Asked on Feb 21, 2016

How can I add shelves to my tall kitchen cupboard to use wasted space?

Wylie Ziegler
by Wylie Ziegler
I just moved into a mobile home and it has nice kitchen cupboards. Unfortunately the tall cupboards don't have shelves, so a large portion of the cabinet is wasted. I'd like to add shelves inside the cabinet so I can fit more inside. I've tried the wire shelving (shown) but they never fit exactly right, I don't like the way they look and depending on the size of the item you put on the shelf it can slide right through the holes. Can anyone suggest a fairly easy DIY inexpensive way to add shelves? They could be made of wood, plexi-glass or whatever else would work. They don't have to look perfect. For right now I'm concerned more about the use and affordability rather than the looks (I can always stain wood later or purchase more expensive wood at a later date). Please help! Any suggestion are appreciated!
This is a pic of one of my open kitchen cabinets. You can see how much space is wasted above the mugs
Attempting to fit one of the wire shelves inside the cabinet. I don't like these and would prefer a different option.
  11 answers
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Feb 22, 2016
    Hi, perhaps you can try using two tension rods with a piece of glass, cut to size on top as the shelf? The cupboards are so pretty and the pattern on the doors are such a nice feature. Adding a wooden shelf might "break" the look of the feature (I'm assuming the pattern is semi- transparent?). The rods will also allow you to adjust the shelves whenever you want to.
  • Laurilli Laurilli on Feb 22, 2016
    I agree with Michelle, but I would use a wood cleat on the sides and use wire shelf with plexi-glass or just a heavier piece of plexi by its self. You still get the light coming thru, but it's a little more stable(glassware can get heavy). Also maybe a small cleat on the upright between the doors so the plexi doesn't bow.
  • Dawn Villines Dawn Villines on Feb 22, 2016
    btdt. Used white MDF cause had some but you could use plywood etc. Used simple drawer guides and mounted inside cabinet at height that worked for me. Got the longest ones, since the cabinet goes so far back into oblivion. Cut the MDF to fit and then cut other pieces to run along the top of the sides of the flat shelf, just a couple inches tall, to keep things from falling off when you pull the shelf out. Tilt them in, wheels lock into the guides and viola... no more wasted space and can utilize the depth of the cabinets as well, still accessing everything.
  • Trudy Connor Trudy Connor on Feb 22, 2016
  • Ellen Ellen on Feb 22, 2016
    Attach wooden cleats along either side of cupboard for a shelf to rest on at whatever height works for you and if you don't like the exposed edge, a piece of moulding along the front of the shelf would hide all the necessary bits. Storage space in modular homes is at a premium. Once you have a shelf up the you could also use the under shelf wire units that attach by sliding over the shelf. Lots of shelves have lots of space that isn't utilized.
  • Debbie Debbie on Feb 22, 2016
    love the ideas. so much better than mine. I was going to tell you there are adustable width wire shelving.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 22, 2016
    Hi! We just built shelving in my daughter's pantry. We used the brackets that attached to the back of the wall with screws, then the brackets are attached to the underside of the wood shelves. We used stained pine shelving but you could use whatever you have.
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  • Becky Vaughn Becky Vaughn on Feb 22, 2016
    Hubby took a 1 x 12 and used a peg board scrap to measure holes up and down both edges. Then stood them up inside and put in pegs. Then added shelves.
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  • Hester Adamson-Bounds Hester Adamson-Bounds on Feb 22, 2016
    I would drill holes that would fit the size pegs you would like to use. There are different diameters. Then measure the inside of the cabinet and go to a glass company and have them cut you some shelves to fit and make sure they finish the sides and make sure the glass is tempered. It cost more for tempered but then the are thicker and will hold the load better without breaking. Then on top of the cupboard I would add some low energy lights that will come on when you open the doors or will stay on and that way will light up the glass doors on the cupboard that could always be like a night light in the dark for those late night snaking binges.
  • Dian Dian on Feb 24, 2016
    EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!! If you add any kind of shelf supports, you MUST use a level to keep the tracks, holes -whatever support you do- level & even with each other. Unless you like crooked & wobbly shelves.
  • Moxie Moxie on Feb 24, 2016
    I used the cheap shelving you can buy at big box stores and cut it to fit in my cabinet width; my cabinets had the adjustible shelf holes so I just bought more plastic keepers..but if yours have no holes you could use ledger boards or brackets; just be aware of your screw length so you don't pop through to the next cabinet...pretty cabinet doors btw