How to Build a Kitchen Pantry & Shelves | DIY Tutorial

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Hello DIY friends! Today we will show you how to build a kitchen pantry and shelves with step-by-step instructions and DIY tutorial. A pantry is a necessity in every kitchen, and you can build your own to organize all of your pantry goods!

[This DIY tutorial has been shared with us by Jenn, who has made some fabulous DIY improvements to her home. Read on to see how she did it!]

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Why the Need for a Kitchen Pantry?

Our kitchen lacked cupboard space making it really difficult to store groceries and extra cookware. At the time all we had was an 8-foot section of cupboards and countertop. I often pondered how to build a pantry that would give us enough storage once and for all.

The area we decided to use is part of our dining area. All we had in the area was a shelf and our dining room table and chairs. The little nook made it difficult to get in and out when seated in the back.

Before Building The Kitchen Pantry

This project was completed well before I ever thought of writing a blog, so please endure with my poor photography. Hopefully you still get the idea!

kitchen pantry before

How to Build a Pantry: DIY Tutorial

before and after DIY kitchen pantry

Have you ever wondered how to build a pantry for your kitchen? I sure did. We actually almost built a corner pantry on the other side of the kitchen. Then one day it came to me and today I’m showing you how to build a pantry in just ONE day!

Supplies Needed to Build Kitchen Pantry

  • 2×4 studs
  • Screws
  • Sheet of drywall
  • Drywall Screws
  • Drywall Mud
  • Sanding block
  • paint
  • roller and tray
  • farmhouse trim
  • 12-inch laminated pine shelving
  • 16-inch laminated pine shelving
  • 2×2’s
  • 1×2’s
  • door
  • door knob

Framing The Kitchen Pantry

We started by framing the outside wall of the kitchen pantry. We have always known our house is not level or square but wow – we were in for a surprise!

Finding the studs was a nightmare causing this stage of our project to take a lot longer than we bargained for. You can see in the image just by looking at the studs how much the existing wall is out. See that big ‘wow’ in the wall, gasp!

framing door to pantry

Once the studs were secure we framed the door and started to frame the pantry shelves.

How to Build Pantry Shelves

Here we cover how to build pantry shelves. If you skipped ahead to this point, please note, we are utilizing two existing walls and framed in the front pantry wall up to this point.

Our design plan consists of 12-inch wide shelves along the sides and 16-inch wide shelves for the back wall.

The framing support for our pantry shelves is made out of 1×2’s run along the outer edge where the shelves sit on top.

framing shelves of pantry

Next, we started installing the kitchen pantry shelves. Using the items we most frequently purchase (such as cereal, condiments, and canned goods) I determined the best heights for our shelving.

installing shelves in pantry

The installation of the shelves went very quickly from there.

First, we used 12-inch laminated pine shelving that went from the front to the back of the kitchen pantry.

Second, we cut 16-inch pine shelving to the length remaining between the two outer shelves.

Third, and the most important, we used 2×2’s as the front support on both sides for extra strength and 1×2 to brace between each shelf so that it can withstand lots of weight.

Now you know how to build pantry shelves that are strong and durable!

These pantry shelves are very strong and the laminated pine shelving material is absolutely gorgeous. This was my first project using laminated pine and now I’m hooked and use it for a lot of my DIY projects.

DIY wooden shelves in kitchen pantry

Finishing Touches to the Kitchen Pantry

Once the pantry shelves were installed, we hung the drywall and the door.

The drywall didn’t take much time at all as it was just three small pieces.

We did not drywall the inside of the wall. Honestly, I never thought of it until after the fact and it is not visible unless you were to tuck your head into the shelves.

door to kitchen pantry

Next, install the door and a doorknob. Although we had anticipated some issues after the framing, the door went in surprisingly well.

We were so excited to start utilizing our new kitchen pantry. I began stocking it with groceries before we finished the drywall mud and paint!

Check out our post on healthy pantry organization tips!

Our kitchen pantry design allows for a large space at the bottom. We use this area for our potato and onion storage bin and large containers of sugar and flour.

An Inside View of the Kitchen Pantry

There is plenty of height on the top shelf for cereal boxes.

The next shelf is crackers, snacks and condiments.

The shelf below is for canned goods.

Below that is the baking shelf and I keep my favorite cookbooks there too now.

The bottom shelf is our pasta shelf and one side designated for coffee. Mmmm coffee. We really should build a coffee nook one of these days.

organizing kitchen pantry

The pantry shelves provide so much space. Our groceries looked lost after transferring them to the new kitchen pantry.

The amount of space is perfect for when we go on a big haul, as there is plenty of room to stock up.

pine wood shelving in pantry

As you can see in the pictures we chose to leave the laminated pine natural. It is such beautiful wood and I was afraid staining it would make the kitchen pantry too dark.

Unfortunately as of right now, we do not have any lighting in the pantry. However, it hasn’t caused us any issues because of the dining room light being so close to it.

painting pantry blue

I painted the dining area a shade of slate blue. At this point in time, I really didn’t have many expectations of what to do with the kitchen.

Eventually, I finished off the kitchen pantry door with our farmhouse trim – check out the tutorial for super easy, frugal trim idea!

Kitchen Pantry Cost & Time

Our kitchen pantry is among my top favourite renovations we have completed in this old house.

Besides finding the studs, this project went very quickly and I was stocking it by that evening. This project could be done on a long weekend by a novice I’m sure.

Laminated pine shelving sells for approximately $25 (12 in x 8 ft) $30 (16 in x 8 ft). If memory serves me right we used 3 12-inch boards and 3 16-inch which gives us 5 levels of pantry shelves.

The door is a garage sale find for $20. The sheet of drywall we had on hand from a past project.

I love budget friendly DIY projects that make a huge difference in our home!

DIY Kitchen Pantry Total Cost

The total cost to build the kitchen pantry was approximately $200.

DIY Pantry Shelves Total Cost

The pantry shelves were the most expensive part and came out to approximately $175. Since we had almost everything else on hand, the pantry itself did not cost much to make.

This kitchen pantry makes our lives easier and provides much-needed space which, to us, is invaluable.

completed kitchen pantry DIY tutorial

Our Mop & Broom Holder tutorial is another great DIY for your kitchen and perfect for the back of your pantry door. We have lots of DIY pallet project ideas you may want to try too.

Don’t miss my tutorial on how I upgraded our builders grade kitchen island with new trim, molding, and fresh paint!

You also want to check out my countertop makeover on a budget. One more must-see is the Entryway Bench with Shiplap Walls. Drool-worthy before and after!

how to build a kitchen pantry

We hope you enjoyed this step by step tutorial. Now that you know how to build a pantry and how to build pantry shelves we hope you are able to better organize your kitchen and make life a bit easier!

Amanda Seghetti profile

Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!

When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.

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