Hello and welcome to The Old Summers Home! This is actually a past project from a few years ago, but I just have to share how to build a pantry. We also show you how to build pantry shelves the easy way! This project is well before I ever had a blog so please endure with my poor photography, I had no idea it would make it to the web someday, haha!

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 nook was unsightly and a hinderance. It became much more usable by making a kitchen pantry with shelves.


If you are simply looking at how to build pantry shelves jump ahead using the table of contents.

How to Build a 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 a day!

Kitchen Pantry Supplies

  • 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 holy Hannah 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! We persevered with Josh’s experience at renovating.

The first step in how to build a pantry is to give the Kitchen pantry a framed wall by using 2x4 studs to build it.

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.

Frame in the door to your kitchen pantry then begin to add supports along the wall for the pantry shelves. Our Kitchen Pantry has 5 Shelves with a large open space in the bottom for larger pantry items.

Next, we started installing the kitchen pantry shelves. Using the items we most frequently purchase I determined the heights of our shelving. Such as boxes of cereal, salad dressing, and canned goods.

Top shelf installed checking to make sue my plan will work out

The pantry shelves installation 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.

All of the wrap around shelving installed in our new built in 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.

Install the drywall and hang a door to seal in the front of the 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 excited to start utilizing our new kitchen pantry. I started to stock it before the drywall mud and paint, hahaha.

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 favourite 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 haha.

Our kitchen pantry shelves are perfectly designed to house all of our pantry items.

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, there is plenty of room to stock up.

Stocking the wrap around shelving in our built-in pantry before it is finished haha

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.

Finished mudding and painting. A medium shade of blue that goes well with the bright teal we use later on.

I painted the dining area a shade of 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!

Be sure to check out our Kitchen Cupboard Makeover to see how I freshen and brighten this room up.

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. Josh is a well-experienced carpenter so that sped things up.

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 projects that make a Big Bang and are still within a good budget.

How to build a pantry total cost

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

How to build pantry shelves total cost

The pantry shelves were the most expensive part and equalled out to approximately $175. Being that 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.

The Old Summers Home Built-in Pantry

Our Mop & Broom Holder tutorial is another great DIY for your kitchen and perfect for the back of your pantry door.

Our Grocery sign is also a step by step tutorial that is so easy you will be making farmhouse signs for every room in your home!

One more must-see is the Victorian Chair makeover! Drool-worthy before and after!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or reach out using our Contact Us page.

Grab our free Kitchen Conversion chart when you sign up for our newsletter! Just another way to make life easier.

Thank you for joining us at The Old Summers Home 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!

Until next time,

Jenn Summers The Old Summers Home

Jenn Summers | The Old Summers Home