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Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Install Pantry Shelves

For the inside, my idea of shelving was completely different from what Rick was thinking. He began building the shelves in the form of a bookshelf. After he built the first "part" of his idea, I knew the design was not going to work for me. So, our first major disagreement happened during the pantry install. What this meant was I had to implement my design of the shelves myself. And with a little lot of help from my stepfather, Ray. (Thank you so much for all your help Ray. I love you!)

I wanted to be able walk in the pantry, see all the items in front of me, and have very little wasted space on the shelves. I hate deep shelving in pantries. My last pantry was large, but it had really deep shelves. Items would get pushed to the back and get lost. I would find things months (sometimes years) later - not even remembering I had the items. Also, I had to get down on my knees to view the items on the bottom shelf. With this design, I rarely have to bend down to see something, even on the very bottom shelves. So nice.

Allison from House of Hepworths had this great tutorial on installing shelves in a closet. I basically followed her tutorial and created an L-shape set in my pantry.

I measured the height and width of the inside of my pantry. I marked where I wanted each shelf. I determined I would need five rows of shelves. I made sure I left enough room at the bottom (from the floor to the top of the bottom shelf) for heavy items I wanted to store. 

I went to Lowe's and gave the guy a diagram with all the measurements. I asked him to figure out how much material I would need. (Remember my lack of math skills?) Mistake. Verify they have it right. I ended up purchasing double the amount I needed because I didn't verify the guy's figures. Ughhhh!  Math. I hate math. Bites me again.

I came home and painted all the boards first. Mistake #2* 

I could've returned the extra boards if I hadn't painted them all first. It was on the second to the last board when the little light bulb went off and I thought I think I have too many boards. Duh!

*I want to clarify that it was not a mistake to paint the boards first. It was just a mistake of not counting the boards first!

We have plenty of shelves now to do the entire two houses. I have great plans for my craft room. And there will be lots of shelves over there, so I guess it isn't such a big deal. Except we have to store the wood for approximately two years now. Great.

Back to the story.

We started off with strips of 1x2 boards. Rick had marked the studs at the top so they were easy to see. Using the strips, Ray drilled 3" deck screws* into each stud along the right side of the back wall.

*Yes, it was probably overkill, but one of Rick's biggest fears was that this type of shelving would not be sturdy enough. There are no less than 300 - 3" deck screws in this baby. There will be no crashing down in the middle of the night, Rick.

He did the same process on the left side.

I bought 1x12 boards for the shelves. They came in 12' lengths. We sat the 1x12s on the edges of the 1x2 strips.

For the left side, we butted the ends of the 1x12 to the edge of the boards on the right side. Then Ray attached a piece of the 1x2 vertically where the L brackets would be placed. This was needed to position the L bracket correctly. If there is not an extra piece here, the brackets would not be able to line up under the shelf. Make sense? If not, see the picture below to better understand this.

Finally, he drilled the L brackets into the back side of the wall and the underside of the shelf like so:

I added a trim piece on the edge of each shelf. This gave it a finished look and also keeps things from sliding off the shelf.

I went back and used caulk to fill in gaps and nail holes. I also touched up the paint.

And here is the final product:

The left side.
 The right side.
 From the center.
Looking up into the right corner. I love how the ceiling planks extend through the top of the pantry.

This is on the inside right side. I found this little word art of spices from While He Was Napping. I just printed it out and placed it in a $3 frame from Walmart. Easy and cheap!
I got this sticker from Ross for $3. No one ever sees it but me. But I like it - it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Here's my cute little lamp. Everyone needs a little lamp on their pantry shelf - don't you agree?

 I use the top shelf to store all my serving pieces. It is so easy to look up there and see what I have instead of digging boxes out from under cabinets. Since they have been stored up here, I have used my pieces more than ever before.

And that is the inside of my cute little pantry. I still need to organize a little better. I have a lot of things in baskets and containers from Ikea and other places. I need to make labels for everything (I will be sure and do a separate post on that later) - I have tons of materials in my scrapbook stuff to be able to make some really cute labels.

If only my craft room was up and organized!

So the before and after...once again, just for fun:
See, I told you that was fun!
Linking up with A Vision to Remember and:
Thirty Handmade Days

Home Stories A2Z
Ladybird Ln 

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Six Sisters said...

We have had so much fun looking at your blog!! So very helpful. Love the shelves and new pantry! We would love to have you link up your great ideas at our Strut Your Stuff link party at We hope to hear from you! -The Six Sisters

Milliscent Morgan said...

This is one of the best kitchen I found and pantry doors at the same time, so better to keep on posting!

James Curtis said...

I think this is a sturdy made pantry shelves -the L brackets were screwed tightly onto shelves edges. Even laden with canned and dry goods, still the shelves are secured. Also, I wonder if that door or
Interior Glass Doors is the pantry door.

Paulette @ Once Upon a Cedar House said...

Thanks for all the comments! I have not been updating my blog nearly like I should! I have lots of new stuff to post and update on the progression of our little cedar house! As for the question about the glass in the pantry door, it is a part of the door. We bought it from a local place in Athens, TX, but here is a lint to one very similar at Home Depot:

Margaret Jones-Gomez said...

Oh my goodness!!!! I am so very grateful that I decided to google these directions and then click on your link; this is exactly what I needed. Unfortunately, being an artist and a behavior specialist, were not enough skill sets to build L-Shaped pantry shelves. I have been, literally, in tears because I could not figure out how to build these correctly......way after I had already measured, cut, stained...on and remeasured several times again, and then to find out that my "mental" plan did not work at all. I looked all over YouTube for step by step directions and only found simple pantry shelves and floating shelves, but nothing like this. Thank you again, for taking the time to post this and save my sanity! haha

Paulette @ Once Upon a Cedar House said...

Thanks Margaret! I am so glad you found these directions helpful. I knew what I wanted in "my head" and sometimes it is hard to have that plan and actual actions match up. I know it helps me to have visual props (i.e., pictures!) and then I can figure out what I need to do to make it happen. I have not posted on my blog for so long. I have so many pictures and projects I have done but have yet to take the time to sit down and write the posts. Good luck to you and I hope your pantry turns out just like you want! ;)

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