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Small Pantry DIY Makeover – That Anyone Can Do

This small pantry diy makeover was something that I’ve been thinking about doing for years! Every time I’d go in to find something to cook things would fall over. Without a doubt it had become a hot mess over the years. Clearly those sticky, grimy old wire shelves just had to go!

The before below shows how cans were stacked and although I attempted to keep a semblance of organization it wasn’t working. The pantry shares a closet with the main a/c unit of the house.

small pantry diy makeover

This is a paid post in behalf of Spectrum Brands but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Obviously this isn’t a pretty photo as I’m normally known for, but it’s real life behind the scenes. Our home was built in the 60’s and was a fixer upper when we purchased it. The closet that you see used to be in the garage. We added onto our home shortly after moving in and it became an inside closet in the family room. My husband installed the wire shelves to keep a mishmash of pantry items and more. Not the ideal situation, but sometimes you can only work with what you have in older home.

small pantry diy makeover

Now the garage egress is that door that you see beyond the pantry closet. When you enter our home through the current garage you come into the family room, the former garage! The double louvered doors are a necessity here in Florida to allow for air flow. The pantry is in a pretty convenient location to grab what I need for cooking.

small pantry diy makeover

What happens with old wire shelving is that it gets sticky after the years go by. That makes it impossible to clean and when food needs to be stored.

old wire shelving

Planning The Small Pantry DIY Makeover

  • We decided to keep the layout basically the same, but to replace the wire shelving with wood.
  • A panel would be installed to separate the pantry area from the air conditioning unit.
  • The vacuum cleaner charging station would remain.
  • We ordered a small wine fridge to be installed on the floor and would keep floor right side for a recycling bin.

small pantry diy makeover

The Small Pantry DIY Makeover Removal

  1. Take food out…doh!
  2. Remove all of the wire shelves and brackets.
  3. Wipe everything down with household cleaner and paper towels.

small pantry diy makeover process

Materials List

Pantry Installation DIY

First we patched the holes that were left from the old screws.

patching and painting walls

We measured, marked and then installed the 1 x 4’s on both sides of the back pantry wall. These would be where we would fasten both the panel that would separate the pantry from the a/c unit and the National Hardware shelf brackets. Next we painted the 1 x 4’s and the back wall of the pantry which was quite dirty!

After the paint was dry we added the side panel in addition to installing the shelf brackets. These shelf brackets from our sponsor National Hardware are very sturdy and could take the weight of shelves filled with food! We know how fantastic their hardware is and have used other products from their expansive line up. Check out our Elegant DIY Barn Door project and our Pergola Bench project as well!

small pantry diy makeover shelf brackets

The shelf brackets easily screwed (with a screw gun) into the 1 x 4’s which held them in place without any additional support necessary.

I had thought about wallpapering the back wall of the small pantry diy makeover for effect, however we just needed to get this project done. Looking so much cleaner and more beautiful already!

National Hardware white shelf bracket

As a result of cleaning and organizing I suggested to my husband that we might have room for a wine fridge. Of course he was all in with that in this small pantry diy makeover and it was all the impetus needed for him to help me out here 😂.

wine fridge for a small pantry diy makeover

The Finished Small Pantry!

The pantry is finished and in conclusion this diy project is definitely one that we feel most anyone can do! I purchased simple clear plastic storage containers at the home improvement store to keep things organized. No fancy labels or filling canisters was necessary, as I’m all about making life easier! I’m definitely so very happy to have this project finished and my pantry organized!

Remember, you need to approach a DIY project for YOU and think of form and function as your top priority!

small pantry diy makeover

It’s really easy to see what I have with the plastic containers and nothing is falling over like it did on the wire shelving! While it’s not a giant walk-in pantry as a newer home might have it is quite functional for my needs as a home cook.

small pantry diy makeover

Do you have a pantry that might need a makeover? Let me know if you have any questions about the process or need some other tips and don’t forget to pin it below!


how to diy a budget friendly pantry closet

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  1. Your panttry looks really good. Love it!!

    1. It’s much more functional now Ramona and easier to find exactly what I need quickly! Enjoy your weekend….Janet

  2. Wow, when I seen the picture of your pantry, I thought it was mine, minus the AC unit, lol! I have wire shelves and it has been a problem with stacking packaged food and even containers to hold the food. Oh, how I’ve needed wooden shelves, yours looks wonderful! I have room in my pantry for wider shelves which will give me a lot more room for extra storage. I think this will be on my hubby’s to do list, shortly, thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Pantry areas are probably one of the most overlooked, since we can hide them behind closed doors! Hope you get to work on your own Sandy and put that hubby to work!

    1. Thanks Christy! Even though we have an extra fridge in the garage that wine fridge is so handy!

  3. I appreciate you sharing your pantry before photos; it shows “us ordinary people” that all pantries are basically the same. Not everyone’s pantry is perfect.
    Happy Shabbyfufu Friday!

    1. Homes are never perfect and definitely my own isn’t, lol! I am really focusing on function and this was such an inexpensive makeover!

  4. Your pantry looks so good. My shelves are okay but I need to get plastic tubs. Didn’t do it before because labeling seemed too restrictive. Like your idea of smaller narrower bins. Well done!.

    1. Thank you Carolina and I found those inexpensively at Home Depot.

    1. Thanks Kris…I’m so glad to have this project finished and the tubs will help it to stay neat and tidy!

  5. Looks so much better! Noticed you have a lot of items I do. Are you on a keto. Diet or similar?

    1. Thank you Kim! I do a plant based whole foods lifestyle and hope to post some tips and recipes on the blog as time permits (soon)!

  6. Nice! I’m working my way through the kitchen drawers and cabinets. So far one silverware drawer done. Haha. But it makes me soooo happy! Love the wine frig! 🍷

    1. Feels good to get organized…one step at a time!

  7. I really luv your posts. You are so real and
    not at all snobby. Your home inside and outside.
    I think your home is perfectly pleasant.
    No home is 100% perfect. I would feel comfortable visiting your home.
    I’m in the process of cleaning out my two
    Kitchen pantry cabinets. They’re deep cabinets and can store a scary amount of
    unwanted items.

    1. That’s such a sweet thing to say and I’m happy to inspire you Su! xo