You know what I mean. The kind that is waaaaayyyy too deep and has all kinds of unusable space.

I was fed up with our tall pantry cabinet. Every time I’d put something in there, it would slowly get pushed further and further back until I could no longer reach it. Eventually I’d forget it was even there. You wouldn’t believe what I discovered when I finally cleaned it out in preparation for this project.

Custom cabinets have all kinds of fun drawers and pull-out options, but if you don’t have the moolah to overhaul your kitchen don’t fret! You can find install-it-yourself type organization products at places The Container Store and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

But if you’re really cheap, you can make your own.

I am cheap. I think we’ve established that, yes?

Here’s what you’ll need (or bribe your handy hubby to basically do this for you):

  • Drawer slides in a size close to the depth of your cabinets (found in the hardware section of HD or Lowes)- we bought 22″ ones. They were about $8/ea
  • Lumber to build out your existing shelves (1×3)
  • Small furring strips (1×2) to build out your cabinet opening (I’ll explain later)
  • Drill and screws
  • Saw

Depending on your cabinets, you may or may not have to do this first step. Our boxes have a “lip” on them that hides about 1″ of the shelf on either side. In order to be able to pull the shelf in and out, we’d have to trim the shelves and bump out the drawer slide to the edge of the opening.

Attach one half of the drawer slides to your furring strips.

Using the 1x3s, Mike made our 3 existing shelf bottoms into drawers. He trimmed the shelf by about 2″, then attached the 3 new sides using screws.

Mount the other half of your slide to your newly built drawer.

Once you have all the drawers in, you can load them up with all your crap and it will still look organized!

You like the ramen basket? Yeah…that’s what happens when I don’t supervise the shopping.

In any case, I’m LOVING the added storage and the fact that I can see everything I’ve got. Total cost was less than $30 (and we bought nice lumber).

*****Linked Up******

17 Responses

  1. Ashley @

    I’ve totally been plotting my pantry redesign, and if my hubby decides he doesn’t want me to do the “swap” (making the larger coat closet the pantry, and converting the current pantry into the coat closet), then I might have to utilize your shelf technique! I’ve been wondering the best way to do this.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Lovely Crafty Home

      I thought about it, but I wanted as much space as possible and adding a front would have taken up another 1″. Maybe down the line…

  2. Melissa

    M’kay… so, I’m usually a lurker… but I love, love, LOVE THIS!! If we weren’t renting, I would be installing this in my house RIGHT NOW!!

  3. Lisa

    That’s a great idea! We have a cabinet/pantry like this and it’s such a pain to use. I’d totally do this, but it’s not worth the effort when we plan to redo the kitchen in the future. Great job!

  4. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage

    You’ve got to be kidding- it’s this easy to make these? Brilliant! I’m bookmarking this and will add this to our “to-do” list for our kitchen- I have so many of those “black hole cabinets. :-)

  5. Stephanie

    Really really great idea! I’m going to keep this in mind for future reference. And you made it look SO easy! Stopped by from FJI.


    Thanks for the tutorial!! I love pull out shelves so much that I’ve even had them installed in the bathroom’s vanitory. No more wriggling and twisting to get to the toilet paper rolls stashed at the bottom shelf all the way back.

  7. Karen

    We’ve been talking about doing this to our pantry. You just proved that our thoughts could be a reality. I’m going to put my “handy hubby Mike ” to work!!!


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