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DIY - Plate Rack

How to build a plate rack on the side of the fridge

Good morning!

I'm so excited to share this project with you all because I think it's something that's so easy to create. It brings a good punch of style and storage to any blank wall you might have!

Yep. Style and storage are two key words in a kitchen, especially in a small kitchen like mine. We have to be creative and try to utilize every single inch of space to store all the necessary items we use here everyday.

Well, for me, that blank space was right here, on the side of the fridge, as you can see in the picture below:
LG refrigerator in enclosed DIY cabinet and with  plate rack on the side.

Since the time I built the fridge enclosure, I knew that I wanted to add something to this plain board. At first I thought on just adding some pieces of molding, because there wasn't much space there that I could utilize: Only an inch and a half to the edge of the door.

Using moldings would've been ok, but in an effort to gain a tiny bit of storage, I decided to add a plate rack to that little space. And guess what? It was possible!

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how to build a plate rack

I'm not going to give you a detailed tutorial because your measurements, more than likely, are not going to be the same as mine.

This is a very easy project, it's like building a ladder that you attach to the wall and then, add fun little pieces of trim to the front part of each shelf so the plates don't fall.

Let me tell you how it went for me, so you can visualize how to make  yours. ;)

Decide how much space to give each shelf. I made my layout on the floor, giving more space to the lower shelves.

Ryobi drill, Kreg jig and Dewalt sander used for building a plate rack.
Kreg Jig  |  Ryobi Drill  |  Dewalt Sander
The material I use was 1 x 2 pine, I had no space for anything deeper than 1½".  You can use 1 x 3's or even 1 x 4's if you have the space.
square ruler and kreg jig clamp with Milwaukee screw
Angle Square  |  Milwaukee Multi-tip Screwdriver
I used pocket holes to build the shelf, but you can use simple screws driven from the side or even nails - not too many holes to patch.  - I used screws to give the mister his piece of mind. He's always thinking stuff is going to fall, get damage, brake, etc. So yeah, those screws are holding everything well.

I also primed and painted all the pieces before assembling them.
Cristina Garay hanging beadboard wallpaper on the side of fridge
Beadboard Wallpaper
Before installing the shelf, I hang this beadboard wallpaper.  I love it. it looks so real! I used it before in my son's closet and on the range hood, remember?

You can feel the texture, the lines. It's a soft paper with a foam-like texture that you can paint.
Though, I have to tell you the truth, I didn't paint the paper, too lazy to do it.
how to install a plate rack on the side of fridge.
Ryobi 15-Gauge AirStrike Cordless Angled Nailer  |  Clamps
I didn't want to patch big holes either, that's why I used the nail gun to attach the shelf onto the side of the fridge cabinet.

On one side, the nails were driven thru the side of the shelf and on to the door frame. On the other side, the nails were driven from the inside of the fridge cabinet. I had to bring the fridge out and clamp the little shelf to the cabinet.
How to build a plate rack

The final step was to install the pieces of trim or rails to hold the plates in place, patch the little holes and touch up paint.
how to build a plate rack with big platters on display and wooden pig with let's eat sign

I also added one tiny molding on each shelf to serve as a plate stopper. Yes, another safety measure. ;)

And hey I'm loving that little piggy → 1.99 at Walmart.
How to build a plate rack on the side of fridge

Now I have the perfect spot to display the thrifty plates I've been collecting! :)
How to build a plate rack
Here's the view from the office, looking into the kitchen.
how to install a plate rack - kitchen with lights on island

And here's a complete view of that inch, or inch and a half of space that's looking better than ever and serving a purpose and after giving the dining room a little Spring Makeover:
plate rack on the side of the fridge and close to the dining room

For more kitchen DIY ideas check these out:

how to install a plate rack inside a cabinet with face frame

how to build a double layer drawer

DIY above the fridge tray divider with complete instructions

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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  1. What a great use of space! And I love the beadboard wallpaper (I was wondering how you managed to include beadboard in such a tight spot -- brilliant!).

    1. At first, I thought one inch and a half of space was not worth the trouble of doing something there. Well, I was wrong. It's the perfect space for those platters and wooden boards. Thanks!

  2. It looks so good! It's amazing what a little trim can do!

  3. Love this! What a difference fo that blank space. Love those blue and white plates, too. The perfect pop of color. Terrific project! ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Thanks Susie! The blank space and the big gap close to the wall were the nemesis.

  4. Great idea! Once you out did yourself!
    Cynthia - Parker, CO

  5. Very smart and it looks great too.

  6. Cristina,
    I love plate racks, and keep looking around for a spot for one in my house. Yours encourages me to look at small spaces. Nice job and nice tutorial.


  7. Oh, I couldn't love this any more, Cristina. The height, the trim, the styling. You do such fine work, and deserve each and every feature you get. I saw this on A Stroll Thru Life. I really need a plate rack in my life!

  8. Oh Cristina, you have endless talent girl friend, wow! It's incredible how magazine worth that 'skinny rack' as I call my very own. We had it made two years ago this month and I enjoy it every single day, specially redecorating it seasonally.
    Congrats and enjoy it too.
    Have a lovely week.

  9. What a terrific idea, Cristina! You did a great job, and I love that wallpaper.
    Hugs, Carol

  10. This is just the cutest idea and came out beautifully! I have been wanting to use beadboard wallpaper somewhere...hmmm... Great inspiration!

  11. Stunning plate rack. I love details and this is something I have to have too.

  12. I love this so much!!! I just blogged about how I framed in my refrigerator this week...I might have to add this to the side! So creative and such a great use of space!!!
    ~Emily @

  13. It's so cute. I need one of these. I bet it's fun to decorate.

  14. Oh wow, what an amazing transformation! It looks wonderful. I put a plate rack in a nook in my kitchen a while ago, but yours looks so much better. I thought the beadboard wallpaper was the real deal!

  15. Incredible querida amiga ! I know how you feel when one finds a little, narrow place you didn't imagine will turn into a plate rack. I did right in the back of the kitchen door and I still look at it in awe !
    Congrats, you did an amazing job, as usual !

  16. Gorgeous ideas and functional! You now have me wanting to get my entire kitchen uber organized. BUT first, I've got to get a wall plate rack built!

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