Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pantry Shelves: Done!

Warning: This post has A LOT of pictures

The pantry shelves are officially finished! Awhile ago we showed you this rough sketch about our plan for the shelving.

This probably didn't give you much information about what the shelving was going to look like so I wanted to share with you our inspiration photo that we used to build our shelves. We wanted an open feel to the room since it is small and so we really liked this idea that we found on Pinterest

You can see how this one was built here. We really liked how open and airy the selves were and thought that this would be the perfect for our little pantry. While we really liked the look of the shelves, we didn't love how expensive it was going to be to build our shelves using the method used in our inspiration photo. We also wanted lighter shelving so it wouldn't make the room too dark so we decided to put our own little twist on the above idea. 

Since we didn't follow the method in our pic, I'm going to go through step by step of our shelving installation. 

We greatly reduced the cost of our shelves by using long continuous pipes instead of small sections with connectors. Just to give you an idea, a 10' long section of 1/2" galvanized pipe at Lowe's is $13.42 and a 1' long section of the same pipe is $3.52 so the same length would have been over 2.5 times more! (and that's not including the price of the connectors). Lowe's will cut the long pipes down to the correct length so we brought in  careful measurements and brought home our perfect length pipes for a fraction of the cost. 

The next step was a tricky one. We needed to drill our holes in our shelves so that they could slide onto the pipe. Before we started drilling, we lined up all of our shelves and clamped them together in the position they would be in when they  were installed.

Then we drilled a pilot hole using a super long drill bit that we have. We used two levels at a 90 degree angle held agains the drill bit to make sure it was going straight.  Then Nate used a paddle bit to drill a hole just slightly larger than the 1/2" galvanized pipe.

Then we brought the stack (still clamped together) into the kitchen and slid (really pushed with all our might) the pipes through the drilled holes.

By either magic or a miracle, we managed to our shelves into the pantry. This involved a lot of pushing, angling, balancing and bending. It wasn't easy but we got them in place.

Once the unit was in place, we had to space out our shelves and make them sturdy. We have some shelves that are big enough to fit can goods, and then bigger shelves for taller items.

To make sure our shelves were going to be able to hold everything we wanted to put on them, we supported them in the back with strips of MDF nailed to the wall and in the front we used these
These are split ring hangers that clamp on to the pipe and you can tighten them so they hold onto the pipe and you can not move them.. at all. This keeps the shelves nice and level and strong.

 At the top and botom we screwed the pipes into the ceiling and floor.

On the other side of the room we installed more shelves but didn't take them all the way to the floor.

For these, we used a 90 degree connector and attached the pipe to the wall. Once everything was installed, it was time to paint. I taped off the pipes near the shelves and then painted and painted and painted. I used left over paint from another project which is a grayish taupe color.

Here is the shelving painted and ready for some can goods.

We left the old medicine cabinet so that we can use it for spices

Here are the shelves with our pantry items.

As you can see, we have a lot of shelving to spare.

We really love how the shelving turned out. The pantry doesn't feel cramped and it is so nice to see exactly what we have at a glance. Now we can use our cabinets for things like dishes!

All of the shelving came in under $180


  1. What a brilliant storage solution! I love how minimal it is. You get so much out of so little visual space. This is a fabulous project

  2. Love how this stores without items being stacked deep. You really can see everything at a glance!

  3. Awesome job! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

    PS: I am your newest Linky Follower!

    Mrs. Delightful

  4. Thank you for your sweet words about our coffee table! I AM OBSESSED WITH YOUR BURLAP FLOORS. :)

  5. Wow look at all that storage, that's fantastic! This project would be perfect for our linky party featuring "Transformations" called Repurpose-Remodel-Reveal, I know our readers would love to see it too! (It's going on now and reoccures every 1st and 3rd Friday)

    -Whitney @ TheRoosterAndTheHen

  6. I love your pantry! Fantastic use of space, and it didn't cost a million bucks. I like that you can see every can and bottle too--so easy to take inventory. Great job!

  7. Love your pantry. Now, if I could just borrow your hubby so he could make my pantry look just like yours.

    Im your newest follower....don't wanna miss your next project. Please come visit me and maybe follow back at


  8. it! I'm a little jealous, my little closet pantry is "fine" but that is GREAT! Enjoy, Laurel

  9. Excellent 'show how you built it'. Great idea.

  10. This is GENIOUS!!! I love these sheves with such an industrious feel to them!Great job! Im following you:) Deidre~

  11. I love this industrial, modern look. So clean and easy to see. This is a great idea for pantry that I've never seen before.

  12. Very cool! Love the industrial look!

  13. Love the shelves - especially the use of the pipes. Thanks for linking up to That's The Ticket.

  14. These shelves are amazing! Thanks for joining us for "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope you'll come back next week! -The Sisters

  15. WOW! I love the industrial look, especially with the elbow joints. And what a fantastic job with the post, too--I feel like I could do this right now!

    Thank you for sharing on Wayward Weekend!

  16. You were featured today at Wayward Weekend! Come by and grab your badge!

  17. These turned out really well! I love that you used every inch of vertical space for storage-- you'll probably be able to fit your whole kitchen in that pantry!

    Great job, and thanks for linking up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

  18. practical question... how far is the hole for the piping from the front edge of the shelving?

  19. Were the split ring hangers 1/2" size or do you have to buy them slightly smaller than the pipe? Thanks

    1. They are 1/2". If it helps, ours have 1/2 printed directly on them.

  20. Great! looks i can handle that.... thank you for sharing now i got new idea..

  21. Your pantry shelves look amazing!! Great idea. I pinned it :)


  22. I am a quality engineer which basically means that I'm a nerd with OCD and I am thoroughly impressed. Nicely done!

  23. You should both be very proud of yourselves! Great shelving at little cost and very very functional.........thank you for sharing your project and for all the step by step great pictures! Linda