so I’ve compiled the entire clips into one video beneath. You’ll see a few of these steps in motion and get a take a look at our pondering behind what goes the place on the completed cabinets. However you’ll be able to nonetheless learn a extra detailed step-by-step tutorial beneath.

Word: When you’re viewing this in a reader, you will have to click on by to our web site to see the video, or you’ll be able to watch it here on YouTube.

Step 1: Planning Your Cabinets

This room was initially slated to be a breakfast nook, however we rapidly realized it will higher serve us as walk-in pantry storage (plus a spot for our fridge). We selected this counter-depth refrigerator due to its measurement and its double-drawer freezer structure – a function I want we had in our fridge at house! It might develop into the “centerpiece” for our pantry design.

apartment size refrigerator in walk in pantry before shelves

With measurements of the room in hand, I Picasso’d sketched an thought of what we needed to create in order that I may decide what number of MDF sheets to purchase. Our pantry cabinets may solely be 21″ deep as a consequence of some molding across the room’s door, so we decided that every MDF piece ought to be 20″ deep. This would depart loads of room for the 1×2″ pine board we’d be nailing to the entrance of every shelf.

You’ll be able to see beneath that I assigned every shelf and vertical divider with a letter and accompanying dimensions so as to map out precisely what number of 4′ x 8′ sheets of 3/4″ MDF to purchase (these are the rectangles you see on the backside of the web page). At this stage it wasn’t necessary to finalize my shelf heights or spacing, since I’d have loads of leftover to make extra cabinets if wanted.

notebook with sketches of pantry shelves with materials outlined

We initially deliberate a thin vertical cubby for the broom/mop/vacuum state of affairs however later nixed it, so ignore the lengthy skinny cubby that’s labeled “G” above.

Step 2: Buy Your Supplies

After we purchased our MDF at Dwelling Depot, I had them rip every 4×8′ panel into 20″ aspect strips. Not solely did that make them simpler to move, however the massive noticed at Dwelling Depot could make these cuts MUCH sooner and extra constantly than I can at house – and so they do it at no cost!

cart full of MDF and wood pieces for pantry shelf project

We additionally picked up a complete bunch of 1×2″ pine boards: sufficient to cowl the uncovered entrance fringe of ever shelf, plus some extras to chop in half as skinny “help items” alongside the again wall (extra on that in a second). All of my wooden and MDF, plus some screws and wooden glue value me lower than $200!

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Step 3. Take away Any Current Baseboards

Earlier than constructing something, our first step was prying off the present baseboard. You’ll need to save this to place again on later as wanted so attempt to not injury it within the course of. Simpler mentioned than finished whenever you overlook your crowbar!

hammer prying off baseboard molding in pantry

Step 4. Connect The Vertical Panels

We began by putting in the vertical items alongside each partitions and flanking the fridge. We reduce them to the precise top exterior with our round noticed (extra on that in a bit) after which leaned them in place. We used some scrap MDF items to make the panels subsequent to the fridge a little bit deeper than 20″ so it coated the edges of the fridge higher. We went into this realizing the fridge would stick out a bit, however figured we wouldn’t thoughts. Spoiler: we did thoughts, so we adjusted our plan so the middle part would bump out a little bit additional across the fridge, which ended up trying much more customized in the long run. You’ll be able to see that a little bit later within the publish.

large MDF pieces added vertically against fridge in pantry

We screwed the panels towards the partitions straight into the wall studs in a number of spots, so that they’re simple to connect (once more, right here’s our favorite stud finder).

The vertical panels that “float” subsequent to the fridge have been a little bit trickier because you (a) can’t screw straight into your fridge and (b) you need to depart sufficient hole so the fridge simply slides out and in and has some aspect air flow. So we held every panel the place we needed it (utilizing a stage to maintain it straight) after which we marked the wall and flooring. Then we screwed some skinny “help items” of wooden into the wall and flooring, giving us a safe place to connect the MDF panel.

thing pieces of wood installed near fridge on wall and floor

We made these skinny help items ripping some 1 x 2″ pine boards in half on my desk noticed. You may additionally use spare MDF or simply buy these pre-cut items as an alternative, nevertheless it’s a little bit costlier that means. We used a good quantity of them on this mission (you’ll be able to see one other lengthy brace piece above my head within the shot beneath – offering help for the massive shelf throughout the again wall) so for us, it was definitely worth the hassle to chop our personal. We at all times put the reduce edge towards the wall so the seen sides aren’t uncooked.

John drilling vertical MDF panel into wood already placed near fridge in pantry

Step 5: Add The High Items

With all 4 vertical items secured, we began including the lengthy horizontal items to create the big “bins” in our design. The very prime shelf rested on the 2 wall items on every finish and throughout a thin help piece we screwed into on the again wall. The shelf throughout the highest of the fridge rested on the fridge panels and on brace items that we added to the again and aspect partitions. We used an extended stage all through to maintain issues sq. and screwed the whole lot in place, including numerous power to every field.

two long horizontal pantry shelves added on top of vertical pieces

The angle beneath exhibits the help items a bit higher. It’s fairly simple and fast so as to add. As soon as it’s reduce to size, I maintain it in place with a stage after which hearth a nail or two in with my nail gun. Then we adopted up with screws spaced round 16″ aside for a greater long-term maintain. We at all times go into studs after we can, however one professional to screwing these aspect wall MDF panels into studs is that it makes the whole panel actually firmly hooked up and safe, so you’ll be able to just about screw brace items into it anyplace.

front view of pantry shelves with top shelves already added

Step 6: Lower & Add The Cabinets

From right here it was nearly repeating that course of for the entire smaller pantry cabinets down either side. We reduce all of our cabinets first, utilizing our round noticed exterior. When you can, attempt to double up your boards (like I’ve finished beneath) so you will get two cabinets out of every reduce. Simply you’ll want to clamp them collectively firmly first so that they don’t shift whilst you noticed.

