How To Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet?

A freestanding pantry cabinet build expands the storage capacity of your kitchen cabinets.

Pantry cabinets can be used to store necessities like pasta and cereal boxes, bulk food, and canned items.

These tall, narrow cabinets can store in a short amount of floor space so that even non-food objects like plates and small appliances find a home in them.

You can create your DIY pantry cabinet utilising pre-veneered hardwood plywood, a few specialized woodworking tools, and two days to construct.

I’ll describe how to build a freestanding pantry in this article.

As I just said, they are the fundamental guidelines, there are various ways to spruce up the appearance of your new storage cabinet.

Consider adding furniture feet at the bottom, a chevron door overlay, fancy cabinet knobs, or space for wires and charging stations in the rear of the shelves, as I did.

Read on!

Before You Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet:

This do-it-yourself pantry cabinet has the typical measurements for a single-wide kitchen pantry cabinet: 84 inches high, 24 inches wide, and almost 24 inches deep.

Most of the cabinet is constructed from furniture-grade, high-quality hardwood veneer plywood with up to 15 plies (or layers).

There are only three to five plies in typical plywood.

Pantry doors and shelves made of plywood have open edges that display the plies.

The edges are covered by hardwood edge banding.

Finishing the Pantry Cabinet:

The hardwood veneer can be stained and coated with clear polyurethane to match the kitchen cabinets.

Use a wooden veneer that matches or is somewhat comparable to the cabinets.

Building with veneer plywood is still beneficial for a painted pantry cabinet since the veneer evens out the plywood.

If you know you’ll be painting the pantry cabinet, pick one of the less costly veneers like maple or birch.

Tools Required to build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet:

How to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

The veneer sheet plywood must be cut using a table saw.

If you don’t have a table saw, you may find several lumberyards that will cut plywood to size.

You’ll also require a few components and tools for creating cabinets.

Edge banding:

Edge banding is a wood veneer that is sold in rolls 25 or 50 feet long made up of thin strips.

Heat-sensitive adhesive holds the banding to the plywood’s edges.


The heat-sensitive glue on the edge banding is activated by a regular clothing iron.

Pocket hole jig:

A pocket hole jig makes it simpler to drill holes into the wood at precise angles since it can be difficult to do it by hand.

The pocket holes are then filled with screws.

The price range for pocket hole jigs is $40 to $120.

Hidden hinge jig:

To install concealed cabinet hinges also known as European-style hinges.

The holes in the cabinet must be drilled using a $30–$40 tool called a concealed hinge jig.

A shelf pin jig:

It is a crucial template for drilling holes in the metal shelf supports known as shelf pins.

They may be purchased for $40 to $50,

DIY to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet:

1. Size the plywood:

Size the plywood
  • Below is a cut list for building a freestanding storage cabinet that measures 74 x 22 x 16 3/8″.
  • 3/4-inch plywood.
  • 2 sides, measuring 22 by 74 inches; 2 top and bottom dimensions, 15 by 22 inches; and 1/2-inch plywood.
  • 1 – back, 15 x 74.
  • 1 – door, 14 1/2 x 73″.
  • 1 – stationary shelf, 21 1/4 x 15′′.
  • Moveable shelves, 4 of them, 21 1/4 x 14 5/8″.

As I cut my pieces, I always mark them to help me stay organized.

I make a note of the exterior, front, back, and the location of the pocket holes.

I’ve also revised my DIY freestanding pantry plans to account for what I really ought to have done.

I used 12″ for the back and of my pantry, which I see as the superior choice.

For the entire pantry base, 34″ would have been preferable.

2. Make holes for shelf pins:

Make holes for shelf pins

The shelf pin jig and drill are used to create a row of shelf pin holes on one of the side pieces.

The final 4 inches of either end should not have any holes added because then there won’t be any room for shelving.

The inside side panels should have a row of shelf pin holes added to the front and back.

With a pinhole jig, it’s simple.

When considering how to construct a standalone pantry for your house, you have choices.

You can also utilise every permanent shelf in the cabinet if you don’t have a shelf pin jig.

3. Edging plywood:

Set the iron’s heat to HIGH.

Disable the steam feature.

Each of the four shelves’ short edges should have a 1/2-inch veneer banding applied to it.

Wrap the door’s four borders in veneer banding.

4. Pocket-hole drilling:

Pocket-hole drilling

Back piece:

Pick which side of the back piece you want to face the interior of the freestanding pantry cabinet.

It will be facing the opposite wall.

The back piece should now have its back facing up.

Utilizing the drill and pocket hole jig, make six pocket holes on each long side and three on each short side.

Top and bottom:

Place three pocket holes along the front border of each and four pocket holes on the 23-inch sides of the top and bottom, respectively.

Internal brace:

Make two pocket holes on each of the internal brace’s three cabinet-facing sides.

