No Kitchen Pantry? Upcycle an Old Bookshelf Into THIS!

13 Materials
3 Hours

If you're tired of cramming food into your pantry, and then having to unpack every shelf to find the item you're looking for, then you are not alone!

I was so tired of having too little pantry space, but I wasn't in the market for a pantry expansion or buying new cabinetry. Instead, I I spotted an old bookshelf and had a spark of inspiration.

Here's how I turned an old bookshelf into the extra pantry space I needed. The best part of this little functional flip? It's not just a space-booster, it's a style-booster too, thanks to some chicken wire and farmhouse fairy dust!

Check out the video for more how-to's!

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)

Start by sanding every surface of your bookshelf. I wanted a rough, rustic look, so I didn't stress about sanding to too smooth of a finish, but I did want the surface to absorb the paint.

Then, I added my paint. I used a charcoal grey color that I knew would mesh well in my kitchen. Again, I wasn't so careful about getting full coverage.

Next, I measured the length of the front of the bookcase and cut 4 pieces of wood to that size. These would be the sides of the 2 cabinet doors.

Then, I measured the width and cut 4 pieces of wood for the tops and bottoms of the cabinet doors.

After that, I drilled pocket holes and attached 2 long boards and 2 short boards together to create the cabinet door. I repeated these steps for the second cabinet door.

I added a light coat of walnut-colored stain, because dark wood is my favorite. I rubbed it on and then hastily rubbed away the excess, so that it left behind a lighter kind of wash. Just one coat was enough for the look I wanted.

Next, I added hinges to the tops and bottoms of the outer sides of the doors.

The final touch was stapling chicken wire on the inside of each door frame. This would help to ever so slightly hide the contents of the pantry without making them invisible, and it adds some great farmhouse charm.

After the chicken wire was all stapled down, I snipped off the excess using pliers.

Next, I attached the cabinet doors to my bookshelf. Thanks to my pre-assembled hinges, this step was a breeze.

Finally, I added 2 brushed metal handles, completing my rustic storage piece.

I had some help moving my brand new extra pantry into my kitchen, and then I loaded her up with cans and jars. Ta da!

How simple was that? A quick makeover and a quick fix to a very common problem. Hope this inspires you to DIY your own home solutions!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Tricks To Help You Fix The Wood In Your Home:
30 Creative Painting Techniques & Ideas You MUST See
Hide Your Couch's Wear and Tear With These Great Ideas
29 Ways To Get A Splash Of Blue In Your House
Fake It Until You Make It! 27 Creative Hacks for High-End Looks
Upcycle Your Old Clothing Items For These Great Ideas!
Use Ribbon To Decorate For Christmas With These Last Minute Ideas!
18 Wintery Wreath Ideas That You'll Want To Make For Your Home
Valentine's Day Is Getting Closer! Get Ready With These Lovely Ideas
21 Ways To Use Those Pickle Jars You've Been Saving
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
15 Totally Doable Makeover Ideas You Can Finish In One Day
15 Memorial Day Crafts
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number

Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

2 of 30 comments
  • Bbunny
    on Jun 3, 2020

    I also used the bookshelf idea in my utility room to create a pantry although mine is not this cute, but it's behind closed doors and works for me. The top of the 6 ft. bookshelf is for the biggies -- gallon of vinegar, coffee, etc.; next shelf is for cake mixes, "extras" -- mayo, pickles, etc.; next shelf is for soups and canned goods; next for canned fruit, tomatoes, meat; next for snacks, beverages, box/dried items; bottom is for cereals, envelope mixes (stored in a "shoebox" container), cookies (same) and crackers, etc. I also have another bookshelf that stores facial tissue, cleaning products, pet treats, etc. This makes it easy to find items, store items, and see at a glance what items need to be added to the grocery list.

  • Jwien
    on Jun 13, 2020

    Great way to expand your space! I used an old PIE SAFE for my dishes, glasses and serving ware.

Your comment...