Pantry Ideas – DIY Canned Food Storage

  Happy Monday!  So glad you are here!  To keep up with all of our projects be sure to FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I am back today to share our next ‘Shanty Storage Solution’ with you!  As I mentioned in my DIY Spice Rack post, Ash and I are on a mission to use our love of wood and DIY to create solutions for our kitchens and our homes that help things run more smoothly and efficiently.

My next project was to tackle my canned food collection!  With a family of 7, we always keep a large variety of canned foods.  What did I come up with??  These are individual canned food organizers thats store your cans, and rotate the cans to allow you to use the older dates first.  Rather than making 1 single rack, I opted to make them individual so you can make as few or as many as you need for your canned food stash!  Here is how they turned out…

Awwww… SO much better than how they used to be!  The need for this system came along with the addition of my sweet baby.  His very favorite thing to do is knock over my can stacks and roll them around the house…

I do think it’s cute, but I was going batty stacking my cans on an hourly basis!  I won’t say these are ‘baby-proof’, but I will say they have helped!

I made these canned food organizers in 2 sizes.  The larger size holds up to 12 cans, and I am sharing it today.

Here we go!


For each organizer I used 1/4″ hardwood plywood.  I bought mine in a 4’x8′ sheet and had the guys at Home Depot cut it down into 11.5″ strips.  You can also buy smaller panels like a 2’x2′ or 2’x4′ if you don’t need as many!

I also used a 1×12 for my shelf pieces.  These also come in different lengths.  I bought and 8′ board because I was making several, but you can buy a smaller one if you are not making as many.

I also use a 1/2″x2″ pine board for my bottom shelf front piece.  A 4′ piece will make 8 dividers.

When you break it down, these cost under $5 a piece to make.


For the sides you will need 2 pieces of 1/4″ plywood cut to this..

For the shelf piece I cut my 1×12 into 4.75″ pieces.  Each divider will use 2 pieces like this…

There will be a small scrap from the middle shelf piece that I will use later on a different step.

Next, I marked both of my side pieces for my shelves!  Marking them with a pencil makes lining your shelf pieces up really easy, and it keeps you from having to guess where to nail from the side.

Mark each side like this…

I found a really easy way to do this!  I used some scrap pieces cut to the dimensions above to serve as a template for each piece.  I would just lay them down, line up my middle shelf , and draw it out quick.  No need to measure each time!  This saves a ton of time!

Excuse my shanty handwriting on the blocks! 😉

Next I used Gorilla Wood Glue and finish nails to attach my shelves like this!

Easy!  And because I drew my shelves on the other side, it makes this part simple!  Just nail where the shelves are marked!

Next, I added some Gorilla Wood Glue to the shelf pieces, and attached my other side piece!

Now to finish off the front!

I used that scrap piece to cut my front piece.

This is for my middle shelf.  I just added a little glue and nailed it in place!

I used a 1/2″ x 2″ pine board for my bottom shelf piece.  Each one was 5.25″ long.

That’s it!  How simple is that?  No need to put a back on these… Once they are placed in the cabinet, the wall does the trick perfect!  I painted mine with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Heirloom White.  I also couldn’t resist the urge to add some labels.  I will be sharing those soon!

My favorite part about these babies is how they rotate my cans!  You load the cans through the top, and it allows your older dates to rotate out from the bottom first!  LOVE.  I will also be sharing my 7-can dividers that are stackable soon!

For now, here are a few more shots!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I would love for you to share and pin these below!  I will be sharing my entire pantry makeover over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!  Also, be sure to check out my Pantry Door Spice Rack!

Thanks so much guys!!

You can stay up to date with the Shanty Sisters by joining our Facebook Community!

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  • RagdollMama

    Great Idea! I need one of these for cat food cans!!!

  • Tina Marie Meckley

    Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping to make these for my new pantry we will be building soon. 🙂

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  • Phyllis Wood

    This pattern would be 13″H X 5.25″ W X 11.5″ D. Mine hold up to 10 oz (soup)-16 oz (tomatoes) cans easily. Going to play with the pattern to make holders for my pop top canned fruit and my family size soup cans. Be sure that you measure the height/depth for the middle shelf carefully. I have man sized fingers so I’ll be making the next set of middle shelves 6.25″ in long and 2″ from the front.

  • Jennifer Bartel

    what is the finished dimensions of this?

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  • April Ling

    You could totally market these and sell them!

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  • Crystal Hayward

    I like your idea. My pantry cabinets are long and narrow. like 10″ wide and maybe 17-21 ” deep. got 3 sections like that. It’s a mobile home so the pantry is flimsy wood..

