Pretty Pantry Overhaul

I’ve  rewritten this post a number of times now and I’ve been holding off because I wanted to finish some new container labels . Maybe I should have considered writing this in two parts but I just wanted it all together. That being said, you’ve been warned it’s a long one.

We have a pretty decent sized pantry. Not huge but it could defiantly be considered a walk in style. The major downside with our pantry is that the only shelving it had was 4 deep shelves. It isn’t really a great use of space and it’s pretty hard to organize things like cans that had to be all stacked on top and in front of one another.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a before photo before I started cleaning out the pantry but you can imagine it was pretty much a mess. Here it is mid clean out.

Pantry Shelves 1

The first thing I did was pull everything out of the pantry and empty all the shelves.

Pantry Shelves 2

Since all that stuff had to go somewhere it ended up all over the kitchen.

Pantry Shelves 5

Before I started the reorganization I knew that I wanted to repaint while the pantry was empty. I liked using the Acro Pure paint in the kitchen  so I decided to try it out again. This time I had Sunken Pool from Martha Stewart Paint color matched in an eggshell sheen.

Pantry Shelves 3

At first I thought I would just try to paint around the shelves but Chris came to the rescue. He figured out how to remove the shelves from their brackets which was much easier than expected and it made it so much easier to paint. I’m so glad we pulled them out otherwise it it would have been nearly impossible and I would never have been able to get a ladder in there big enough for me to reach the ceiling.

Pantry Shelves 4

I’m pleased to say that just like last time the paint had pretty good coverage. The first coat did a good job and I just had to come back  to touch up corners and do an all over light second coat with the large roller.

Pantry Shelves 6

We went to the paint store late on Friday and unfortunately I was only able to get one of the two colors I wanted to use since there wasn’t enough time for the paint store to do a color match. Since the color I was able to get was the wall color and I’m way to impatient to wait to do things in the best order I ended up painting the ceiling last. My suggestion: just don’t do it. It worked out ok but I ended up making a mess on the wall near the ceiling and having to come back and cut a line with a small brush.

Again I used the Acro Pure this time in Love in a Mist from Martha in an Eggshell  sheen. The Love in a Mist is a really light blue which is more of a white with a blue tinge.

Pantry Shelves 7

It’s hard to tell in the photos especially with the super florescent light that is in the pantry but Sunken Pool seems to be the best match to the “Martha Stewart blue” that’s in most of her kitchen ware. I took this photo for reference after it was all done and you can sort of see how my recipe box matches up to the paint color. So, if you’re looking for a paint color to match the Martha kitchen line here is what I think it is.

Pantry Shelves 23

In between waiting for coats of paint to dry I worked on some new shelves for the pantry to replace a woefully inadequate wire shelf from target. Of course I was in such a hurry to finish I didn’t take many in action photos but it’s a pretty simple set up and tailored to our needs and pantry size.

The bottom is a 1×12 board which is the height of the first shelf already in the pantry. The next set (3 shelves) are made from 1×6 boards. The first of those shelves in the same height as the second shelf already in the pantry and the others are spaced about 9″ apart. The last tier is made of 1×4 boards and the shelves are just over 6 inches. There are also 3 – 1×2 cleats at the top of each tier to help stabilize it against the pantry wall.

I cut all my boards and drilled my kreg holes before I started to assemble which ended up being a mistake since I miscalculated how long the shelves and the cleats needed to be. Chris helped me salvage the wider boards but I ended up having to cut new cleats. I may be an engineer but simple calculations can be almost too much for me.

Pantry Shelves 10

Once we got it all figured out and assembled I filled the visible kreg holes and they we got to sanding it all down.

Pantry Shelves 9

Here’s a better side shot that shows how it went together and what the tiers look like from the side.

In the background Chris is sanding down the flat shelf that I planned on installing above the current highest self for even more storage!

Pantry Shelves 11

Chris wanted to see what it would look like in the pantry before we took the time to paint paint it so here it is. It’s a good thing that we removed the shelves since we would have never been able to get this in the pantry fully assembled with the shelves still in.

Pantry Shelves 8

Once we were sure it was ready to go we got to the painting. I used the left over primer from the garage cabinets which was the kilz 2 primer. I ended up doing 3 coats over two nights since primer dries much faster than normal paint and I was hoping to only have to do one coat of paint on top. I ended up using an off the shelf white interior paint and primer from Behr in a satin sheen. I only did one coat and it worked out pretty well. There are just a few spots that I didn’t get covered perfectly but they aren’t visible with everything put away and I can always go back and touch them up later.

