Kitchen Organization - Pull Out Shelves in Pantry

Pull out pantry shelves

I am so happy to check this project off my to do list! It's been there in the back of my head since we moved into this house. When the kitchen got the makeover it moved up the list, but not enough to make it happened :/
After all, my pantry is a skinny cabinet (24" deep), that was working fairly well on storing products. I said "fairly well" but perhaps I should say "really well", because whatever got in there, stayed IN there!
Look what I found when I emptied it:

A Best by APR 2010 can of pumpkin! Almost 4 years past the due date! 
Kind of embarrassing :/
It was hard to reach to whatever was in the back of each shelf!

Why it took me forever to do this?  My tools, that was the main reason. I don't have a table saw, and the miter saw I own is so cheap, I don't trust it any more for precise cuts.

Now, the great thing was, I didn't build the drawers! I didn't even install them. :)
Hmmm this sounds like a sponsored post but it is not! I can only give a big THANK YOU / shout out to my brother in law: Stanley, he is the Pro who owns Kitchens with Style. In one of our family reunions he heard me talking about my pains and tribulations with this pantry. Well, he offered to check with his distributors for the kind of shelves/drawers I needed, he took some quick measurements and that was it. Two weeks later I found a big delivered package at my front door! Wow, it was like Christmas came early! He also offered me help on installing the drawers, of course I couldn't refuse that offer ;)

So, here is what I learned while he installed the drawers:

The pantry was emptied, duh of course ;)
pantry cabinet is emptied for slide installation

One of the biggest troubles I had when contemplating how to build the drawers were the dimensions, the width and and how deep into the cabinet they should go. That's why I took measurements of what we used, so in case you're building your own you can relate to this.

The face frame opening is the one to be measured, after all, the drawers have to go thru that opening ;)  As a rule of thumb he said, leave 1-1/8" space for the slides.
measuring the shelves to fit inside pantry

The drawers are screwed to the front face, from there to the back of the cabinet I had 23-½", the drawers were 22" deep.
kitchen organization with pull out shelves in pantry

The slides inside the cabinet were screwed to the face frame and on the back of the cabinet to 1x2 supports installed flush to the face frame.
installing supports on back of pantry for shelf installation

Use the slides to determine the placement of the wood supports above. We used 22" full extension slides.
full extension slides are installed in pantry

The slides have little openings where the screws can be driven (left picture below). My storage needs only required one support post on the back.
installing slides in pantry

Once the 1 x 2 supports were in place, it was time to install the inner slides for the first drawer, the one at the bottom of the cabinet. It was the trickiest, because of the small lip the face frame creates at the bottom.
In order to prevent the drawer getting stuck with that lip you have to install the slides high enough for the drawer to come out freely.  I love the simple trick he used:
laminate samples are used as a trick to make pantry slides level inside pantry

Formica laminate samples!
Each sample is 1/8" thick. You place as many as you want on each side, they are going to keep the slides level, I think we used 7 on each side.
How to install pull out shelves in pantry

Now you can place the slide on top of the samples and mark your points on the face frame and the back support.
attaching slides to face frame

slides in pantry

Placing the drawer inside the cabinet, mark the place where the slide should be installed.  Take it out, make a level line along that mark and drive the screws to secure this part of the slides in place.
marking level lines on drawer

After the first drawer is installed, you just need to know what you want to store in there to give it the proper space and then you can continue installing the next shelf, keeping it level.
Using a level

installing pull out shelves

Until they are all installed and you can do a happy dance  :)

DIY - dimensions on how to build the drawers and install them in cabinet

Well, I went a bit ahead and transformed the doors with chalkboard paint.

chalkboard doors in pantry

Some tags, for when I send my Mr. looking for something ;)

Measuring equivalent on pantry door.

And I even spruced up the top part too.  I usually store big items in there, so no need for slides. The door also got a makeover with the free Measuring Equivalents found HERE

For more kitchen organization check these out:

kitchen organization with diy drawers and tray divider

how to build a plate rack inside existing cabinet

For the kitchen renovation click HERE
Updating the Kitchen Island
How to build the Refrigerator Enclosure
How to build the Range Hood
Closing the Space above the Kitchen Cabinets
Adding Moldings to your Kitcen Cabinets
Painting Oak Kitchen Cabinets
Installing the Marble Backsplash
Lighting Plan
Kitchen Cost Breakdown
1 ½ Year Later How the Kitchen is Holding up
Build-in Plate Rack
LG Appliances Review and Complain

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  1. Fantástico trabajo, es un armario de cocina perfecto! Me encantó el detalle de pintarlo con pintura pizarra, quedó precioso. Feliz 2014!! Victoria

  2. OH my goodness, I love it too. It looks amazing and such a great tutorial. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me Tuesday party - - -http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2014/01/198th-inspire-me-tuesday.html. Hugs, Marty

  3. I'm amazed again as to the building of the drawers Cristina!! Love it and happy for you!

  4. It looks amazing! Christmas did come early for you. The chalk paint and labels are so cute too. I've been eyeing similar ones for my kitchen cabinets at ikea. Now if I could just get someone to install them...

