Small Space Storage Solution: DIY Rolling Pantry Tutorial

This post is a full tutorial to build your own space saving DIY Rolling Pantry!Small Space Storage - Make your Own Rolling Pantry {Full Tutorial}

After planning our kitchen revamp, (notice we don’t use the word reno?) we decided we wanted a pantry to flank the refrigerator. which we’d moved to the opposite wall. We first thought we’d purchase one from Ikea – but after careful measuring, we realized it was going to be 3″ too big. The ones offered from box stores were all too wide by a long shot.

What to do? Custom cabinets are not in our budget. And why bother with a custom pantry, when we’re saving our old cabinets anyway? There must be a DIY WAY!

Well, we researched and found a post for a canned food organizer shelf by Classy Clutter. We decided to modify the plans to make it bigger and able to hold more things. As Erin says “I want a pantry that Holds ALL THE THINGS!” It doesn’t do THAT, but it holds almost everything that was previously in our upper cabinets.

DIY Space Saving Rolling Pantry. Read on for full details in the post!

Space Saving DIY Pull out Pantry

This free-standing unit is ideal for small space dwellers or renters. The beautiful part is that the entire thing cost us less than $140 to build and IT’S PRACTICALLY THE BEST THING EVER. 

This is what you need to build your own DIY Space Saving Rolling Pantry:

(This will build an 8″ wide unit to fit alongside of a standard sized fridge.)

Dan here – I did most of the building. I wanted it to be roughly the same height and depth as the fridge once all was said and done, so I first drew up plans to determine just how much wood we’d need.  Having the plans made building quite straightforward. I simply measured and cut the pine planks for the frame, then measured and cut the shelves. With some excess I had left, I cut a bunch of ‘strips’ from the planks, knowing that I’d later need shelf supports. Rolling Pantry 10

Using a square, I built the frame of the pantry. I affixed everything together using wood glue and wood screws. Sure, nails would have been less visible, but ultimately, much less strong. We wanted this pantry to hold ALL THE THINGS. Taking a cue from Classy Clutter, I doubled up the bottom shelf for reasons I’ll explain later. Rolling Pantry 11

Then I simply measured and marked where we wanted each shelf.  The small strips mentioned above  were glued & screwed below each marking at either side of the inner frame, so that the shelves could simply rest on them.

The middle shelf was screwed in and secured further with nails. The others (at this point) are just resting on the supports and are removable.

We determined the height of the shelves based on the size of our storage canisters, and typical food stuffs. We knew the bottom shelf would be used for the tallest items. Rolling Pantry 12

Initially, we were going to have six shelves, but settled on five – given that let us store these taller things. So, with the sixth shelf I had already cut, I made a rip cut (lengthwise cut) with the circular saw and used it as an extra support brace for the middle and bottom shelves.Rolling Pantry 13

(Erin here!) While Dan was doing all that building, I was crouched on the floor stencilling the white side of the Masonite for the back part of the pantry. We chose Masonite to keep the unit as light as possible. We had it cut to size at the hardware store.

Plywood would work too, just consider that will add to the weight of your finished pantry. I used some mis-tint black paint I’d picked up for $5 at Kent and a PLAID stencil that was on sale at Walmart. Initially, I started with a foam brush, but then decided a roller was the most efficient way to do it. Took about 1 1/2 hours, but it’ll add a little something something to the finished product.Rolling Pantry 14(Back to Dan!)

Once the shelves were in place, I marked where I wanted the dowels to go. We decided against a dowel on the very bottom shelf, because we knew we’d likely store cereal boxes there and there was little danger of something falling off and injuring someone.

I marked where I wanted the dowel, used a level to make sure it was straight, and with a large drill bit (the same size as the dowel) made a hole on either end of the frame.Rolling Pantry 16

We decided to make our dowels go ‘through and through’ so that we can remove them for easy cleaning access.

I added our four casters to the bottom using wood screws. Here’s where that doubled up bottom comes into play. Had I not layered a second plank on the bottom of the frame, the caster screws would have been too long.

Rolling Pantry 15Before painting, I went back and filled all the nail holes and wood holes with paintable wood filler. I also ran a bead of caulking down the sides of the very bottom shelf to prevent crumbs from getting forever stuck down there. Then the whole thing got a light sanding.

Next, together we primed and painted the wood, using our tried and true Zinsser Bulls Eye and the same paint we used for our cabinets. We brushed on a coat of primer and the rolled on two coats of paint.Rolling Pantry 17

We brought it into the kitchen for the final assembly. The shelves were doubly secured with a few extra brad nails and the back board was affixed using our handy dandy Ryobi AirStriker Nail Gun.Rolling Pantry 18(Seriously, HOW did we live before we had this tool? We use it for SO much now. Recommend.)Rolling Pantry 19

The long drawer pull was added to the front so that it can be pulled in and out with ease.

Then, the new pantry was loaded up! It holds TONS of stuff.

Make your own Pull-out Pantry

We freed up a boat load of space in our cupboards for dishes and serving ware.


A word on safety – there is still the potential for ‘tipping’. Ours is completely held in place by the wall and the fridge. Due to its size, it’s actually quite difficult (and uncomfortable) to pull it out beyond that point. We are confident that it is completely secure. BUT – you could go the extra step and put some sort of rubber stopper on the ground to make sure it doesn’t get pulled out too far.

DIY Rolling Pantry | DIY PassionWe are IN LOVE with this project. It was fairly straightforward to do. And it gave us space to store (almost) ALL THE THINGS!!

What do you think small space dwellers? Easy enough, right?

Here are some other build posts we’ve done that you can do too!

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Hi! I’m Erin and I wrote this post!

I’m a former broadcast journalist turned DIY blogger; I love all things paint, and power tools. My husband and I work on DIY Passion to share our commitment to inspire others to see beauty in the every day. I love dogs, cats, Han Solo and pie – probably in that order. If you’d like to chat about working together, please get in touch and sign up for our email updates.

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7 thoughts on “Small Space Storage Solution: DIY Rolling Pantry Tutorial

  1. Pingback: A Few Favorites |
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  3. Such a rolling pantry would do a great job at my kitchen! Althoung I’m a professional at large storage solutions, organizing my home is not that easy. The space is never enough 0for my stuff and I think about new solutions all the time. Your idea is really great and I’m sure that a rolling pantry like this one here will solve my kitchen organizing problems permanently. Thank you for sharing! Greets, Ruth from 🙂

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