Hi 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 we converted an empty space into our Built-In Pantry. Our kitchen does not have a lot of cupboard space making it really difficult to store groceries and extra cookware. This area used to be our dining area but it was difficult to get in and out with the extra partial wall that came up the side.

Before

Dining room space we utilized to build our pantry


Framing The Built In Pantry

We started by framing the outside wall of the pantry. We have always known our house is not level or square but holy Hannah weren’t we in for a surprise with this build. Finding studs was a nightmare causing this stage of our project to take a lot more time than we bargained for.

Framing the front wall of built-in pantry

Next up we framed the door and started to frame in our wrap-around shelving. Our design plan consists of 12-inch wide shelving along the sides and 16-inch wide shelving for the back wall. The framing support for our shelving is made out of 1×2’s run along the outer edge where the shelving sits.

Door framed and starting bracing for shelving

Installing Our Shelving

Here we started installing the wrap-around shelving. I literally used the items we most frequently purchase to determine the heights of our shelving. Such as boxes of cereal, salad dressing, and canned goods. I wish I had checked the ketchup bottle, sigh, it does not fit on our condiment shelf. I was nervous at this point hoping I had no errors with my measurements but it all worked out in the end (except that ketchup haha).

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

The shelving install went very quickly from there. First, we used 12-inch laminated pine shelving that went from the front to the back of the built-in 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.

These 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 builds.

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

Finishing our Built In Pantry

Once the shelving was installed, we hung the drywall and the door. The drywall didn’t take much time at all it was just the three small pieces. We did not drywall the inside of the wall. Honestly, I never thought of it until right now.

We make use of the extra space for longer items like cracker boxes etc so its a win! Installing the door went quick and easy. After our wonderful framing adventure, I expected some trouble, haha but it went smoothly.

Drywall and door installed on new built-in pantry

We were excited to start utilizing our new built-in pantry. I started to stock it before I painted, haha. Our 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. This is the centre view of our built-in pantry.

An Inside View

There is plenty of height on the top shelf for cereal boxes. Our next shelf is crackers, snacks and condiments. The shelf below is for canned goods. Below that is my 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.

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

The wrap-around shelving provides so much space. Our groceries looked lost after transferring them to the new built-in pantry. The amount of space is perfect for when we go on a big haul, there is plenty of room to stock up. As you can see in the pictures we chose to leave the laminated pine natural. It really is beautiful and I was afraid stain would make the built-in pantry too dark. Unfortunately as of right now, we do not have any lighting in the pantry. Another project I need to brainstorm haha.

Love how much room we have underneath to store our potatoes bin and any large storage items


I painted the old 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. But I really do not like the colour that has been in here since the previous owner. Be sure to check out our Kitchen Makeover series to see how I freshen and brighten this room up.

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

Built-In Pantry Cost & Time

Our Built-in 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. My husband is a carpenter so that sped up our time frame. 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 wrap-around shelving. To me, this Built-in Pantry adds a lot of value to our home and our cost for this build was around $200. 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.

The Old Summers Home Built-in Pantry

Thanks for joining us at The Old Summers Home we hope you enjoyed this project breakdown. Our Mop & Broom Holder tutorial (picture above) is another great DIY for your kitchen and perfect for the back of your pantry door. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or reach out using our Contact Us page.

Until next time,

Jenn Summers

The Old Summers Home