2x4 Storage Shelving

diy pantry shelving plans
Beginner Projects
| Print this plan

Free tutorial to build your own sturdy and inexpensive pantry shelving using 2x4s and 1x6 boards.  No plywood, no pocket holes - this is a beginner friendly plan that you can tackle in no time.  Step by step tutorial by Ana-White.com. 

Are you looking for inexpensive, no frills shelving, that does the job, without a ton of work?

In our pantry, I wanted a shelving solution that worked - NOT a second kitchen to have to keep clean and tidy.  

Our pantry isn't huge, so I also wanted custom shelving that went wall to wall - no awkward gaps or not the right depth shelves to deal with.  I only have one pantry, I want the shelving to be just right for it.

So I came up with this - a 2x4 framed pantry (for strength) topped with inexpensive 1x6 boards.

diy pantry shelving

It's not the most beautiful thing I've ever made or seen.  

But after almost FIVE years of using it, it's still going strong, still doing it's job, and still keeping my kitchen super clean and beautiful. This is the no frills storage solution we needed.

DIY 2x4 Pantry Shelving Features

  • Easy to build using 2x4s, 1x6s and construction screws
  • Easy to customize in size for just about any space
  • Open floor design, easy to clean underneath
  • Strong and sturdy - can hold all the cans
  • Thin shelves don't take up vertical space
  • Inexpensive to build
  • Can be used in garages, closets, playrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms - anywhere you need simple sturdy shelving!

Pantry Shelving Plans

Here's a super quick video showing the basic steps of this build.



This is a super easy build.  You'll want to customize for your space, so I'm not giving a specific cut list or shopping list.


Pin for Later!

2x4 Pantry Shelving

pantry shelving dimensions
Pantry Shelving Dimensions should be customized for the space


Shopping List
  • 2x4s for the shelf supports and center legs
  • 2x2s for the outside legs (can also use 2x4s)
  • 1x boards for tops of shelves (I used three 1x6 boards for a shelf depth of 16-1/2")
  • 3" self tapping wood screws (torq head) for 2x construction
  • 2" self tapping wood screws (torq head) for screwing shelving down
  • You'll also need a stud finder and a level
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Measure the wall to install the shelving on.

Determine how long the shelves should be.

Determine the depth you'd like to make your shelves.  Some common depths are 11-1/4" (1x12), 14-1/2" (2-1x8s), or 16-1/2" (3-1x6s, this is what I did).

Use a stud finder to locate studs in the wall.

Mark the studs with a pencil on the wall vertically, using a four foot level, as shown in the diagram.

Step 2

Cut for each shelf a 2x4 in the desired shelf length.

Then cut supports in the desired shelf depth minus 1-1/2".

You'll need a support on each end, and then center supports about every 3-4 feet.

For heavier loads, keep spans about 3' max.

Then build the shelf supports first on a flat level surface, using the longer screws.

Install the shelf supports in the pantry, using a level, at desired shelf location heights, screwing to studs in the wall.  Also screw to any side wall studs if available.

Step 3

Measure and cut the shelf boards.

Lay the shelving boards on the supports.  You can screw down now, or screw down after the legs go in, but once you add the legs, it may be difficult to get the shelf boards in place.

Step 4

Making sure the top shelf is level front to back, measure and cut the legs.

Attach legs to the top shelf support.

Then attach to lower shelf supports, using the level to ensure that each shelf front to back is level as you attach it to the legs.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill exposed screw holes with wood filler and let dry.
Sand the entire project lightly.
Finish Used
I recommend at least a clear coat to allow the project to wipe clean.
I did three coats of paint on mine.