Unreachable Pantry Space? Build Tilted Shelves–Photo Tutorial

11 cans roll forwardOur home has nine-foot ceilings. The kitchen cabinets had – until now –miles of inaccessible pantry space up in the nosebleed section. Clearly a home economist did NOT design this kitchen. Just tilt those shelves! Here’s my easy photo how-to.

Before… the tall cabinets had only 3 shelves. Too few shelves, and a lot of wasted air. I did the tilting magic, but I had a handyman first cut several additional shelves per cabinet.


If your shelving sits on little brackets, this is a DIY project for you.

2 Underbelly

Measure the length of the shelves and multiply by how many tilted shelves you want. Then go to the hardware store for molding. Have someone there cut it the length of your shelves.

3 molding

There are lots of molding shapes; this was the best for the job:

4 molding shape

Get out your Gorilla glue. Draw a thin strip of glue the length of the molding to adhere to the edge of your shelf. I chose to glue to the unfinished edge. Don’t overdo the glue or you’ll have drips.

5 gorilla glue

Carefully squeeze the molding to the shelf edge, then use painter’s tape to hold in place while it dries. Put cardboard under there in case of drips. Walk away. Let it dry overnight.

6 tape in place

Next, hammer a few nails in AFTER the glue is dry. You can counter-sink them and fill with a little putty or cheat like me and paint them with a white sharpie.

7 panel nails

The glue is strong, but cans are HEAVY and when they roll forward, you want to feel confident they won’t knock the glued strip off your shelf.

8 nail a few spots

Now, back in the kitchen to move pegs. The back two pegs should be only ONE hole higher than the front. Anything more and there’s too much force when the cans roll. This works fine.

9 move peg up

Replace shelf onto the pegs. Play with the cans (like I did) to decide how much you can lower the shelves in order to add more. This holds a HUGE quantity of cans.

10 replace shelf

We added two additional shelves at the top. Then we hit Costco and loaded those shelves to the max. It is very comforting to buy chicken stock by the case. Very top shelf is great for paper towels.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen Guerra May 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

We may use this in the future. I’ve already sent this to several friends.

2 Worth The Whisk May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Got the idea from a food demo. In our previous house, Karen, we had a really narrow, deep pantry. One day I was at a kitchen appliance store and chatting with a food demonstrator, talking about this awkward shelf. She said, “Just tilt the shelf and put a strip of molding on the front. Then stack your cans, they all roll forward.” Best idea.

3 Karen Guerra May 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Another great idea! How do you think of these, Patti?

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