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!!

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  1. Ashley on September 6, 2019 at 5:31 am

    can you send the plans for the smaller can dispenser? I live in a tiny apartment next to a busy dusty road. my storage needs to be compact and somewhat covered. Sub tropical country… windows are always open 🙂

  2. Renay Cunningham on June 25, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Awesome, you are very creative I love it! Thanks for sharing

  3. Hill Johansen on October 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I like your can idea. There is just me at home. How is your smaller can roller different than the big one?

  4. Susan on December 27, 2017 at 9:32 am

    This is brilliant!

  5. RagdollMama on March 27, 2017 at 10:04 am

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

  6. Tina Marie Meckley on September 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm

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

  7. Phyllis Wood on August 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    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.

  8. Jennifer Bartel on August 19, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    what is the finished dimensions of this?

  9. April Ling on July 19, 2015 at 8:19 am

    You could totally market these and sell them!

  10. Crystal Hayward on March 13, 2015 at 7:47 am

    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..

  11. rachiti on February 10, 2015 at 4:13 am

    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 on June 20, 2015 at 1:05 am

      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.

  12. Carol Prieto on August 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

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

  13. agshare on July 14, 2014 at 10:19 am

    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.

  14. Pamela Lindstrom Adamson on July 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    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.

  15. Ana Ortiz on July 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

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

  16. christina on June 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

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

  17. TShearon on June 9, 2014 at 11:38 am

    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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