Pantry Shelves

We owe you guys a pantry update.  Like a serious pantry update especially since we finished it this weekend (booyah!) AND organized it this weekend (double booyah!).  But last we left off on this little pantry shelf saga we were just getting around to installing those pull-out shelves.  For those of you just joining us, you can catch up on pantry building phase 1 and pantry building phase 2.  Although the shelves weren’t quite finished, finished here.  They were still missing fronts/drawer pulls, but close enough.  So here’s how we made those little pull-out shelves.

And just for reminder’s sake, here’s what the pantry looked like pre-shelving.  Basically, a big ol’ box framed out for the framing lumber drawer slides.

Since this post is all about how we made the drawers, here’s drawer-making in a nutshell.  We had bought chunky 2″ x 12″ framing lumber for the drawers.  But the wall gap was 13-3/4″.  12″ is pretty much the widest, standard (aka… nonspecial order) framing lumber at most lumber yards.  Ruh-roh.  Since 12″ wide boards are 11-1/4″ wide, we just added a 1-1/2″ strip of lumber to the larger piece to better fill the wall gap.

We feared pantry items falling off the back of the shelf into the depths of the pantry never to be seen again.  Like the sock behind the dryer situation all over again.  To alleviate this fear and prevent our baking powder from permanent MIA status, we nailed on a 4″ tall piece of pine to serve as a back lip.

And with that, we had a shelf.  Repeat that process four more times and we were left with a total of five drawers for the pantry.  I envisioned the pantry shelves pseudo matching the exposed wood wall and thankfully, the Minwax Early American stain that we already had on hand was a perfect color match.

Next step…drawer slides.  I have to admit, we did not…I repeat…DID NOT mess around with the drawer slides.  Just envision that old high school basketball chant running through our heads while picking out the perfect drawer slide.  You know the one…” We don’t mess around…hey…we don’t mess around…hey.”  It’s that cheer that popped up on your Jock Rock CD in your Disc Man circa 1998 while you were jogging around the local track getting your workout on.  Anyway…the drawer slides.  We got the super heavy-duty ones.  The ones that could support 75 lbs a pair.  They weren’t cheap by any means, $25 a pair to be exact, but oh so worth it for peace of mind.  Thankfully we had a few Christmas gift cards to Lowes that helped pay the whopping $125 drawer slide bill.  Thanks, Mom, Dad, Grandma, & Pat!!!  Here’s what we spent your gifts on:

Installation was much easier than expected.  Especially for me since I did nothing but play Vanna and take screws out of the package and pass them to Colby.  Totally important job.  What would Colby have done without me?!  If you answered “take them out himself” we can no longer be internet besties.  To install, we started with the drawers, lining up the drawer slide on the side of the drawer.

First drill a pilot hole where each screw would hold the drawer slide to the drawer:

And then screwing in the screws that came with the drawer slides into the drawer.  Side note…we later had some of the screws pop out because the wood shrunk, putting pressure on the screws.  We have since upgraded the drawer slide screws to 1-1/4″ sheetrock screws which are holding much better.

The hardest part of drawer installation was installing them inside the pantry nook.  Not only was it super important for proper drawer functioning for the installation to be perfectly level, but we were also operating in a 13″ wide by about 29″ deep space.  Not so easy for maneuverability.  The first step, leveling and marking.  We had already installed spacers against the old wood wall where each drawer slide would attach but needed to mark the pantry side where to install the other drawer slide side.  Using a level, Colby marked each of the five drawer slide locations.

And then painstakingly held the drawer slide in position and level while screwing it into the pantry side.

There may have been a few cuss words flying and one swift kick to the pantry due to difficulties in holding/screwing the drawer slide in within such a tight space.  So Colby, the master of jigs, built a little helper to hold the drawer slide while he screwed it into the wall.  It’s just tacked up there temporarily with a pair of nails.  Hashtag third hand.

After screwing each set of drawer slides into the walls, the pair looked like this:

And then it was just a matter of sliding each of the drawers into the pantry.  Each worked without a hitch…phew!  But if you did slide a drawer in and it was a bit tight, you could always tighten up your screws or take the drawer slides off and shave down the drawer width.

And scene…working pantry drawers in the house.

Goose helped.

Five drawers are in and the pantry is finally starting to look like a pantry.  My itchy trigger finger organizing hand is dying to get in there and load up the shelves with all sorts of kitchen pantry goodness.  I’m envisioning a baking station, flour/sugar storage, and electrics storage.  But alas…there are still more tasks to tackle before we can discuss all things organizing.

At this point we still need a shelf above the refrigerator for the microwave shelf, install a few more trim pieces, add drawer fronts, and attach some drawer pulls to each shelf.  All in good time, dear readers, all in good time.  In the meantime, we can be found testing out the strength of our drawers (75 lb max) by sitting our 50 lb pooch on the shelves.  Goose disapproves.

So stay tuned as we try to wrap up our little pantry project, hopefully by the end of the year.  I wish I were kidding.  What we thought would be a quick little weekend project…about six weekends ago…is still in the works.  Sheesh!  Hashtag dragging our feet.  Hashtag dude get on that already.  Hashtag slow and steady.  Hashtag I’m channeling that Subway commercial.  Hash tag can you tell?!

Pssst…while we may have been spending our weekend wrapping up our pantry project, what did you guys tackle?  Any cleaning or organizing projects happening in your neck of the woods?  Lately, that’s all I want to do.  Purge, clean, and organize.  Or anyone else taking a painfully long time to finish a project?!  We can’t be the only ones!


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