Food Storage Shelf

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 11:56
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Build a produce food storage drying rack! Free plans from

Hi everyone and Happy Monday!!!


A few weeks back, on our Facebook Page, you asked for a food storage shelf.


Now I get it.  When harvest time comes, you need somewhere to dry all of your produce and store it for the winter.  If taken care of properly, you could be enjoying garden fresh carrots and potatoes all winter long!


But I really like to try to have each plan built before it gets posted - just in case it's got a flaw or it could be made better.


Serena, one of our lovely readers, was so kind to volunteer to build this food storage shelf for us!




And I am so glad she did!



Because Serena noted that the top shelf was a little tight on space.



So we made the plan a little better for you and suggest putting the top brace on top - not in front.  I think the cat approves!


Thank you so much Serena for making this plan possible!  




Shopping List

4 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long 14 – 1x3 @ 8 feet long 7 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long 1 ¼” and 2” finish nails 2” screws Recommend also 2 ½” PH screws

Cut List

FRAME 4 – 2x2 @ 41 ½” (legs) 16 – 1x3 @ 23 ½” (side drawer glides) 2 – 2x2 @ 41” (LP to SP, both ends cut at 60 degrees off square, ends parallel) 4 – 2x2 @ 20 ½” (longest points, one end cut at 60 degrees off square, other at 30 degrees off square, ends are cut in same direction but not parallel) 4 – 1x3 @ 25 ¼” (front/back supports) DRAWERS 14 – 1x2 @ 23 ½” 14 – 1x2 @ 20 ½” 49 – 1x3 @ 23 ½”

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

It is very important to make sure that the ends are built identical and square. The side rails will actually serve as drawer guides, so you will want to make sure the guides are attached square too. I recommend first taking all of your 2x2 legs and marking all of them at the same time with the side rail locations. Then you can attach. You can attach the siderails with 2” finish nails and glue.

Step 2

Now the X braces will keep everything square. Some miter saws will cut a 60 degree angle, but if yours does not, you will need to mark the angle with a square or protractor and cut with a circular saw. Remember that the angle is 60 degrees OFF SQUARE, so this would mean 30 degrees from the edge of the board. Attach the cross braces to all siderails and legs.

Step 3

Once both legs are done, all you have to do is add the front/back supports.

Step 4

And then build trays. Trays must be built square to slide right.

Step 5

Step 6

Serena felt like the original instructions made the top shelf too tight for accessing produce, so we modified to place the front support on top. She blocked the front just for decorative purposes. This makes the top shelf much larger.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Mon, 06/18/2012 - 13:11

Sooooo building this, especially for things like onions that need to be kept dry to store well :D

Guest Lucy (not verified)

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 15:17

Great idea. Questions: Is this for indoor storage? How do you keep the critters out? I'm new to drying food so not sure if this is something I could use but sure seems like a good idea.

wimsy (not verified)

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 09:02

I made a rack similar to this, and I covered top, bottom, back and sides (all except the front of course) with window screening to keep the bugs out. The front has a screen "door" with self-closing hinges that opens to slide the racks out . Works like a charm, and easy to clean.

Cutter (not verified)

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 16:07

Very nice design, Ana. I think I'll have to add this to my summer Project "Honey Do List". I've been trying to decide how I was going to store my root veggies this year, to avoid rot & waist. I think I just found how. Thank's !! :)

Michelle S. (not verified)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 07:07

I am so in love with this project, that I want to marry it! So great!!!

Anni (not verified)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 12:44

Looking fwd. of building this one with my Hubby, and what a great Idea to keep our Pantry organized. Onions and Potatoes being stored neatly.
Thanks for sharing this on Facebook.

sgilly02 (not verified)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 17:11

I really like this idea for a pantry, and would just love to have something that would make all the different fruits and veggies look so darned pretty. What a great job!
I have a thought and a question. First, I have onion skins all over my pantry where I store my onions (Maybe I'm just messy!). I might think about adding a solid-bottomed drawer at the very bottom, to catch all the stuff that will fall through the cracks in the upper drawers. That could easily be pulled out and emptied and would save me from having to move the whole thing to clean under it.
And, as I'm probably older than most of you, my info about storing different fruits and veggies might no longer be relevant, but I grew up thinking that you shouldn't store potatoes and onions near each other, and that apples kept with other fruits and veggies would speed up their ripening process. Any thoughts about that? Maybe since this is open storage that wouldn't be a problem (if it ever really was :-) )

Stephanie (not verified)

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 10:08

You are right - onions and potatos don't do well stored together. I'm wondering if apples are also a poor match to either the onions or the potatoes.... guess I'll have to go hit up google for more info!


Thu, 09/06/2012 - 12:59

I read somewhere that you should store apples and potatoes together--the apples help keep the potatoes from sprouting. Other than that, I don't know.