TikTok's Pantry Shelving DIY Will Give Your Pantry A Luxurious Upgrade

Are you ready to address the wire shelving system in the room? Wire pantry shelves don't just look less-than-pretty, they can also be extremely awkward to use. Cheap, thin shelves often feel unstable, and if the rungs aren't super close together, it could seem like your canisters and cans kind of want to tip over. Wire shelves are also a total pain to clean, bins and baskets don't always slide easily on them — and we haven't even touched on how terrible they can start to look when the coating chips and rust begins to bloom.

Getting wire shelves professionally replaced can cost a pretty penny, which is why many homeowners never upgrade them. But if you own a few power tools and are open to a project, you can (relatively) easily replace a sub-par shelving system with one that's customized to your needs, stores more, has a butcherblock countertop for some butler-pantry vibes, and looks like a million bucks. The handy TikToker @emilymadehome showcases how she masterfully replaced her builder-grade, wire pantry shelves with ¾-inch plywood, and created a custom butcher block breakfast prep area for her kids, complete with cute cereal dispensers. To make the most of the under-counter space, she also added rolling baskets and an intermediate shelf in the blind corner to house rarely-used items. If you want to take inspiration from this pantry shelving TikTok DIY, we've broken down the steps below and included beginner-friendly alternatives to some of the work.

DIY new, solid shelving and install a butcherblock countertop

To get cracking on this DIY pantry upgrade project, the first task is removing the existing shelves. Once you've waved goodbye to the wire shelves and removed their supports, you'll probably be left with some drywall damage. While you can rectify this with multiple rounds of spackle and sanding, you can also follow this TikTok creator's lead and conceal it with wall covering. @emilymadehome opted for beadboard backer, but you could up the ante with some peel-and-stick subway tiles (these Stickgoo ones on Amazon have glowing reviews and cost $4.31 per square foot), plain wood paneling, or even a bold wallpaper. Small areas like pantries and powder baths are ideal places to play with color and pattern — but if you want to go the wallpaper route, you will need to repair and smooth the surface.

When your walls are good to go, it's time to install new shelves, and maybe even a countertop. @emilymadehome's design uses a piece of solid butcher block, but you can also DIY a budget-friendly faux butcherblock countertop using plywood. Determine the ideal height, secure 1-by-2-inch supports to your drywall studs, and drop the counter in. You can use the same method for mounting the shelves, or brad nail squares of painted plywood to the studs on the side, so each piece supports the shelf above and looks seamless. For additional shelf supports in the middle, @emilymadehome used corbels, which is a super cute option. 

Add decorative details to your pantry shelving DIY

Next, you'll want to finish off the shelf edges and install some trim. @emilymadehome used iron-on edge banding, which you can get at Lowe's, The Home Depot, or Amazon, for around $0.30 a foot. Besides flattening the edges of the plywood with an iron and edge banding, you can also brad nail some ¾-inch screen molding to the front of the uprights. Add some crown molding to the top, and for even more decorative charm, you can mimic the curvy frame @emilymadehome created. The DIYer used dinner plates to trace a curved outline onto a strip of wood, and cut out the shape with a jigsaw. Cutting a curved design like this can be tricky if it's your first time with a jigsaw, so feel free to practice on scrap wood or go for a more straightforward design, such as a simple arch. 

Speaking of power tool prowess, if you're not too comfortable with cutting wood, locating studs, and drilling into drywall, there are some super-DIY-friendly ways you can quickly upgrade the aesthetic of wire pantry shelves. This TikTok and Home Depot wire pantry shelving upgrade hack shows how you can disguise wire shelves with thin plywood (which you can get cut to size at The Home Depot) and contact paper. For an even cheaper solve, this TikTok hack allows you to dress up wire shelves using just foam board (which you can cut with a utility knife), packing tape, and wood-look wallpaper.