Pantry Closet Makeover Tutorial

My kitchen is small.  It’s a gallery kitchen with very little counter space, so I am always optimizing it for extra storage.  The pantry is the size of a small closet and every single thing in it plays hide and go seek with me when I try to cook.  I have had enough of this baloney and decided that it was time for a pantry closet makeover!My kitchen pantry was a closet sized area suffed to the gills. I could not find a single thing in it. My husband and I turned it into a mini walk in pantry by reconfiguring the shelves and adding extra shelving up the way. I can not find my supplies!

The pantry had some shelving in it.  The problem has always been that the shelves come right to the door of the closet.  That means that even though I have some organizational plan in there, there are always things that just get shoved to the back. When I am making recipes, I look for them, can’t find them and add them to my shopping list.  And it goes on and on. Can you imaging trying to find anything in here?My pantry was jam packed and it was impossible to find anything in it!

Fortunately we have a huge dining room table, which gave me a place to store everything while we were working on the pantry closet makeover.  Now bear in mind that this dining room table has enough room around it for 10 full sized dining room chairs.  If I were a betting woman, I would never have wagered that ALL OF THIS STUFF was sitting in my small pantry.  I’m still stunned about it weeks into the makeover. Not only that, but there was also stuff on the floor as well!  My mind can simply not comprehend how one tiny pantry can hold all this STUFF.Pantry supplies ended up on my dining room table

Oh…and while we are at it…what on earth does one woman need with 6 (count ’em) bags of self raising flour????  There were also two bags of whole wheat pastry flour, a bag of almond flour, some cake flour and more.  And don’t even let me get started on the excess sugar supply.  I swear, I won’t have to buy baking supplies for 10 years!~ 😉

Pantry Closet Makeover

Whoops…got side tracked there for a minute.  Back to my plan for my pantry closet makeover.  In spite of the small doorway opening, (23 inches wide at the doorway and about 30 inches on the interior wall spacing) I knew that I wanted the pantry to be a “walk in.”  My sweet husband measured the opening after we decided what size to make the shelves.  I said “See, I’ll fit!!”  He said “yes, there you will” (looking at my shoulders), and then looked at my hips and grinned.  Good thing he is a handyman, and will be doing most of the work on this little project or he would not be getting any baked goods for a while!!Back shelving of the pantryThe first step for my pantry closet makeover was to remove half of the shelving on the existing shelf set up.  Each shelf was made of two pieces, so we had enough wood for the whole back wall, even with extra shelves. We decided that we would keep that placement (23 inches apart) and then add more shelf braces between the existing shelves to give me room for the cut out area where I am determined my hips WILL fit. We had to do the back shelves first, since we were using side braces to hold the back shelves and there is no way to get them in once those extra side braces were attached to the pantry wall.  Some of the back shelves will stay spaced widely as they were before and others have extra shelves between them.  I wanted to absolutely maximize the inner space, since I knew that ALL THAT STUFF had to find a way to fit back in there, along with my ample hips.

To round the corners of the entry shelves, Richard used a metal mixing bowl with the right curve on it and cut the corner off with a Skilsaw, and then sanded it with sandpaper.Rounding the shelf edges with a Skilsaw

A fresh coat of white paint got added to all the shelves and we were ready to get started on the pantry closet makeover. 

Painting the pantry shelving

Since I had a combination of normal canned good sized items and taller bottles and oils, I decided to have one whole side have and extra shelf to hold the smaller sized cans.  Those shelves go all the way up the right side of the pantry and are spaced evenly between the existing shelves.Right size pantry wall

All of the side shelves are held in place with L shaped brackets which are screwed into the side braces.L shaped braces and screws hold the side shelves

The left side of the pantry would be a combination of existing spacing as well as some with the extra shelf.  We also went higher in the closet and lower than it is now.Left side wall

The last part of the pantry closet makeover was that we would remove a concertina style door that opened into the kitchen and replace it with a sliding bar door style.  At this point I was getting excited and saw my whole kitchen getting a redo and started stripping wallpaper off the walls to “help out.”  My husband was not a happy camper when he came home and saw this but that’s what he gets for his hip grinning moment.

A quick paint of the skirting board, and removal of the old trim, and the finished interior is completed!

The pantry shelving is competed

Time to see of all of my supplies will fit back into the finished pantry.  I have been cooking up a storm this week, trying to use up some of the excess supplies.  After all, who really needs 7 boxes of Penne pasta, I ask you?  We haven’t bought groceries in two weeks while this has been going on! I already knew that I was only going to put back in what I want to have in there.  I had some 20 year old dried beans that ended up in the trash and some of the overkill on excess went into packing boxes for a while, but, even still, most of it fit back in.

the photo below shows the entire pantry in the middle and closeups of the two side walls.  I am delighted with the way it came out! Finished pantry closet makeover

And even though there is not QUITE as much space, I CAN SEE IT ALL NOW!!! I’ll gladly give up a bit of space to be able to see what I have on hand. I just love the way things are spaced out.  The shelves are the perfect height for my different Oxo Pop containers and I am a happy camper. OH…and by the way…MY HIPS FIT PERFECTLY, thank you very much!

close up of pantry interior

Supply List:

These were the supplies that we needed to complete the project.  The barn door will come together later so we didn’t buy those supplies yet.

The next step is to do the barn board sliding door to replace this concertina door. Stay tuned for this project!This concertina pantry door will be replaced with a sliding barn board doorWhat kind of set up do you have in a small kitchen to hold all your supplies?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Closet pantry makeover. Before and after pictures

Once we got the pantry finished, it needed a new door.  See my project for a shiplap barn door hereFinishing up the shiplap barn door

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  7 comments for “Pantry Closet Makeover Tutorial

  1. 10/11/2016 at 6:12 pm

    I love your project – can’t wait to see how the rest of it comes together. My staples are in three places; a cupboard that is recycled from a kitchen cupboard, another smaller shelf unit with glass doors on for canned goods, and this recycled shelf unit. One day…

    • Carol
      10/11/2016 at 6:26 pm

      My problem is that I have the supplies of a gourmet cook in a tiny kitchen! Carol

  2. Monique Hopkins
    11/02/2016 at 11:38 pm

    This post is perfect! The pantry in my house we bought last year has this exact same layout and I have been struggling trying to figure out what to do with it to make it functional. You’ve provided a beautiful solution and my husband has the tools and know-how to do it! Thank you so much!

    • Carol
      11/03/2016 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Monique. So glad you liked it. I guarantee you will love using the design. I smile every time I open it now! Carol

  3. Angela
    11/22/2016 at 12:38 pm

    Just lovely! Be thankful that I live far, far away or I’d be hanging out at your place trying, unsuccessfully knowing R as I do, to steal him away from you. What a great joy you both did. I am truly impressed.

    • Carol
      11/22/2016 at 12:48 pm

      I just love it! It makes me smile every time I walk by it.

  4. Angela
    11/22/2016 at 12:39 pm

    That “joy” was supposed to be “job” btw. Ugh!

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