John cutting MDF panels outside

To find out the shelf heights, we introduced precise objects into the pantry (like cans, storage bins, and people jumbo cereal bins and chip baggage) to see what we would have liked. We landed on a mixture of principally 8″ and 14″ excessive cabinets, plus some bigger ones on the backside to accommodate issues like a seashore cooler. As soon as we measured and marked every shelf, we leveled/nailed/screwed all of our brace items alongside either side.

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Simply keep in mind that you really want your brace piece to be hooked up 3/4″ decrease than the highest of your closing shelf top (because you’ll be resting the three/4″ MDF shelf piece on prime of every brace).

thin brace pieces added where pantry shelves will rest

Then we obtained to slip every of our cabinets into place and safe them in every nook with brief screws. This isn’t completely mandatory, nevertheless it retains your shelving from being wobbly in case any of your brace items ended up being barely unlevel or your MDF is a smidge warped.

pantry shelves added on side of walk-in pantry

Step 7: End Off The Shelf Fronts

The final step was including 1×2″ face items throughout every uncovered edge. You’ll be able to see beneath how far more completed they give the impression of being (the highest shelf has it already whereas the opposite two underneath it don’t). They’re mainly triple threats: (1) they cowl the tough MDF’s reduce edge, (2) they cover the brace piece underneath it and (3) they make the shelf look thicker and extra substantial. Win-win-win.

1x2 wood pieces attached to front of shelves to make them look thicker

We hooked up these with some wooden glue on the again and a few end nails, since we didn’t need massive screw heads seen. The little nail holes will must be stuffed with spackle later, however that’s actually fast to do.

John nailing face pieces onto pantry shelves

Word: Since our solely outlet on that wall is behind the fridge, I simply drilled a 1 1/4″ gap within the aspect of the microwave shelf so we may snake the plug by there, behind the fridge, and into the opposite outlet again there. 

left side of built in pantry shelving with all face pieces installed

Step 8: Caulk, Spackle, Prime & Portray The Cabinets

Like with any building mission, your final steps are to caulk any seams (like the place the cabinets meet one another or the wall), spackle any nail holes, after which prime & paint. Since we have been portray ours grey to match the remainder of trim (SW Stone Isle) we had our primer tinted grey to get higher protection.

after photo of built in pantry shelving project painted gray with baskets on shelves

Alternatively, you would prime and painted one coat on the whole lot BEFORE we constructed something as a result of it’s simpler to color the whole lot laid out on a drop material. However we don’t have a giant storage/workroom/shed to unfold out for portray on the seashore home. Plus, we at all times need to do touch-ups afterward anyhow (to cowl up caulk, spackle, and any scuffing made after we assembled issues), so it’s not too unhealthy to do it abruptly on the finish.

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Step 9: Fill & Manage Your Cabinets

We love open cabinets, however they do take a little bit of group to not look messy. So we relied on numerous baskets on this pantry to wrangle issues and preserve the open shelving trying clear. You may additionally use plastic containers, jars, and different storage equipment you see match. If in case you have these earlier than your construct, you can even use their measurements to make your cabinets the right top to

You’ll be able to see how we organized our built-in pantry as a part of our seashore home kitchen group publish. It features a video walk-through of the kitchen and pantry the place we open each cupboard and drawer! You can even see how we added some shallow storage cupboards on the other wall together with a handy counter house for placing issues down after they come out of the fridge.

We’re so grateful for the entire storage we have been capable of squeeze into this room thanks to those customized cabinets. We’ve obtained room for the whole lot from meals and cleansing provides to kitchen necessities like small home equipment like a toaster and blender, mixing bowls, dishtowels, that seashore cooler we talked about, and so on. If we have been into cookbooks, I’m positive they’d look nice up there too!

Extra Sources

When you’re searching for extra element, we constructed our son’s built-in cabinets utilizing the identical methodology and supply a more in-depth take a look at a number of the steps. Plus, in that publish and the one about our front room built-ins, you’ll be able to see how we included some closed drawer/cupboard storage into the plans as effectively. They’re each nonetheless a few of my favourite DIY tasks thus far, they’re holding up rather well, and so they’re extraordinarily practical for our household. And now this pantry is about to be welcomed to the membership.

And If you wish to see one other pantry makeover mission we did, try how we remodeled our outdated kitchen pantry by including some smarter group (and many paint!).

closet pantry makeover with paint new shelving door organization

UPDATE: We additionally extra just lately added a big pantry cupboard to the kitchen in our Florida house. So for those who’re not curious about totally DIYing your method to a brand new pantry, right here’s how we added plenty of meals storage utilizing ready-to-assemble cupboards from Ikea.

Ikea Kitchen Built-In Pantry With Doors Open to Show Shelf Organization With Baskets

*This publish incorporates associates*

Initially printed January 2018. Up to date 2022.

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