DIY Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves for Under $30 Each

by ChrisGagnon
2 Materials
2 Hours

Do you ever forget about kitchen items you own because they ended up buried in the back of one of your cabinets? Deep base cabinets are great for the storage of large pots and pans, but things often get pushed to the back and forgotten about or left there to avoid having to bend down and dig them out. Pull-out cabinet shelves are the perfect solution to that problem and make the best use of all available storage by making it easily and instantly accessible!

I built pull-out cabinet shelves for my kitchen base cabinets and could not be happier with how much function they add to our kitchen. Even though the storage space was there all along, it was virtually hidden and the pull-out shelves brought our stored items back into use. This project was not difficult but if you are unfamiliar with using pocket hole screws, it may take a bit of practice and therefore, I would describe it as a medium difficulty project.

DIY pull out shelving

You Will Need:

  • ¾ Inch Plywood cut into 3-inch wide strips (About 1 sheet of plywood for every 4 drawers)
  • 1x4 boards
  • Pocket hole jig and screws
  • Clamp
  • Chop saw
  • Drill
  • 30 Inch Undermount drawer slides (two for each shelf)
  • Wood stain to match cabinet shade
Cut Shelf Sides

Step 1: Cut Shelf Sides

I ripped a sheet of plywood into 3-inch wide strips. I then cut the strips into two different sized pieces. One size was to make the short ends of my shelves and the other was to make the long sides. I used a chop saw to make the cuts for enough pull-out shelves for all of my base cabinets.

Cut Shelf Bases

Step 2: Cut Shelf Bases

I used a table saw to cut a board for each shelf base. I used the same sheet of ¾ inch plywood to make these base pieces and the sides in the step above.

Arrange Wood and Tools

Step 3: Arrange Wood and Tools

I separated and stacked the shelf components and gathered the tools I needed to create the pull-out shelves for my cabinets. You will need a pocket hole jig and a drill to make the holes to build the drawers.

Drill Pocket Holes

Step 4: Drill Pocket Holes

I used a pocket hole jig and drill to create pocket holes all the way around the border of the shelf base to connect it securely to the shelf sides and ends.

Drill Pocket Holes on Side Pieces

Step 5: Drill Pocket Holes on Side Pieces

I repeated the same procedure I used to drill the pocket holes on the shelf bases on the shelf sides. I used these holes to connect each shelf end to each shelf side.

Clamp Sides and Assemble Shelf Frame

Step 6: Clamp Sides & Assemble Shelf Frame

I attached the shelf sides to the shelf ends with a clamp and used a drill to insert the pocket screws into the pre-drilled pocket holes.

Attach Shelf Base to Sides

Step 7: Attach Shelf Base to Sides

I turned the shelf on its side and repeated the same procedure as above, inserting the pocket screws into the pre-drilled holes along the border of the drawer base.


Step 8: Sand

I used a hand sander to smooth and finish the surface of the shelves. This will be the most time-consuming part of the project if you are building a large number of shelves.

Attach Drawer Slides to Shelf

Step 9: Attach Drawer Slides to Bottom of Shelf

I used 30-inch drawer slides. Screw the drawer slides into the underside of the cabinet shelf on both sides. Depending on the weight you anticipate loading on them, be sure to choose a set of drawer slides that is rated to support that weight. I used these slides as a guide for where to drill the holes for the wood they will sit on inside the cabinets in the following step.

Attach Drawer Slides to Cabinet Interior

Step 10: Attach Drawer Slides to Cabinet Interior

I used scrap 1x4 wood to create a raised platform for the drawer slides to sit on rather than install the slides directly to the thin floor of the cabinet. The boards fit inside the cabinet bottom and the slides attached to these scrap boards connect to the slides on the base of the shelf

Stain the Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves

Step 11: Stain the Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves

I used a rag to apply a shade of wood stain to match the shade of my kitchen cabinets and applied the stain to the entire surface of the shelf. Let dry.

Install Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves

Step 12: Install Pull-Out Cabinet Shelves

Once the stain was dry, I installed my pull-out cabinet shelves in my kitchen base cabinets. I slid the shelves onto their corresponding drawer slides.

Fill Cabinets and Enjoy

Step 13: Fill Cabinets and Enjoy 

After installing the new pull-out cabinet shelves, I added all of the heavy pots and pans back to my cabinets and looked forward to accessing them with much more ease! I put my heaviest pots in the back of the sliding cabinet shelving so that their weight would be supported by the base cabinet when the drawer is fully extended.

This project was worth the effort it took to achieve increased accessibilty to even the hardest to reach storage areas in my kitchen. The added function from my pull-out cabinet shelves makes my life easier and helps me make better use of all of my kitchen equipment. 

Have you taken on a project to improve your cabinet storage? What tips do you have for the hard to reach areas in your kitchen cabinets? Share your ideas and DIY projects or get inspired to try a project like this one on Hometalk!

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Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Carol Freihaut Carol Freihaut on Feb 12, 2020

    I like what you've done; Do pots or ? ever fall off the sliding 'drawer' into the back of the cabinet?

  • Todd Thrash Todd Thrash on Jul 24, 2020

    What bottom mount slides did you use? I'm not finding anything that I like.

Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • Phylis F. Phylis F. on May 04, 2022

    I didn’t have the tools or know-how to do this project. Instead I bought 2 plastic dish pans from the dollar store. Easy to pull out and clean, and the price was right.

  • Ellie Lajuett Ellie Lajuett on Jan 06, 2023

    Great idea and I need that!