Built-In Pantry Shelving

We are building a cabin style house in Alaska to resale.  It is very small, every square foot is extremely valueable.

A pantry is a must have on any house I build.  I design my kitchens to hold tools (dishes, mixing bowls, pots and pans, cutting boards, etc) and spices and coffee.  That’s it. Everything else goes in the pantry.  Yes, everything.  If it regularly rotates out, it needs to be on open shelving in the pantry.  That way you don’t end up with expired cans in deep drawers or moldy bread at the back of the shelf.  Or maybe worse, you can’t access and inventory what you have quickly and easily.

Even though this house is small, we made sure to include a pantry right in the middle of the kitchen.

This week, we are tackling the pantry shelving.  We want to put the right shelving in that can last a lifetime and won’t need to be ripped out or changed later.  You might as well do it right the first time, it saves you time and money in the long run.

pantry off kitchen

Related: Want to see this kitchen get built?  Check out our other Cabin House Build posts.

Here’s what we came up with as a final result:

built in pantry shelving

And an inside look. 

built in pantry with corner

It was some work to add the corner, but it was worth it for the more accessible storage. 

We did a build video on this pantry:

Video coming soon

And the free, easy to customize (for yes, YOUR space) is here using our Shelf Help Configurator.

Let us know what you think of this project and if you love it, build it and share a photo!



Modern Farmhouse DIY Staircase Railing

Would you believe me if I told you that of all the stair railings I’ve done over the years, this one was the simplest, fastest, cheapest and easiest to build?  And we do kinda love the modern farmhouse railing look too!

diy staircase handrail

Video Tutorial for this DIY Staircase Handrail:

Photo Steps of How We Built this DIY Staircase Handrail

First, we started with some 2x4s. 

2x4 handrail pieces

We sanded and stained and cut into 48″ long pieces for the post. We also cut pieces for the top cap, again too long so we can trim in place.

diy staircase handrail tutorial 1

We used 4-1/2″ lag screws to attach to solid backing, spacing about 3-4 feet appart.  On the stairs, we ran the 2x4s longer, so we could cut them off as needed.

To get the angle to cut the stair posts off right, we held up a straight edge (we used the 2×4 cap to be installed in the next step) so it was parallel with the stair skirt.  Then we penciled in the overlap of the straight edge on the posts.

diy staircase handrail tutorial 2

Then we cut the stair posts off at the pencil lines.

diy staircase handrail tutorial 3

To finish the wood framing for the stair handrail, we attached a cap to the top.  To get the cap end angles right, we again held it in place, and traced where it overlapped the other parts of the stair framing.  To attach the cap, we used 3″ wood construction screws.

Ok, now here’s where we cheat.

diy staircase handrail tutorial 5

We purchased metal flat bar in 1″ width (you can get 20′ pieces from a specialty metal store, this entire handrail system was about $170 in metal) and simply cut it with a metal blade and screwed it to the back side of the 2×4 uprights with a 1-1/4″ screw.

diy staircase handrail tutorial 5

Standard code requires less than 4″ openings in railings.  So we did a little math and figured out how many rows we’d need and how far apart and marked the straight section of railing, cut the metal flat bar and screwed it to the inside of the 2×4.  We just used one screw per post.

This gave us a starting point for the stair railing runs.  And then we just eyeballed to make sure the metal was running parallel to the top cap and the skirt and screwed it to the post.  

Here’s what it looks like from the back.

staircase handrail ideas

You probably noticed the loft railing.  This was even easier to build, but we do recommend using the same method as the stair railing with the outside mount posts for increased strength.

Thank you for using our tutorials.  We hope you use it, and share a photo!  You can add a brag post or tag me on Instagram #anawhite or @anawhitediy 

XO Ana

Custom Full Width Kid's Closet Organizer

organizing a kids closet

Why We Love This Closet

  • Custom Sized – A tailored fit looks so much better than making something work and blocking the walls out for closet rods.  
  • Beyond Clothes – This kids closet is perfect for storing clothes AND toys, books, blankets and out of season items.  
  • User Friendly – The higher placed shelving is suitable for adult placing (think hanging outfits or top shelf bins).  The lower storage areas, like the toy bins and milk crates for socks, are perfect for littles to access and use independantly.
  • Grows with Them – with adjustable shelves and removeable milk crates, this closet is ready to grown with your child.  
  • Designed to Last – you just have one closet to make amazing.  Why not do it right the first time with the right materials?  This closet was built using 3/4″ PureBond plywood (so no off gassing formaldehyde) and easy to repair, repaint, and repurpose.

And It’s Easy to Build!

This closet was actually super easy to tackle and install!

We have the free template (with easy to use configurator!) on our sister site Shelf Help.  Head on over to download the diagrams and start configuring your own closet.

$10 Cedar Tiered Flower Planter or Herb Garden

Cascading flowers or strawberries? Yes, please!

We are sharing plans for a tiered planter, that we only spent $10 on!  

The secret to this tiered planter is we made it out of cedar fence pickets!  

The first steps are pretty straight forward – just build the three boxes (we used staples but you can also use brad nails or screws).  Here’s a trick for adding the lower boxes:

The spacer came in handy to help keep the boxes evenly spaced and I didn’t have an extra hand, just another step to simplify the process.

Gotta say I love this Staple Gun. Once I made the supports flush to the top I shot them in and viola, I had the stand attached!

Then I flipped this baby over and stood back to admire and couldn’t believe how something so simple could make me so happy!

Be sure to drill holes in the bottom to allow drainage.

Time to get this baby planted, all hands on deck kiddos. They were so happy to help!

We decided to keep the cedar natural so the step that usually takes the most time, the finishing, didn’t even need to happen. The final result is a beautiful planter that is so versatile. I thought herbs would be nice, or instead of 2 traditional planters on each side of the sidewalk, two of these would be fun and give a different look. If you do decide to finish it, paint or stain goes a long way. A simple project with many options, that’s what I’m talking about!