DIY Slide-out Boxes For Pantry Shelf

We downsized a couple of years ago, and unfortunately, the condo we purchased has hardly any cupboard/pantry space. I would pack items onto the shelves, but there was a big problem in keeping everything organized. It was hard to see everything on the bottom shelf, especially the items that were pushed to the back, and even on the top shelf it was hard to see everything that got pushed to the back without taking items out.
What I decided we needed were a couple of slide-out boxes so I could easily get to the items in the back. After looking in the stores, with measuring tape in hand, I decided to custom make my own boxes.
After looking around at all the boxes we had, I discovered that Amazon boxes where the perfect size and were very sturdy. These were being used as slide-out only, so I wanted the front of the box, that faced the open doors, to be even sturdier than they already were.
I took the flaps and cut them down, using an X-acto knife to get a sharp, clean edge, I cut them the height of my box and using duck tape, taped it to the top of the box and a bit on the bottom to hold it in place.
You can see from this photo, I took an end flap and cut that to fit in the bottom middle to keep the bottom even and give more support. Again, duck tape to the rescue. I had some white cotton duck fabric and used that for the lining.
After determining how much to cut, to took the fabric and place it over the bottom of the box (box is obviously upside down at this point), and brought the ends together and pinned.
After removing the lining, I took Elmer's glue and glued all the open fabric where I had pinned it.
Put the lining back in the box, and using Mod Podge, glue the fabric to the inside sides of the box and just a bit on the bottom edges. I also found some nice printed fabric, on sale at Joanne Fabrics, to cover the outside of my boxes with. Take your box and place on the fabric. Trace around the bottom of the box and measure out enough for the fabric to go up the sides of the box and add an additional 2 inches to that.
Cut your rectangle out and at the corners, you'll make a diagonal cut about 1 1/2 out from the corners of your box, then cut the excess square away. You won't need that part (see the square in the photo above)
It should look like this after cutting. One of the flaps will be glued fabric to fabric (like shown above, and then glued to the box, but not until the other flap is glued around the corner of the box.
I used Mod Podge to glue all the raw fabric edges to the inside. Depending on where you live and the time of year, you can use spray adhesive to glue your fabric to your box. Unfortunately, we have cold and snow and that's why I used Mod Podge. Take note: Spray adhesive is great, but is highly flammable so it must be used outside or near a source of good ventilation.
After gluing all your fabric to your box, bring whatever is left, up and over the edges and glue the outer fabric to your lining.
This was our cupboard before. You can see how it's hard to tell what's in the back along the top and bottom shelf.
And after...
It works just like I was hoping it would...PERFECT!

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Skl16023725 Skl16023725 on Jan 11, 2017
    I have a pantry with wire shelving, any ideas on how to covert to solid shelves?


Join the conversation

2 of 47 comments
  • Claudia Claudia on Apr 10, 2017
    The cardboard box storage idea is awesome I tried it myself and it was great.

  • Claudia Claudia on Apr 10, 2017
    The lazy susans help save alot of space
    I love it. You can everything at your finger tips.