  5. I have a panty like this and I love your chalkboard labels and extras! Too cute! I'm pinning…have a great day!
    House on the Way

  6. This is so awesome! Thanks for all the great tips! The pull out drawers were such a great invention! So happy for you!

  7. Oh, congratulations! I think I'm suffering from "pantry envy" : ) I have a similar sized pantry and have been wanting sliding shelves forever. Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. te felicito Cristina quedo de maravilla. Lo mas dificil para mi es convencer a mi Esposito jejeje!!! feliz 2014.

  9. I'm wild with envy at that pantry now! Well done.

  10. Looks great! I'd love to do this.

  11. Great tutorial... who wouldn't want pull out shelves like that?

  12. Will he come to CT? I have the same kind of cabinets. Probably same age food in the back, too, LOL. I have 2 metal sliding drawers at the top that were horrendously expensive, the reason we only have 2. You have my dream, enjoy!

  13. I had put those in my kitchen in Az and loved them. Wishing I had them here!! You are going to love them!

  14. I had a pantry just like this and everything got pushed to the back. I know just what you mean. We had things in the back that were years old. It was just awful to waste that much stuff. Now I have a walk in pantry and love it.

  15. I am so jealous!! I was excited when I opened thus, because I thought to myself, "oh yeah...my girl Cristina is going break this project down for me!" But darn, you had help this time! You still gave a good idea of how to install though. Love these!! XO

  16. That is awesome Cristina!! Don't be embarrassed about the tin of pumpkin. I just cleaned out my pantry and filled my garbage with expired items! Now to tackle the science experiments in my fridge....ewwwww!

  17. I'm pinning this for sure. I would love to have similar sliding drawers installed in my pantry. Thanks for the tutorial.

  18. that pantry looks great and more functional now Cristina! If only I am a builder like you, it just scares me to even think about it ☺


  19. this is
    the perfect idea
    for a narrow and deep pantry
    like i used to have

    and i really need to clean out
    my own pantry

    i shudder to think what
    expiration dates are lurking
    deep inside!

    i've brought back
    Fridays Unfolded for 2014
    and would love for you to stop by!

    Nancherrow (formerly Stuff and Nonsense)

  20. Hi Cristina , love these pull out shelves and they don't seem to hard to install either (well, after you explained it so well). I need this in the cabinet under my stove. And my pantry is a big closet but I think I might have a matching can of pumpkin somewhere in it, it needs a little organization. Thanks for sharing, this is awesome! :)

  21. Perfecto y sobre todo muy práctico.

  22. Ese sí que es tutoríal Cridtina .. Yo tengo en mi casa del lago con el mismo problema nunca veo las latas que se vencen .. Esas cajoneras fue una excelente solución al problema de no ver los productos que quedan atrás

  23. This is really cool, Cristina! Great minds, I guess, because my hubby has been building and installing sliding shelves to just about every lower cabinet in our home -- I'm definitely doing the "Happy Dance!" My post this week is about the ones he did for our bathroom linen closet, but he is almost finished with the kitchen and I'll share those very soon. It is such a wonderful upgrade and makes life (& achy backs) so much nicer!

  24. Those are the best things Ever! :)

    Jake's a Girl

  25. Cristina, se ve muy bien! I can only imagine how many times you did the happy dance because this is what I have been wanting in my kitchen cabinets. Congrats!

  26. can't wait to do something like this when I'm able to get a house. I want to diy it to death following from coastal charm hop I'm lorraine at http://lorrainesresources.blogspot.com following on all media

  27. Pull out shelves are the best! I'm featuring you on Monday Funday as my personal fave :) Thanks for linking up!

  28. I bet you are loving it. What a wonderful transformation. Many of my pull out drawers need to be replaced. Thanks for the instructions. I'll be referring back to this when we do ours.

  29. I need this for my pantry! I'd love it if you'd share this at my link party, going on now! http://accidentallywonderful.blogspot.com/2014/01/accidentally-wonderful-wednesday-2_21.html

  30. I love this. I could use these in my kitchen, laundry and bathroom. We have an older home and the cabinet sizes are a little strange so many of the pull out drawers at Lowes or HD don't fit. Thanks for sharing!

  31. They look great. I'm going to have to make some labels like yours for my roll out drawers we did. I love that idea. Thanks for sharing. :)

  32. I will be redoing my kitchen in the near future so I've been keeping my eyes open for great organizing ideas. I've always loved pull out shelves and yours are wonderful. I appreciate showing how you installed them! I'll pin and reddit this!

  33. great job! Where did you buy the drawers? Thanks

  34. Thank you so much for posting this with the pictures and a how to do! I have already emailed my dad (I.E carpenter of the family) and asked when is he avaialble to do this! I am so excited.


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