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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIY Pull-Out Pantry Tutorial

When we remodeled our kitchen, we left space for a bigger refrigerator, incase we ever upgrade.  That space has just collected clutter for the past 3 years, until now.
Last week, Karen and I spent one day (and a couple margarita filled hours of painting) and built this pull out pantry. 
DIY pull-out pantry
That’s right.  WE did it. 
By ourselves.  No men involved.
We think we’re pretty awesome.
(A lot of the inspiration from this project came from here.)

Want to build your own?
Wood – we used cheap pine (6 1x8x6 ft boards)
1 1/2 inch wood screws
3/8 inch dowels – 2 per shelf
cordless drill (I used this thing, which I love!)
drill bits to predrill holes
3/8 inch drill bit for dowel “pockets”
casters – we bought four 2 inch, 125lb stationary casters (not swiveling)
carpenter’s square
margaritas (optional)

1.  Measure and determine how big you want your cabinet to be.  We decided it would be as deep and tall as the fridge – 30 inches deep and 64 1/2 inches tall.  My space was 9 inches wide, so we used 1x8s (which are actually 3/4 inch by 7 1/2 inch, roughly.)  Then, we took an inch off the height because we didn’t want the front/back boards to drag on the floor.
2.  Measure and cut the boards.  We used a compound miter saw to make our cuts.  This was our first time using one.  My dad supervised the first cut and then we did the rest on our own.  Pretty awesome.  Had my dad not stopped by, we probably would have used the jigsaw.  Not ideal, but I’m comfortable using it, and it would have worked.  A table saw would have worked, too, but that’s not in our repertoire.
(I think this is the saw we have.) 
Our measurements:
2: 63 1/2 in boards (64 1/2 – 1 inch)
8: 28 1/2 in boards (30 minus the width of the front and back boards)
14: 29 inch dowels (the dowels need to be slightly longer than the shelves so they will stay in their little “pockets.”)
3.  Pour margaritas.  Prime and paint.
4.  Mark holes for screws and dowels.  (Best to do this the next morning, after the margaritas have worn off.)
I actually laid the back board on the floor, and laid groceries on top of it to decide the spacing of the shelves.  We wanted heavier things at the bottom, so that the finished cabinet would be less likely to tip.  I’m writing this post with a sleeping baby on my lap, and I don’t have the exact measurements, but we ended up with something like two 15 inch shelves, two 10 inch shelves, two 8 inch shelves and a 6 inch shelf.  Or something.
5.  We predrilled the holes for the screws, and made the holes for the dowels.  The holes for the dowels are 2 inches up from the shelf, and 3/4 inch from the edge.  They are 1/4 inch deep. (We put blue tape on the drill bit at 1/4 in so we knew how deep to go.)
6.  Assemble:
We put two screws per shelf, although if it were wider, we would have used more.  And we totally would have just used the nail gun, but again, not in our repertoire.
build a custom DIY pull-out pantry
That’s Karen, popping the dowels in.
7.  Screw casters to the bottom, and pack with groceries!!!
how to build a DIY custom pull-out pantry
(See how that front board hangs in front of the caster, but doesn’t touch the floor?  That way, you don’t see the casters from the front.)

Left to do: 
1.  Finish the front.  I’m thinking about putting a nicer piece of wood on the front, or some molding, and a handle.  Not sure yet. 
2.  Figure out a way to stop it from being pulled too far.  I don’t want it to come farther than the wall/fridge, because that way it won’t tip on my babies.
3.  Deal with the uneven floors that come with 100 year old farmhouses.  When you push the shelf in all the way, it tips, and that drives me nuts. I may install a drawer glide thingy along the top shelf that will help with both #2 and #3.
4.  My dad thinks it needs a “back.”  I think maybe a diagonal brace across the back.  eh.  We’ll see.

What do you think?  Have you ever built something without the aid of menfolk?  We had a blast doing it, and we’re giddily proud of ourselves!

Piece of Work Wednesday 
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  1. This is perfect!! I have an awkward 6 inch gap between my stove and where the counter top/lower cabinets end in my kitchen. Apparently stoves were bigger "back in the day". I'm excited to scale down your project for my application.

  2. You are a amazing Katie! :) I love reading your blog!!!!!
    Shaunna Ulrick

  3. Awesome idea! It's amazing how much storage you're now getting out of such a small space. Good job!

  4. What a great idea! I have space between my fridge and upright freezer..and I was just telling my son today that I wish I had a pantry! This will be perfect! Thank you for did a great job!

  5. Looks great! I have to do almost all my building without the aid of men because he's not patient enough to do my stuff.

    As for not coming out further than the fridge, if there's room underneath it you can put a piece of wood, like a 1x2, glued and screwed to the floor slightly behind the front of the piece. Then you glue and screw another piece of wood to the underside of the bottom pantry shelf toward the back. That way if you pull it out too far the pieces of wood hit each other and keep you from pulling it any further. Just make sure they're both tall enough to overlap so they have a good contact area. I hope I explained that clearly enough, lol.

  6. Wow you are very crafty and clever! I don't think I would trust myself with power tools like that, but you gals did great.

  7. This is just what I need- a new way to store more food! I'd love it if you shared this with WorkShop Wednesday. It would make a great addition to the party!

  8. Fantastic! You guys did a great job!


  9. oh my wow, I wouldn't know how to use any of the tools you show to do this... I'm awesome is that...

