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DIY Pantry Shelves

Our pantry closet had ugly wire shelving that I really didn’t like so I decided to make DIY pantry shelves with wood to make the shelves more functional and pretty!

Every closet in our house has wire shelving and I can’t stand the look of them or how things easily fall through the wire gaps or how smaller items fall over on them.

In our small master bathroom renovation, I replaced the wire shelving with custom DIY built in shelves and a cabinet. For our pantry though, I wanted to keep the shelving more simple with some stained DIY wood pantry shelves with simple white trim.

DIY Pantry Shelves with stained wood shelves and painted white trim

Note, I also have a second, larger pantry closet that I added DIY CORNER pantry shelves to! See how to build corner pantry shelves here!

Further, our pantry was in desperate need of a pantry makeover and organization. Here is an embarrassing BEFORE photo of our messy, unorganized pantry:

before pantry photo with wire shelving and unorganized mess in the pantry

How could I not makeover this closet haha?!

Below I’m sharing how to build pantry shelves along with a how-to video!. I built five 29″ shelves, but keep in mind the measurements and supplies you need will be custom to your space. So, adjust accordingly! I’ll share the measurements for my shelves so you can see how I cut everything for a reference.

Also, this is a very affordable project, these 5 wood shelves cost just under $50 to make!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

How to build DIY pantry shelves:

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

***Note: Adjust materials and cuts for your custom pantry size! These quantities and measurements are based on five 29″ wood shelves. Also, 1x12s are 11 1/4″ wide so that will be the depth of the shelves.

Video tutorial:

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1. Clear pantry out and remove wire shelves

Begin by clearing all items of your pantry out and then removing the wire shelves or any other type of shelving that you have in your pantry.

Our wire shelves were hung with huge anchors, so we had to pry them out with a pry bar. This left large holes which we had to fill with spackle and sand on the sides.

But, since I was putting the new wood shelves in the same spot as the old ones, I knew the holes on the back wall would be covered so I didn’t bother filling those holes. I just sanded them some so my new shelf supports would sit flat against the wall.

wire shelving and anchors removed from pantry wall


2. Cut DIY wood pantry shelves to size and stain

Measure the width of your pantry wall, mine was just about 29″. Cut your DIY pantry shelves to this width from the 1×12 boards with a miter saw or circular saw. Or have your home improvement store make the cuts for you! Make sure to sand the wood boards well too!

wood pantry shelves cut to size

Then, go ahead and stain your DIY wood pantry shelves, I used this stain color, it’s one of my favorite stain colors! For tips on staining, check out my how to stain wood tutorial. After letting the boards fully dry, I added 2 coats of polyurethane for extra protection in case any pantry items leak.

staining wood DIY pantry shelves

While the boards are drying, move onto the next step…

3. Cut the 1×2 pantry shelf supports to size

Cut the back pantry shelf supports (from the 1x2s) to the same size as your wood pantry shelves. I cut five 1x2s at 29″ for my back supports. Then, I cut five more (so total of ten) for the front trim pieces that will go under the shelves in the front.

Next, cut the 1×2 side supports. Because a 1×12 board is 11 1/4″ wide and the back support is going against the wall first and a front trim piece will go under the shelf, your side supports should be cut to 9 3/4″ long (11 1/4″ – 3/4″ – 3/4″ = 9 3/4″). Since I had 5 shelves, I cut ten side supports at 9 3/4″ long.

Pantry shelf supports cut to size from 1x2 boards

4. Attach supports to wall for DIY pantry shelves

Use a a pencil and mark where you want your pantry shelves to be hung on the wall. I kept the same location as my old shelves and allowed for 11″ between the top and bottom of each shelf.

Attach your back wall shelf supports to the wall first using a level to ensure they are level. I first attached my boards with a brad nailer to hold them in place since I was installing them by myself.

attach pantry shelf support to wall with level and brad nailer first

Then, I used a stud finder to locate the wall studs and drilled a screw through the supports into the wall stud to make them extra secure.

I used this same method for our DIY corner pantry shelves too, it works great!

secure DIY pantry shelves support boards into pantry wall stud with a drill and screw

Repeat the above steps for the side support boards. For these boards I had to use my mini level to fit. Also, if you don’t have a wall stud on one of the walls, you can use wall anchors.

use a mini level for pantry shelf side wall support boards

5. Fill holes and paint pantry supports and wall

Fill any nail holes and screw holes with spackle. Although these holes won’t really show, I still filled the ones at eye level. Then, I painted the whole closet in Alabaster by Sherwin Williams (eggshell finish).

Also, at this point I painted my five 1×2 front trim boards too. Allow the paint to fully dry.

6. Attach DIY pantry shelves to support boards and add front trim boards

Start from the bottom and place your DIY wood pantry shelves on top of the supports. After placing each shelf down, use a clamp to hold the 1×2 front trim board underneath of the stained shelf and secure it in place with a brad nailer and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

Lastly, secure the stained shelf boards in place with brad nails through the top edges of them into the support braces. Continue this process for each board.

place diy wood pantry shelves on top of shelf supports

secure diy pantry shelves to front trim boards with brad nailer and clamp

That’s it! I think it looks way better than wire shelves and I can’t wait to organize our pantry items on our new DIY pantry shelves!

Here is a before and after comparison:

wire shelves in pantry before makeover with new shelves

DIY Pantry Shelves with closet door open

I hope this tutorial on how to build pantry shelves has been helpful!! Check out my final small pantry organization makeover and my DIY Pantry labels too!

And if you’re interested in corner pantry shelving, don’t forget to check out our DIY corner closet shelves!

Follow along for my latest projects and sneak peaks on Instagram and YouTube!

DIY Pantry Shelves Pin

up close photo of DIY Pantry Shelves with stained wood shelves



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Sunday 6th of August 2023

P.S. your blog is dangerous because I want to try literally all the things!!!!


Sunday 6th of August 2023

I found your page on TikTok searching for pantry makeovers! Anyway, I barely know how to use my drill. Do you still think this is possible for someone like me to try? We just moved into a new build and aaaaaall the shelving in the home is wired shelves. Definitely not a fan!! I feel like I want to try this but also wondering if I should just hire someone so I don’t mess something up. 😂

Angela Marie Made

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

When I first started out, I didn't know how to use a drill at all! You can definitely accomplish this, the pantry shelves are a great project for beginners! If it's something you think you would enjoy doing, I would give it a shot instead of hiring out!


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

You inspired me to replace our metal shelves with wood. Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial. Also, purchased a brad nailer for the project and it will come in handy when we replace our flooring!

Angela Marie Made

Wednesday 15th of March 2023

So happy that you were inspired!! It's going to look amazing!


Monday 2nd of January 2023

Thank you for all of these tips, they were very helpful - we did this project this weekend and it came out beautifully! Your advice made it a very straightforward project.

Angela Marie Made

Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

So happy to hear that!! I'm so glad it was helpful!


Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Also, did you wait 30 days for the polyurethane to cure before putting your items on the shelves? If not, how long did you wait?

Angela Marie Made

Monday 14th of November 2022

No, I just waited for it to fully dry, I didn't wait for them to fully cure.