  • rachiti

    Although I appreciate the design, I am rather miffed as to why you did not show the shelves before you stacked additional cans on top of them making them anything other than rotating storage because the ‘extra’ cans plunked on top would fall willy nilly or become dented if used as intended. Now I have to alter the diagram I made (as one was not provided in a logical fashion) in order to include an additional shelf. How unfortunate.

    • Dianne Clark-Fuller Lmp

      Wow, OK…if you get easily upset over a simple post of how to do something I feel sorry for you. No one says you have to stack your cans the exact same way. If you’re afraid of them denting than find another way to store your canned goods. But for heaven’s sake you don’t have to give someone an attitude over it.

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  • Carol Prieto

    Looking for the instructions for the 7 can holder. Can someone please share if you have it. Thanks!

  • agshare

    I saw these in plastic in a mail order I wish I could remember which one.something like harriet carter,or drake….for people who arent handy.

  • Pamela Lindstrom Adamson

    If you can’t build these, may I recommend a supplier named Uline.
    They are a Mom and Pop that has grown into a great company.

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  • Ana Ortiz

    Do you have any picutres of the completed organizer without the cans in it?

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  • christina

    Shanty2Chic WHERE DID YOU GET THE LABELS? Is that your handwriting? I love them

  • TShearon

    Just got to looking at this and realized you can make this pretty much as large as you want as long as the materials used will hold the weight. Just add additional shelves above as done with the middle shelf in an alternating pattern so the cans roll back and forth.

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  • Andrew

    I made 5 of these over the weekend using your instructions and they are fantastic! I wish I had your creativity to think up projects like these.

    One thing I’d note from my experience is to be careful about the height with the front pieces: if you make them too high, it’ll be difficult to get the cans out. I made the mistake of cutting all 5 pieces and glued and used a brad nailer on all of them, before testing. Then had to tear them all out and redo….

  • Heidi74

    I want to cry I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time!

  • ToriBeard

    I need at least ten of these!!! Both the 12 can AND the 7 can version!! I’m wondering if you’ve thought of making one for those skinny little tuna or chicken cans? I’m sure my Hubby can figure it out. Also considering one for those teeny tiny little cans of chopped olives! We use a lot of those for tacos! lol I love love LOVE everything ya’ll are doin! Keep it up!!! 😉

  • Danielle Marceaux

    i need to make a few of these

  • This is an AWESOME project!! I’ll be making at least 2 maybe 3, maybe more of these…there are so many different things this can be used for… 🙂
    TY for sharing this!!

  • Stephanie Watson

    II need to build this1 Do you think you all could add one of those free save as PDF things? It would be awesome to be able to download the plans 🙂

  • Cathy Pablo

    I just love this. I am moving in a few days and I think I will plan on making this as one of my first projects to organize my pantry.

  • Morgan

    What type of canisters do you have in your pantry for the dry goods? We just bought a new house & I’m trying to organize BEFORE we move in 🙂 I can’t seem to find the ones I see in your pictures, and I really like the way yours are so easy to see.

    • Meghan Macklin Anderson

      I just bought some today. They look like the Walmart brand containers to me.

    • Dana

      I have my pantry and cabinets organized with Tupperware Modular Mates. They are clear, so you can see the contents at a glance. They are also virtually water and air tight…. they keep your foods fresh for up to 2 years!!

    • Marayne Teal

      you can buy canisters like this from Dollar General stores. They are in the chip isle and filled with puffed cheetos or other snacks.

  • Adael Sumner

    Brilliant DIY!! I am currently using the boxes that my cans come in from the wholesale store, but something more built in is appealing, not to mention the auto rotating idea!
    I am a little confused though, in your supplies you mention that you use a 1×12 for the shelves, but in the pictures you use plywood… Did you decide to use scrap pieces? That may be more cost effective…

  • I would just like to thank you for sharing this! It’s a brilliant idea for me as I produce jam and pickles in round, small jars, also canned fruit and veg. this will help me with organised storage – and keep Hubby busy for WEEKS! I need LOADS. Thanks again.

  • Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick

    Wow these are amazing! I am going to make these as well. Thanks heaps. M x


  • Natalie

    Can you post the instructions for the 7 can holders?? You have me addicted to organizing!!! Thank you!

  • I love this and just sent a link to my dad to see if he can make some for me. I have a smaller pantry and want the 7 can one that you made. Have you posted instructions for it? I have searched your blog and haven’t come across it.

  • magen

    Hey! I was looking at this yesterday, literally all day, reading and figuring out my own pantry dimensions compared to yours but today when I went to write down the supplies I would need, the images are not loading on the page. Do you know why this might be?

