Our First Real Project – The Kitchen Pantry
The pantry was the first project we wanted to tackle after moving in. Located near the kitchen, we had an unused closet that didn’t have a door or any shelving. We thought this space would be ideal for the pantry.
The layout of the room was perfect for providing wrap around shelves with 9” to 12” deep shelving in the back and 6” shelving on the sides. Having shelves with varied depths accommodated different sized items and helps avoid the trap of having shelves so deep that you can’t find what gets buried in the back. A tempting option was to mount a rail alongside each wall and simply place a shelf board between them. We decided to go for a wider look, making a “floating shelf” capable of supporting heavy loads without having to use shelf supports.
Here we go.
We made a visual mock-up using painters tape. We then grabbed boxes and cans of food to determine optimal height between the shelves.
Building the frame. We thought about using 2×2’s but ended up setting up the table saw for 1 and 1/16” and ripped 2×4’s into three strips per board. The frame was attached to the wall studs then assembled with screws and wood glue for extra strength. Our original plan was to provide 6 shelves, two of which were to accommodate short items like canned goods. In performing a final mock-up we ended up going with 5 shelves with more room in between.
We used ½” plywood for the top and ¼” plywood for the bottom. The bottom board wasn’t required but we wanted a finished look. A piece of face trim hides the frame and plywood edges for a clean built-in look.
We finished up by sanding, caulking and painting.
Voila! Each finished shelf is just over 2 inches thick and because the back and side shelves are tied together, they provided the wrap around look we were going for.
Total Cost = < $125 (including the closet door, trim and shelves).
Value of getting boxes of food off the floor = priceless