How to Build a Pantry Storage Cabinet

pantry shelves with labeled jars
  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Safety glasses
Wood glue
Cabinet pull

A pantry storage cabinet is a good way to make the most use of the space in your pantry. It can prove especially useful if you have limited room in your pantry and need to store your food items in an organized way. It’s not an especially complex job as long as you have some basic woodworking knowledge.

Step 1 - Design

The design of your pantry storage cabinet is going to depend on the amount of space you actually have available in your pantry. It might sit on a shelf or your pantry storage cabinet might extend from floor to ceiling.

One you’ve used your tape measure to establish the dimensions, you can come up with a design. Look at magazines and books for inspiration. Hit up Pinterest. Make sure you plan for enough shelves to maximize the use of space in the pantry storage cabinet. Finish by making a blueprint of the cabinet with all the dimensions laid out.

Step 2 - Cut

cutting a board with a miter saw

What kind of wood will you use for your cabinet? Oak looks good and lasts for a long time as well as being sturdy and easy to work with. It’s not the cheapest wood available but it’s usually worth the investment.

Cut the wood to the sizes you need to allow for sides, top, bottom, shelves and the door. Doors and a back are optional so figure out what works best for you. Always check your measurements several times before you actually cut.

Step 3 - Assemble

Start by assembling the four sides of your pantry storage cabinet. Use glue on the edges of the wood where they join and add screws to keep the join secure and at perfect right-angles. Use a square to ensure you have 90-degree angles on all corners and joins. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly. When the sides are dry, put on the back of the cabinet. Again, use glue and screws for a tight join. You will now the basic structure of a box.

Step 4 - Shelves

jars of pantry items inside a cabinet

Make the position for your shelves within the cabinet. If you’ve cut the wood properly, they should slide in tightly. You can apply glue to the edges of the shelves or you can simply screw them in place. If you have the tools, you can create peg holes too. Each shelf will add to the strength of the structure.

Step 5 - Door

Depending on the size of your cabinet, you might need two or three hinges for the door. They should be spaced about 18 inches apart. Screw the hinges in place, checking that the door opens and closes smoothly. From here, you need to finish the cabinet by using varnish on it to protect the wood both inside and out, although you can stain or paint it instead if you prefer. Finish the project by adding a cabinet pull to the door to help with opening and closing.

If you have a tall pantry storage cabinet, it’s a good idea to secure it to the wall to prevent it from toppling over. Do this by attaching a 2 ½-inch corner bracket to the top of the cabinet and also to the wall above it.