    • We are in the middle of a site revamp today. We are getting all the kinks worked out now, mainly the photo issue. We hope to have them all back up today! Thanks for being patient with us!!


      • magen

        Thank you! I thought my computer was flipping out! I am soooo excited to get started on several of your blog projects. 🙂

        • Good!! Thanks so much for your patience and your sweet message! 🙂

  • This is so cool! I’m going to ask my hubby to make some for us. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • WOW! Thank you so much for this DIY. I was looking at the prices for these and I just can’t make that happen but thanks to this great post I think I can take a Saturday and make it happen! Thanks again for sharing your talents. 🙂

  • will

    Hi there, LOVE this. I’ll be making two of these this weekend. Just wondering if the 7 can holder has been posted – thought I’d put a few of these under the kitchen sink and a few 7 can ones in my tiny pantry! Thanks for the tutorial

  • Clarissa

    This is awesome!!! It’s just what I needed for my pantry. I’ve been looking for a DIY rotating can storage, but all the one’s I have come across have been made of cardboard. I like this soooooo much better! Thank you for sharing! 🙂 Have a beautiful day!

  • Cecilia Bramhall

    I just came across this on Pinterest. I absolutely love this. My pantry is in sore need of a makeover. I now know what to do to make it all better! Thanks!

  • impatientgirl

    I just stumbled across this on Pinterest. I have been LOOKING for a wood version of these and had given up and thought I’d just have to figure it out. THANK YOU!!

  • Annalea

    Wow. This is These are totally affordable, totally customizable, and I LOVE that you can stack extra cans on top of the top shelf. Thank you so much!!!! This baby is pinned and waiting. :o)

  • About how many cans can each organizer hold? And I can’t wait for the large can one.


    Andrea. These c

  • megan Vaughn

    These are fantastic! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tutorial. Megan

  • marjoycek

    Great idea and so much much better than the plastic ones you see in the stores.

  • Brilliant DYI, thanks for posting – Tweeted and Pinned for our readers to enjoy!

  • Mindi Carwin

    These are awesome! Pinning!

  • Charlotte

    I am so going to show this to my hubby! Thanks

  • Jan Messali

    Fantastic idea!

  • DeDe Bailey

    Very cleaver! I am amazed that you have that many of ranch styled beans! Lol. Love how organized they all are and so much easier to store.

    • Thanks Dede! Haha… We are from Texas, and my hubby eats them on everything! ;-))

  • Rachael

    Wow. My hubby and I were just discussing how to store our food storage/cans and I couldn’t stomach the price to buy them. Maybe I could convince him to make some for me for Christmas??? They’ve GOT to be cheaper than buying. We need them in the basement too for bigger cans. If you have a stack-able version, please post a link or tutorial!

    • It’s coming Rachael! I haven’t quite finished up the plans for larger cans, but the stackable holders are coming! Thanks! 😉

  • Giggling Gerty

    I’m LOVIN this series!!!! Both are on my list already… & i can’t wait to see what else you have in store!

    • Thanks so much Juanita!! I am addicted… Want to organize everything now ;-))

      • Giggling Gerty

        I have the bug too… i just don’t know how you you find the time for everything … i only have 4 kids, i dont blog or constantly diy & yet i run out of time!!! Maybe that can be a future post… How you managed it ALL (or “How you too can be supermums like us!”;-) )

  • kristen

    blows my mind. SO awesome!

  • Angie Overton

    Love these. I guess I need to see if I could incorporate these into my space. Just pinned it.

    • Yes you do Angie! Thanks for the pin and sweet comment!

  • Thank you for this post! I saw it on Pinterest. I have always thought these could be made and not purchased. I am excited to get more organized and rotate my canned goods better. I love how much they hold, too!!!

    • Thank you Holly! Glad to help!! I love them and I am sure you will love yours too!

  • What a Super Smarty Pants Idea!!! Thanks for sharing….. I am Pinning NOW!!! Making Later! ;’D

    • Haha thank you Jill! I appreciate it so much!!

  • Lauralee @ The Eclectic Stitch

    Love these ~ hope to convince DH to make some for me (I’m dangerous with a hammer). Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!

    • Yes you do! Just wink at him! Good luck and thanks!;-)

  • Wonderful idea! And adorable little guy you got there!

  • Kristi @ Creative Kristi

    Looks Great! Thanks for the tutorial…now if only I had actual shelves in my pantry to put these on 😉

    • Oh bummer Kristi!! Maybe you could build both… 🙂