Pantry Shelves 13

After everything was dry we started installing all the new shelving in the pantry. We were lucky to hit two studs with the new shelving unit which we screwed to the wall using basic countersunk screws. Once that was installed we started installing the new top shelf using 1×2 cleats. We weren’t able to hit any studs on the sides so we had to use molly bolts for those but the center is screwed straight to the studs.

Pantry Shelves 16

Here it the pantry with the old shelves installed again. It’s so hard to tell with the lighting but I’m not sure the original shelves were really a pure white but with all the shadows it’s really hard to see the difference. Maybe one day we’ll come back and change up the other shelving with somethings else to match all the new shelving.

Pantry Shelves 15

Then I started putting everything back in the pantry.

Pantry Shelves 28

Since we added the extra shelving I was able to spread out all my containers so that now I don’t have to move one container to get to another one that is hidden behind it. I even took this opportunity to create some new pretty labels to replace the labels I had handwritten before.

Pantry Shelves 26

I love the way they look now. The labels are just so pretty and professional looking, they still make me smile.

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Now here’s the new shelving unit in action. I planned it out so that the lower shelves are wide and tall enough for boxes of crackers, pasta, cake mixes and large jars. The higher shelves are intended to hold canned food.

Pantry Shelves 29

It’s so nice to finally see all the cans set out and not shoved in a corner where we can hardly tell how much of each thing we had. With the deep shelf it was so hard to tell what we had and what we needed to get. Now all it takes is a glance and I can see exactly what we have and what I need to pick up on the next grocery shopping trip.

Pantry Shelves 27

Since it’s always fun to compare side by side, here’s the before and after shot. Isn’t it just so pretty?

Pantry Shelves Before and After

I think that it was worth the work to paint and fix up the pantry and I’m so happy with all the new shelving. We didn’t get rid of much that was in the pantry before but it looks so much better and less crowded than before.

Whew, congrats on making it to the end!

Anyone else been working on your pantry or food storage?

If you’re curious about the magnet board on the back of the door check it out here

Makin’ Menus

Yesterday I posted about the new magnet board I made but I didn’t say what my plan was for it. Well I actually made it for my menu cards.

A while back I came across the idea of creating magnetic menu cards. At first I was using them on the side of the fridge. This worked out ok but there were two problems. One is that the cats love to knock them off the fridge and chew on them. The other problem was that I didn’t like looking at the mess they had become on the side of the fridge every time I walked into the kitchen.

Menu Cards 1

Not exactly the most attractive or well organized thing ever.

My initial solution was to paint the inside of the pantry door with magnetic paint . After doing some research I just wasn’t sure that it was worth trying that. Instead I decided to go with a magnet board. Something that would add a pretty decorative touch to the pantry.

Since I was making a new pretty magnet board and after my revamp of my recipe box I had to update my menu cards as well. I debated about how I wanted to make the cards and what colors I wanted to use. I finally landed on a grey on grey chevron pattern with a black border. I figured that the magnet board had enough color that I didn’t want to compete with it.

Menu Cards 2

On each of the cards I wrote down one of my tried and true meals that I make. I transferred each of the meals I had on the cards before as well as any new ones that I have begun adding to the mix. Then I cut a small strip from the roll of magnets I had and they are ready to go.

Menu Cards 3

All I had to do was slap them on my magnet board. Since I could store them all on the board I put the rest in a small container I already had and stuck it to the door with the velcro strips. I don’t love the location and I think I may end up moving it to the wall inside the pantry.

In the past I’ve used my cards in two different ways. One way is to post up whatever meals that I have the ingredients for. Then when I come home and easily see what I can make for dinner and I can pick what I want to make.

Another way I’ve used them is by going through all the cards and set out the meals that I plan on making the next week. That way I can go through the pantry and make sure to pick up what grocery’s I need when we do our weekly trip.

Menu Cards 4

The great thing about the menu cards is that it helps me to vary what I make for dinner. That way I don’t end up feeling like we are always eating the same thing week after week.

Menu Cards 5

Compared to how long it took me to create the magnet board this was a pretty quick project.

If you’re interested in making your own menu cards why not give it a try to see how it goes for you.  Below is a copy of the cards I created. Just save the file to your computer and print them on a 8×11.5 cardstock paper. Then all you need is a few magnets and you’re ready to go.

Grey Menu Card Page

If you’re interested in something with a little color you can also print out one of the other colors I created before I decided on the black and grey.

Green Menu Card Page   Pink Menu Cards   Teal Menu Card Page

Have you been working on any projects to make your kitchen run a little smoother?

