I built this DIY Canned Food Organizer and it’s basically changed my life. Let’s start by saying, have you see my little kitchen?
It’s totally tiny but does a fine job suiting our needs…mostly… One problem I’ve run into with a small space is storage space. I’ve had to get a little creative and maximize the empty space hiding in the room since we’re lacking a pantry. However, our kitchen had about a 6″ opening between our wall and the refrigerator. Which btw, I didn’t even notice until I saw this pin on pinterest and knew I needed my own version stat! This idea blew me out of the water! It will solve all of the world’s problems!! Or at least my kitchen space dilemma! *wink*
**NOTE** There are too many shelves on this plan. I ended up only doing 7 shelves total opposed to the 9 on the plan. My measurements and “shopping list” will include supplies for 7 shelves so just pretend those other 2 aren’t there in the plan above. 😉
DIY Canned Food Organizer
9 – 1×4″ boards cut to 29 1/2″ (top board, shelves, bottom board)
2 – 1×4″ boards cut to 64″ (Side boards)
1 – Thin board cut to 31 1/2 x 64″ (I used bead board/wainscoting board from Home Depot)
4 – 1 1/2 – 2″ Metal Casters that hold 50+ lbs (I used 2″, 80lb)
7 – 7/16 dowels cut to 30″ long (lumber section of Home Depot)
Handle or knob
Paint and Brush, Roller or Sprayer (if needed)
Tools and Supplies:
7/16″ drill bit for drilling dowel holes
several wood screws
several 2″ nails
several finishing nails
(I also used my jig saw to make some cuts that weren’t precise – you may not need to do this)
1. Build the “ladder” by screwing and/or nailing all boards together to make the main structure (shown in red on my diagram. Note that you will screw two of the 1×4″ boards together at the base. I’ll show you why later. Tip: I used screws for the outside frame but found that nails worked best on the shelves. I used 2 on each side of each shelf.
2. Drill holes for dowels – Mine are about 1 1/2 ” from the bottom of the shelf and about a 1/4″ from the outside. I used a 7/16″ drill bit because that was the size of the dowels I chose.
3. Insert dowels into holes. Use wood glue for extra support. I may or may have not used hot glue. 😉
4. Next, if you want, paint a design or a pop of color on the inside of the cabinet. No one will see this unless it’s open so I wanted to do something fun. I mixed up some Oops! paints I had lying around and got this pretty blue/green color that matches some of my kitchen decor. You can totally just do it to match the outside and skip this step for now. As you can see, I chose a chevron design.
5. Use finishing nails to attach your back board. I placed nails on the outside perimeter and nails where the shelves were so it didn’t “bow” out the back if cans got shoved back there.
6. Fill any holes or cracks with paintable caulk or wood filler.
7. Paint! I used my HVLP spray gun and air compressor to paint mine and it went super fast. You could hand paint it or even spray paint it if you want!
8. Attach casters according to the package directions. Because my screws that attached to the casters were longer than 1″, I added that extra bottom 1×4″ board to have something more substantial to drill into when attaching the casters.
9. Attach your handle or knob to the front. I found that a handle (drawer pull) worked well to pull the cabinet in and out.
10. Fill it with your canned goods, spices, or whatever and that’s it!
**Updated to answer some FAQs:**
- No. This is NOT a free-standing cabinet. It is fully supported by the wall on the left side and the refrigerator on the right side. If it is pulled out too far, it could potentially fall. I built it over a year ago and have not had any issues with it at all but I suppose it could happen. You could install a stopper on the floor or locking casters to prevent an accident.
- My refrigerator does not heat up on the sides and over the past year, I have had absolutely no issues with food spoiling from any heat. The fridge is completely cool to the touch.
- The total was around $110 to build it. For all materials.
I have had a ton of inquiries about it and honestly, it’s one of the BEST projects I have done. It saves us SO much room and is basically life changing.
What do you guys think?! Isn’t this cool?? Is it weird that I love it so much? 🙂 It has made a world of difference in my kitchen and I’m ecstatic!
7/16 Wooden Dowels
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xo, Mallory & Savannah