Come see how we were able to take our boring pantry into an organized space with these custom pantry DIY shelves
Thanks so much for all of your kind words and reactions toward the pantry makeover. Its legit one of my most favorite spaces in the house. Even though its just a closet, I love that everything has a place and will As promised, here is an extremely thorough how-to-post so that you can do create your own DIY Custom Pantry Shelving in one weekend.
Custom Pantry DIY Shelves
Table Saw to cut Plywood– or have your measurements in advance to have Home Depot make the cuts for you
White Paint (or color of your choice)
Start with a blank slate
Before beginning, remove the old wire shelving.
Then make any repairs needed after removing the shelving. For me, there were so many holes in the wall left over after removing the wire shelving due to the anchors in the wall.
To fill the holes, I used Sheetrock All-Purpose Pre-Mixed Joint Compound and a plastic putty knife.
After the compound dried in the holes, I sanded them smooth with a small sanding block.
Measure the Space to Prepare Shelving
After sanding, I headed to my local Home Depot to my plywood for the new pantry DIY shelves. I decided that since the wire shelves that I removed were a foot deep, I would make my current Zsaqshelves the same depth. The height and width I waited until I got home to determine.
To get the most bang out of my buck, I purchased Purebond ¾ x4 ft x 8ft Maple Plywood and had it ripped down to several 8 ft tall x 12 inch- wide pieces., pretty much as many as I could get from each piece for my DIY shelves.
If you do decide to determine in advance, you can omit the table saw rental piece and have a Home Depot associate make the cuts for you.
Frame the Pantry for Shelving:
When I got home, my first step was to frame the pantry using this plywood, and then build the shelves off of the frame. Since my shelves were 12 inches deep, I made the sides of my frame 12 inches deep as well.
To attach the two middle pieces, I used three corner brackets on each. Two on one side and one on the other.
Cut the Pantry Shelves:
We rented a table saw from the tool rental section at Home Depot to cut our shelves to the sizes needed.
I really had no method in particular behind my shelf heights and placement, but knew I wanted each shelf to have adequate spacing in between
To attach the shelves, we cut 1×3 pieces of wood 4 inches on each side and made the back piece the same as the width of the shelves across the back.
Then we placed the shelf on top and attached the shelf to the 1×3 using Brad Nails from my Ryobi Power Nail Gun and Air Compressor. I attached the wood pieces first, then went along the top of the shelf and shot the Brad nail into the wood piece to make sure everything was nice and secure.
Once all of the shelving was attached, I went in and added lattice strips over the edges over all of the shelving. This gives everything a more finished look.
After Lattice Strips added
I attached the Lattice strips with wood glue and Brad nails with my Ryobi Nailer again.
I filled the wood holes with wood filler, let it dry and sanded.
Then I used Kilz Primer to prime the entire pantry. Make sure this can be done in an area with LOT’S of ventilation, so I highly recommend opening some windows and doors.
I let the primer dry overnight and then went in and painted everything using Behr Ultra-Pure White in a Satin Finish.
Build Drawers and Attach
I decided that instead of more pantry shelves, I wanted to add drawers. This was simple to do.
Determining the sizes:
The depth of my pantry shelving is 12 inches and the width is around 18 inches from left to right in the middle column. Therefore, the drawers have to be 2 inches shorter along the front and back, and 2 inches shorter along the sides.
For example, the width of my column was 18 inches, so I cut my front and back piece of plywood at 16 inches, and for the depth, I cut it two inches shorter than the 12 -inch depth, so the drawer sides were 10 inches deep. All four pieces are 5 inches in height.
I attached them using a Ryobi Nail Gun to make a box, then added a piece of plywood to the bottom. I held it in place using a piece of molding that I got out the molding section at Home Depot. To make the bottom of the drawer, I cut plywood to fit inside of the box, then used wood pieces cut to fit inside to keep it secure. I grabbed some unfinished wood out of the molding section at the Home Depot.
To attach the drawers, I used 10- inch side mount drawer slides. They were easy to install simply by following the instructions that accompanied the slides. I then painted the drawers the same white color.
And that’s it! I filled the pantry based on the needs of my family. Do you think this is something that you are ready to tackle?
Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!
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You guys did an awesome job on your pantry conversion – love it!
Thank you so much!
Sherrie Frank says
Wow what an awesome transformation. I only wish I could do this! My pantry already has the wooden shelves but I would love to break up and have individual shelves like yours.
Thank you Sherrie! You can totally do this! You can remove the shelving you have an start from scratch like I did.
The pantry turned out amazing, I love that you also built your own drawers, smart thinking!!
The level of great this is Erin! I have no words. I’m
So inspired to get our pantry together. I even want some nice doors.
thank you MJ! It had definitely been a game changer.
Jade Su says
love it! Do you have a photo of your new pantry glass door?
Thanks! All of the pictures of the doors are in the post.
Beautiful work. Do the sides go all the way to the ceiling inside the pantry? I’m trying to visualize what the inside near looks like. 😉
Hi! Yes they do. The side and middle pieced do.
I’m redoing my pantry as we speak, using your plan as inspiration! How did you secure the back shelf supports to the wall? Is it drywall back there? How to make it so they won’t pull out of the wall? Thanks for the great tutorial!
Thank you. I used wall anchors in the areas that there were no studs presents. Wall anchors will work perfectly!
Hi, thank you for this post. I will be tackling this for my pantry starting today. I notice you have crown molding at your base; does this mean you have a gap between back wall and shelves? Also, did you just place the plywood on floor with no fasteners? What’s the wall to wall width of your pantry?
This looks great! I’m going to try this on our pantry and was wondering if you secured the bottom plywood to the tile using an adhesive, or just placed it there and let the weight of the rest of the unit keep it in place? Also, did you use L brackets at the top too? Thanks!!
Hi! yes, I just placed the plywood. With all of the weight, it won’t move.
Robert Miller says
What an inspiring project! My question is is the lattice covering cut to fit exactly over the 3/4 in plywood or does it hang over. It’s hard to tell from the pictures. Thank you for posting this project.
The lattice strip over hangs just a tad. Thanks so much!
Dee Dee says
This is exactly the type of inspiration & tutorial I need! Thank you so much. Your pantry makeover is beautiful.
Thank you so much!