How to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

Are you looking for a functional way to add storage space in your kitchen? A freestanding pantry cabinet is an ideal solution, allowing you to save time and create extra room in your kitchen. Not only will it give you a place to store food, but it also adds style and charm to any home. In this blog post, we’ll go over the basics of how to build a freestanding pantry cabinet using some basic materials and tools.

How to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

We’ll discuss selecting lumber, preparing the wood for assembly, assembling parts together, and even varnishing tips upon completion! Before long, you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to build yourself the perfect country-style pantry with finesse. Grab your supplies and get ready – let’s begin!

What is a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet?

A freestanding pantry cabinet is a storage unit that stands on its own, usually with shelves for storing canned goods and other food items. It’s designed to be easy to move around the kitchen and makes use of vertical space to maximize storage capacity. It will also give you more counter space and provide additional storage for food items that don’t fit in traditional cabinets.

Choosing the Best Wood

The best wood to use when building a freestanding pantry cabinet is plywood. Plywood is strong, lightweight and easy to work with. However, it can be expensive so you may want to consider using particle board or MDF as an alternative if you’re on a budget. Your local home improvement store should have plenty of wood in stock to choose from.

Preparing the Wood

Once you have your lumber, you’ll need to cut it down to size and sand it smoothly so that all of your pieces fit together nicely. You should use a saw and sander for this part of the process which can be rented from most hardware stores if you don’t own them. Remember to wear safety glasses and gloves while cutting and sanding.

Use a Saw

Tools and Materials Needed for Building

Materials Needed

Before you begin building your freestanding pantry cabinet, make sure you have all the materials necessary to complete the project:

  • Lumber – Use 1×4 pine boards or similar material of your choice
  • Sandpaper – For prepping the wood
  • Nails and screws – For securing parts together
  • Wood glue – To hold the pieces securely in place
  • Varnish or paint for a finishing touch

Tools Needed

The tools you’ll need to build your freestanding pantry cabinet are fairly basic but still necessary:

  • Power drill – For drilling pilot holes in the wood and driving screws or nails into place.
  • Clamps – To hold pieces of wood together while securing with glue, screws, or nails.
  • Circular saw – For cutting the lumber to size.
  • Hammer – To drive nails into place.
  • Sandpaper or sander – To prepare the wood for assembly and finishing.
  • Paintbrush – For applying varnish or paint, if desired.

Now that you’ve collected your materials and tools, you’re all set to get started!

9 Instructions on How to Build a Freestanding Pantry Cabinet

1. Measurement

Measure the space you plan to install your freestanding pantry cabinet in and decide on the size of your cabinet. While doing this, keep in mind the height of your shelves and how much storage space you plan to have.

Measure the Space

2. Cut the Wood

Using the measurements you’ve taken, cut the lumber for your cabinet using a circular saw. Make sure all pieces are cut accurately and straight to ensure that your pantry cabinet is of good quality.

3. Sand the Wood

Using sandpaper or a sander, sand down all pieces of wood to make sure they are smooth and free of any splinters. Sanding will also help prepare the wood for staining or varnishing.

4. Assemble the Sides

Use nails and/or screws to attach the sides of the cabinet together, making sure they are tightly secured together. If needed, use a power drill to create pilot holes in order to prevent the splitting of the wood when driving in nails or screws.

5. Assemble the Shelves

Use wood glue to secure the shelves into place, making sure everything is properly aligned. Clamps may also be used to hold pieces together while securing them with glue and/or nails/screws. The shelves should be attached to the sides of the cabinet with nails or screws, as well.

6. Assemble the Doors

Attach the doors to the front of your pantry cabinet using hinges. Make sure they are properly aligned and level before securing them in place. Once secure, test out how easily they open and close – if any adjustments need to be made, do so accordingly.

7. Add Finishing Touches

If adding a finish is desired, apply either varnish or paint to the pantry cabinet using a brush. Make sure to get smooth and even coverage with your coat of paint/varnish for an aesthetically pleasing look.

Apply Either Varnish or Paint

8. Install the Pantry Cabinet

Secure the pantry cabinet to the wall with screws or nails, ensuring it is level and properly aligned before doing so. The cabinet can now be securely mounted to the wall for a sturdy and long-lasting build.

9. Add Shelving and Storage Containers

Once the pantry cabinet is installed, arrange shelving and storage containers inside in order to maximize your storage space. This will make it easier to store items such as canned foods, spices, grains, and more.

Now you have a freestanding pantry cabinet that is ready to be filled and used! All that’s left to do is enjoy the convenience of having a designated storage area for all your food items. Enjoy!

8 Safety Precautions to Take

When building a freestanding pantry cabinet, there are several safety precautions you should take.

1. Always wear safety glasses and ear protection when using power tools. The protective wear will keep you safe from flying debris and noise. The noise from power tools can be damaging, so it is important to take all the necessary precautionary measures.

2. Make sure you have a stable work surface and are using a level when constructing your pantry cabinet. Having a level base will ensure that your finished product is even and safe to use.

3. Be mindful of where you place any tools or materials that you are using. Make sure they are not in the way and that you do not trip over them. The tools you are using can be dangerous, and it is important to keep them away from children or pets.

4. Make sure you are familiar with the power tools that you are using before beginning your project. Read the instructions thoroughly and practice on scrap wood if necessary so that you understand how to safely use the tool.

5. Wear gloves when sawing any type of material. Gloves can protect your hands from splinters, chips, and other debris that comes with sawing. Wearing gloves can also help you maintain a better grip on the material.

6. Unplug all power tools when not in use and keep them away from water or any other liquid. Water and electricity do not mix, so safety is paramount when dealing with power tools.

7. Dispose of sawdust and other debris properly by putting them into an appropriate container for disposal. Disposal of this material can be dangerous if done improperly, so make sure you follow all safety protocols.

8. Lastly, read through the plan that you are using and familiarize yourself with it before beginning your project. Make sure that you understand each step and any potential risks involved in completing the task.

Wear Gloves When Sawing

By following these steps, you can ensure that your pantry cabinet project will be safe and successful. It is important to take precautionary measures when using power tools, so it is best to follow all safety guidelines. Taking the time to go through the necessary safety procedures will not only protect you but also help you complete a high-quality product.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take to Finish the Project?

That will depend on your skill level, the size of the cabinet, and other factors. Generally speaking, it could take anywhere from a few hours to several days for an experienced woodworker to complete this project. It might be a good idea to set aside a few days for the project, just in case.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of the materials will depend on the size and style of the pantry cabinet you wish to build. Generally speaking, however, expect to spend around $100-$150 for a standard freestanding cabinet. The total cost may also increase with any additional features or finishes you decide to add.


Building a freestanding pantry cabinet can add style, convenience, and value to any home. As shown in this blog post on how to build a freestanding pantry cabinet, with the proper supplies, tools and some time investment, you can easily make this project a reality. Take your time with each step to ensure an end result that not only looks great and is useful for storing canned goods and other items but also lasts for years.

Make it a family activity—once your pantry cabinet is finished, join together to fill it with freshly-stocked groceries! With a dedication to detail throughout the build process and strong attention paid to each cut and fastening job you do, you will have an attractive addition to your kitchen space.

Building a freestanding pantry may take some muscle power to get started, but chances are you won’t regret the effort when you watch your handy work come alive in only a few short steps. Congratulations; now get creative, create something beautiful—and be sure to fill up all those shelves!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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