wood trim

Clever DIY Pantry Idea

Before After

If organization “before” and “after” is your thing, well, do I have a treat for you today!

Last week I wrote about Scott and Sheila Graham’s kitchen makeover. Today I’m sharing their dramatic closet pantry transformation. I’ll start with the closet doors. “Before” the reach-in closet pantry had boring builder grade bi-fold closet doors that many old houses have. When the new kitchen was being designed, we intended to swap the old bi-fold doors with new double pantry doors.  

Double pantry doors consist of two independent panels which are placed side by side and hinged on each side of the doorway. They open independently. The Just Counters & other stuff team: Jeff Reed, Ben Hanson, and Tyler Mowatt built and installed the custom double pantry doors that flawlessly match the new kitchen cabinet doors. However, Sheila was determined to find a way to make the interior of their closet-pantry neat and organized.

After all, at some point in time, I’m sure we’ve all come across closets or pantries that are full of those nonglamorous wire shelves. You know the kind I’m talking about. The eyesore white ones, not to mention where things either fall through or items that wobble or don’t stand up straight. It can be frustrating to constantly have to re-arrange the pantry to accommodate for items tipping over…or worse yet…falling through the cracks of the wire shelving.

Unquestionable, there are times when wire shelving can be great. On the other hand, there are times when they need to be covered up. Sheila thought, Why not make a DIY shelf cover to make the wire shelves look better? While doing some online research, she discovered some clever DIY ideas. Sheila found a durable, cost-efficient, and practical makeover. With her husband’s woodworking skills, Sheila and Scott decided to transform the wire shelves themselves.

This stunning hack is renter and homeowner friendly, and it will have you running to your local home improvement store today, to give it a try. So, are you wondering how you can spend less than $50 and get rid of the wire shelves haunting you in the closets of your home? Buckle up, this DIY is a good one! This is a practical and cost effective solution to remodeling your closet shelving without having to rip out the old wire shelves.

Since Sheila was going to cover the wire shelves, her first step was to clean the entire pantry out. The next thing she did was take measurements of each shelf by measuring the width and depth. She saved herself a little time by getting the exact measurements of each side of one shelf and created a cutout of those measurements with cardboard. She made sure her cutout stencil aligned with every shelf.

Then using his wife’s cardboard templates, Scott cut the top of each shelf using 1/4” birch plywood. Each piece of birch plywood “sits” on top of the wire shelves securely without any screws or glue. Next, they glued 1”x3” poplar strips of board to the front edge. Sheila stained the wood to match the cabinet interiors. Without having to remove a single wire shelf, they created the look of wood floating shelves that completely transformed this closet. Scott and Sheila love how they can swing these doors wide open and get everything put away in no time. They also love disguising the contents behind the Shaker-style double pantry doors.

Before After

This might be the easiest DIY I’ve ever posted on this blog. Well, I must say that our linen closet doesn’t look this neat and tidy. In fact, there are items toppling over one another. If you’ll excuse me, I have a closet to organize…


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