The edge banding will be put on the room-facing side of the fourth side.

5. Connect the sides to the back:

Connect the sides to the back

Apply a tiny layer of wood glue to one of the back piece’s long sides.

Form a 90-degree angle by joining one of the side pieces to the back piece.

The edge of the rear piece should be hidden by the side piece’s overlap and covering.

Use 1-inch screws to fasten the side and rear pieces together by inserting them into the pocket holes.

Use the drill’s extension bit to provide access.

Once one side is complete, attach the second side to the back piece.

6. Build the base for the freestanding pantry:

to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

Attach the top and bottom pieces of the freestanding pantry to the side panels with pocket hole screws.

Ensure that the pocket hole is outside.

The pantry’s rear should then be attached.

Place the pantry cabinet vertically.

Three sides of the top piece should have a thin bead of adhesive.

The top piece should slip in between the sides and the rear.

It is ideal for the top edge of the side and rear parts to meet the top of the top piece flush.

The top ought to fit snugly.

If not, secure it with two bar clamps.

Insert 1-inch screws into the pocket holes.

Install the pantry bottom similar to the pantry top by sliding it between the sides and rear.

The primary difference is that the pantry bottom must be positioned four inches above the freestanding pantry cabinet’s bottom border.

Install an internal brace:

The internal brace should be inserted between the back and the sides.

The brace must be level because it doubles as a useful shelf.

Drive 1-inch screws into the pocket holes in the brace to secure.

This length requires fixed support for a freestanding cabinet.

The area at the back will be used for storage, and there may be chargers and cords running along the inside back of the cabinet.

Make holes in the door for the hinges:
Make holes in the door for the hinges

Drill two holes in one of the door’s long sides using the hinge jig.

Eight inches should separate the first and second holes from either end.

You can use a typical piece of plywood to make a freestanding pantry door or you can take it a step beyond and add a chevron overlay.

Edge banding should be added to the door’s outside whether you overlay it or leave it plain.

It will hide the plywood’s jagged edges.

Use an edge band trimmer to remove any extra after ironing it on.

Add pantry face frame:
Add pantry face frame to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

When I get to that stage of a construction project, I never cut my trim until I have added the pantry face frame.

The 1 x 2 frame face should be cut to the cabinet’s length.

The two sides should be put in first, flush with the base of the cabinet.

To secure, fasten with wood glue and 1″ brad nails.

The central parts at the top and bottom are measured, cut, and attached.

When the wood filler has dried, fill any nail holes with it before lightly sanding the surfaces.

Finish the cabinet with coatings or paint:
Finish the cabinet with coatings or paint

The door of the freestanding pantry cabinet should be painted or coated with stain.

The front, sides and front edges of the pantry cabinet, the cabinet door, and the top, bottom, and front edges of the shelves are a few examples of surfaces that need to be finished.

Join the pantry door:

Flip the pantry cabinet over.

First, attach the hinges to the door by inserting their rounded ends into the previously made holes.

The door’s hinges should be secured with screws.

Activate the hinges.

Elevate the door until the other end of the hinge is resting against the inside face frame of the cabinet.

Screws are used to affix the hinges to the face frame.

Insert a cabinet pull:
Insert a cabinet pull to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

Knock on the door.

Set the pantry cabinet upright gently.

Drill the cabinet and pull holes in the door using the drill.

Install the cabinet pull using screws.

Put shelves in the freestanding pantry:

Finally, add the shelf pegs and place the shelves where you want them.

FAQ- How to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet?

Q1. What is the finest material for building pantry shelves?

Plywood is the typical material used for pantry shelves.

It can be cut easily with any table saw and it is available in practically all hardwood species.

Plywood is the ideal material for pantry shelves since it can have wood trim or iron-on veneer banding on its sides.

Q2. Is building a pantry less expensive?

With an average price of $2,000, building a pantry might cost anywhere from $1,100 to $2,900.

The main costs for building a pantry are the walls, shelves, and wiring.

On the upper end, expect to pay $450 per linear foot and $20 to $40 per square foot.

Q3. What is the name of a secret pantry?

A butler’s pantry or scullery can be hidden or camouflaged with proper design.

Having a separate door for the room or using creative cabinetry that makes the door look like a cupboard can be accomplished.

A scullery or butler’s pantry’s key characteristic is intended to be concealed.


It is simple to build a freestanding pantry cabinet.

Speaking of appearance, I think it looks great in this room!

The addition of storage space to our tiny kitchen and eating area was made possible by this weekend’s DIY project.

You can see how simple it is to build any type of storage now that I’ve shown you in this article.

Hello and welcome to House Modify! I am Rahul and I am passionate about everything related to design, decoration and renovation. I am a serial renovator, currently working as a civil engineer. Take a look around, leave a comment and don't forget to subscribe to my emails so you don't miss out!

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