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  10. Oh my -- this is AWESOME! I want one. Only I don't have a space anywhere in my kitchen... But when I do, I want one! I am seriously impressed.

  11. Thanks for the how-to! I saw the idea on pinterest, but I'm so glad to know it's do-able! Now I just need to convince my hubbie that we want to add another project to our list. :)

  12. Wow that is very creative, love your blog, so much inspiration here!

  13. Well done. Very impressive and it goes to show that power tools & margaritas do mix! lol.

  14. genius! how fabulous-you should be soo proud!

  15. I saw that on Pinterest, too! You did an impressive job at it, though! Do you have to use a handle to pull it out or just grab the sides? Oh, I love it!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  16. Great idea, thanks for sharing! Visiting from Amanda's party!

  17. How inspirational! Thank you for sharing! I am coming back to visit more often. Congrats on your little one! xoxo michele

  18. OmiGOSH, how FABULOUS is THIS!? Now you have me searching for teensy unused spaces...

  19. I wish I could be a little more oranized! Thanks for linking to WorkShop Wednesday! Hope to see you this week!

  20. I am SO glad you posted this, because it's going to save me a ton of money! IKEA has interior hardware for a pull-out pantry for $99, that's where I got the idea to build my own, and I had already spent $35 on the first supplies to get started replicating that one. I searched for plans, and I can make this SO much cheaper, plus it'll take less time and quite possibly work better! I recently built a kitchen island through similar means and I wish I would have thought of this idea of yours on my own, but appreciate you blazing the trail for the rest of us women with power tools intent on DIY home improvement, with or without male help! (I do have a terrific fiance who says he is just, "dumb muscle," and helps whenever I have a 2-person job, but I know more about this sort of stuff than he does.) Do you think this could be a 1-person job, or do you need the second person to hold it? (He lives 3 hours away and I prefer not to overload him with projects every time he visits!)

  21. What a great idea and an awesome tutorial!!!!

  22. Wow, Katie, this is great! Good for you + friend for doing it! (How did I miss this?)

  23. This is so great, Katie! Job well done!

  24. Hello! I'm Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses. I featured this here at my blog. I hope you'll stop by and grab a featured button. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  25. This is a seriously awesome way to use that space - great job!

  26. Wow! you did a great job and what a lot of added storage space!

  27. I absolutely LOVE this!! I'm sorting out supplies to make a pantry with bi-fold doors, and I have space to DO this wonderful love LOVE this!!

  28. I'm in love with this! I don't have an extra space near my fridge, but I want to find SOMEWHERE to put something like this! We downgraded into a smaller home while my husband finishes school and the lack of storage will surely drive me nuts. Thanks for the inspiration to make something myself. You did a fantastic job! Thank you for sharing such a great post.

  29. bought the stuff. it does not need a back, it is easier to clean the shelves without a back, and a back would defeat the purpose of the 2nd dowel on each shelf!

    I went to town and bought the stuff, we are doing this!!! mine will be 6 ft tall, 6 inches wide (because we bought 6 ft boards and only have a bit more than 6 inches between the fridge and pantry). So excited!

  30. i love this- it's so much more convenient! i am always moving things all over the shelves to find what i am looking for!

  31. Awesome idea! It's amazing how much storage you're now getting out of such a small space. Good job!

  32. This is super cool! I have an idea about the front of it. It looks too plain... You could paint it with chalkboard paint and use for grocery list - perfect width for it. Or a menu plan even. You could also add one or two handles which would look great in white. Thanx for sharing with us :)

    1. the chalkboard paint is a fantastic idea!

  33. This is fantastic! You guys did a great job!

  34. Great use of space. Maybe the exposed end could use a cut pull in the middle and put corkboard on the top and magnetic chalkboard paint on the bottom.

  35. Thank you for this info. It's the easiest to understand, and you make this seem do-able :).

  36. Found this on Pinterest today--just fabulous! And hooray for building it yourselves! I built a wood-fired pizza oven in my backyard All By Myself (while I was pregnant), and I'm so proud of it!

  37. Very inspiring!! I am gonna make one, and you girls inspired me that I can do it - with my daughter! Thanks for sharing!!

  38. Nice work. Your dad's right, though. Get a thin piece of plywood to attach to the back, or your shelf will not remain square. Worse, the stress of use will eventually break the bonds at the attachment points (it'll get wobbly). The more weight you put on it, the wobblier it'll get.

    Putting a piece of plywood on the back will stiffen things right up.

    As for preventing it from rolling out and tipping over on th' babes, get a bit of wood and attach it on the floor just behind where the front casters stop when the shelf is pushed in. In fact, you can place it so it prevents the shelf from banging into the wall when you push it in. Win-win!

    I would likely attach that bit of wood to the wall rather than the floor, but YMMV. Also, make sure the stopper is tall enough to stop the casters, but low enough so you can hop the shelf over it to effect repairs, etc.

  39. This project is brilliant! I would love to see you dress up the front with the same trim you have on your beautiful cabinets. Also, it would work for you to cut a 2x4 (or whatever size would allow the pantry to still pull out) the width of the pantry and attach it to your floor (whether it's wood or concrete) (you'd have to lift the rear casters over and behind the "floor stop")so it would allow the pantry to only pull out maybe 3/4's of the way beyond the wall (you could store the least used items in the back side). Thanks for the how-to and I love it!

  40. Hi there - it's me again... for the stability factor, you could simply add cross braces (four on each side), attaching the top to the sides and then the bottom to the sides ... maybe using 12" braces.


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