We have a very large pantry unit in our kitchen that is very poor way to store kitchen items. The large shelves that slide out are a great idea, but they are too deep and spaced too far apart. As a result, items get piled on top of each other and get lost in layers of junk in the back.
I’ve always found that the most efficient drawers and shelves are shallow. Ones that don’t allow multiple layers of things to build up. So by building this new pantry, I hope to move the smaller jars and containers into a central location where we can easily find what we are looking for. We’ll use the big old pantry for bulkier items.
You can make this space saving pantry from a single sheet of 3/4″ (18mm) plywood, but I chose to use 1/2″ (12mm) plywood for the shelves. I also wrapped a solid wood edge trim molding around the top and the base.
I started by cutting down the plywood into manageable sized pieces and built the cabinet and doors. These are just glued and screwed together.
I used my shelf pin jig for drilling all the holes in the sides. I have found this tool to be invaluable. Drilling and aligning accurate shelf holes without it is very difficult.
I screwed the back onto the cabinet. I glued and tacked the fronts of the doors in place because I didn’t want screws to show. The tiny nail holes are easily covered with spackling.
And I built the base the same way.
I cut the trim molding out of solid wood and glued it into place.
I made the top the same way, paying careful attention to making good miter joints since they will be very visible: they won’t be covered with paint.
Using my router, I created an ogee profile on the base and a simple roundover on the top.
Next, I set the cabinet and doors on the base. I elevated the doors up a little onto some thin boards. They need a little space to swing freely.
I taped the piano hinges in place so I could drill all the holes and insert screws.
And installed the magnetic catch and after painting and finishing everything, I added the door pulls.
I screwed the cabinet onto the base from underneath.
And screwed the top on.
I like these kind of shelf pins because they have a hole in them. That way you can screw the shelves to them so they won’t slide off when you open the doors.
The shelves are just plywood with a little cleat in front to prevent jars from sliding off when opening the doors.
No cleat on the cabinet shelves since the stuff on them won’t be moving.
- WWMM Space Saving Pantry (pdf)
- Sketchup file
- WWMM Space Saving Pantry (pdf) -METRIC
- Sketchup file -METRIC