Making A Custom Magnet Board

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to reveal my Pinterest Challenge results. I’m proud to say that late last night I finally got around to finishing it. If you read my post from last week I talked about wanting to create a magnet board. I actually made one and here’s how I did it follow along and you can make one too.

Magnet Board 9

I didn’t know exactly how I was going to make this but I picked up a some supplies while we were already at Home Depot getting materials for the garage cabinets. Anything else I thought I might need I figured I would have at home.

Magnet Board 1

Here’s a round up of what I ended up using:

Sheet of Zinc Metal* (18″x12″): $4.97
Hemlock Molding (7′): $4.06
Screw Eyes: $1.18
Velcro 3m Strips: $3.18
Spray Paint: On Hand
Paint Tester: On Hand ($3 each new)
Epoxy: On Hand
Ribbon: On Hand
3m Hook: On Hand
Ribbon: On Hand
Magnet Roll: On Hand
Buttons: On Hand

Total: $13.39

*As a side note it’s a good idea to bring a magnet with you to make sure the sheet you choose with work for your needs.

I used our miter saw and cut the molding down to about 1 inch shorter than my sheet metal on each side. Since our miter saw was a little off I didn’t get a perfect 45 degree cut and I had to be a little creative with trying to attach the frame. I ended up using wood glue and a lot of tape to hold it all in place and let it dry over night.

Magnet Board 2

Surprisingly when I came back the next day the glue was dry and the frame held together. Since I still had gaps at the corners I used some left over chalking to fill in the gaps.

Magnet Board 4

Once I had the frame done I decided to try painting the metal sheet. I had a paint tester that I wanted to use but I didn’t think that it would adhere to the metal. I figured that spray paint is meant to adhere to metal so pulled out a left over can I had and gave it a good coat.

Magnet Board 3

Once that was dry I used a foam roller to roll on a light coat of paint. The paint tester I used for this was Sunken Pool by Martha Stewart which I already bought to test the color on some walls in our house.

Magnet Board 5

At the same time I pulled out my tester of Love in a Mist also by Martha Stewart and painted the frame using a brush.

Magnet Board 6

The worst part about most projects is the waiting. It took me at least three nights to finish the painting since it took two coats on the sheet metal and 3 coats on the frame to get everything covered.In the end the sheet metal didn’t come out perfectly smooth but the texture isn’t really noticeable in the finished product.

Next I worked on how to attach the metal to the frame. Chris and I stood in the adhesive aisle of Home Depot trying to figure out what to use for a while. In the end I finally just decided to use an epoxy that we already had at home which we purchased for something else but didn’t end up needing it.

Unfortunately since I only cut the frame an inch smaller it made it difficult to get the frame to stay on the sheet just by holding it down. The molding has a bit of a lip on the back side that made it difficult to glue down. To combat this I grabbed about every book I had in the vicinity to make sure the epoxy would fully adhere to the frame.

Magnet Board 7

After the recommended 40 min I removed the books and took a look. For the most part it adhered except for on one of the short sides. I squirted some super glue on it and put some more books on it in hopes that it would hold it just a little better.

I think if I were to do it again I would have just used the super glue and “clamped” it with the books. That probably would have been a lot easier and I wouldn’t have worried so much about the epoxy squeezing out on the front.

Once the sheet was glued to the frame the rest was mostly the finishing touches. I used a small drill to pre-drill holes to attach screw eyes to the top of the board to hang the frame by.

I wanted to add a title to my board so I punched out some scrapbook papers and stuck on some adhesive magnets on the backs. I tried really hard to create some kind of flower to use as a magnets but I just couldn’t make something I liked. Instead I found some buttons I already had and hot glued magnets to the backs.

Magnet Board 8

Once I got everything together and added a ribbon to the board it was ready to hang. I chose to put it inside my pantry door and hung it using a white decorative 3m hook which I already had at home.

Magnet Board 11

Since the board bangs against the door when opening and closing it I attached some 3m velcro hooks to the top and bottom of the board. Now that baby is solid as a rock. I probably could have just hung it on the door with the velcro hooks but then I wouldn’t have the pretty ribbons!

Magnet Board 10

Now the question is what to do with a magnet board in the pantry? Well, you could keep a grocery list, a pantry inventory  or any other information you may not want to keep on your fridge. I’ve got a different plan for this board though. Check back tomorrow and I’ll show you what I have in mind for my new magnet board!

Anyone else creating something fun for the pinterest challenge?

Check out how I used this board by making magnet menu cards here.