This project has been on my “to-do” list for quite some time, and I’m so glad to have finally been able to tackle it! I’ve had this idea in my mind ever since we moved in to our new house about a year and half ago. At that time, I organized our pantry fairly well, but I also had a whole house to pull together and try to at least get things functional since we moved in on the first day of school. And I’m a teacher. Yeah. But that’s a story for another day.
Now, after a year and a half of living here, I’m ready to do a bit more to the pantry. We have quite a bit of usable space on the floor under the bottom shelf of the pantry, so I had been thinking about how to make that space more functional, yet also look tidy and aesthetically pleasing. These rolling crates are the perfect solution. They maximize the space, they are easily accessible because of the wheels and the handle, they give the pantry a more tidy, organized appearance, and I love they way they fit right in with the rustic, farmhouse vibe that I love so much.
Measure Your Space Carefully
To begin, you need to take careful measurements of your pantry and find the right sized crate to fit your space. Don’t forget to take the height of your caster wheels into consideration. You’re likely only talking about fractions of an inch here, so take care to measure very precisely or your finished crate won’t roll underneath your shelf, and that would be sad.
From the floor to the bottom of the lowest shelf in my pantry was 12 inches.
I had looked around on Amazon, so I knew that there were several caster wheel options that would work for my project, and most were in the 1 1/2 inch height range.
The crates I found are 9 1/2 inches deep. So, with my 1 1/2 inch caster wheels, I’m right at 11 inches total, which gives me 1 inch of clearance to roll under the bottom pantry shelf. Perfect.
Find the Right Crates for Your Project
I was on the look out for several months for just the right crates for this project, until I found some recently in the new spring merchandise Hobby Lobby is currently putting out on their shelves.
I originally bought the only two they had at the store where I usually shop, but wanted one more. I ended up having to go to two other stores before I found another one, so if you’re looking for these exact crates… sorry. I think I bought the last three in the Des Moines area. But, Hobby Lobby did have many other wood crates in various sizes that might work with your space measurements. Plus, I will link some other options to the bottom of this post that I explored in my search. They might work for you!
Here is what I ended up with. On one side it says “wood pallets”, which I like, but I decided to make the plain side the front instead. I want to be able to label with crates myself with what is going to be inside of them.
Caster wheels come in lots of sizes, depending on how much weight they need to carry. The small ones I used for this project carry a maximum load of 66 pounds across all 4 wheels. That’s way more than I even needed for this project. Plus, they claim to be “smooth wheeling and won’t mark your floor”. So far, that seems to be accurate. I’m really pleased with how they roll, and they have been kind to my floor.
They come in a pack of 8 or 12, and in black or white, so you can choose the number you need based on how many crates you’re making, and also choose the color you prefer. I liked black for these crates, but if you choose a white crate, the white wheels would work perfectly.
What I also like about this set on Amazon is that came with the screws included. And, I was lucky enough that they worked well for the crates I bought. You will have to look at the thickness of the bottom wood pieces on your crate and make sure the screws you use won’t come up through the bottom of the crate when you screw them in.
Use the Right Tools
Decide exactly where you want your wheels to go in each corner, avoiding any nails that are already holding the crate together. Also, be careful not to get too close to the edges, so you don’t split the wood when you drill in the caster wheel screws.
Once I eyeballed where I wanted the wheels, I used a black sharpie to mark where the holes should go.
I used my Ryobi Impact Driver for this project and it worked great. The wood on my crate was pretty soft, but since I was placing the wheels near the corners, I didn’t want to take a chance that I might split the wood, so I first used my Ryobi with a small drill bit to make the pilot holes.
Install the Wheels
Add a Handle
I used these drawer pulls that were left over from when we built our house last year. Since it was a custom build, we got to select and purchase all the hardware ourselves for the whole house. After looking at all the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot, we finally ended up purchasing every single bit of our cabinet hardware on Amazon. They had a better selection and better quality than anything we saw in the stores.
The cabinet pulls I purchased for our laundry room came in a box of 10, and we didn’t need that many, so there were several left over and they worked perfectly for this project. You can find handles for your crates on Amazon like I did, at a hardware store, or if you have old ones laying around somewhere, repurpose them for this project! I’ve reused old hardware for different projects lots of times by just giving them a coat of spray paint in my desired color choice.
Look at this Beauty…
It rolls beautifully on these casters, and is a perfect fit under the bottom shelf of my pantry.
It adds so much storage in the pantry, and is so easy to access because of the wheels and the handle.
Right now I only have one finished, and it’s working perfectly to store all my K-cups that I buy in bulk on Amazon.
Complete Pantry Makeover Coming Soon…
I have room for two more crates, so as soon as I get those done I’m planning to reorganize the whole pantry. I will share that with you as soon as I do!
Wood Crate Options
Option #1 : Wood Storage Crates
Option #2 : Rustic Wood Crates
Option 3: Decorative Wooden Crates
Option #4: Unfinished Wood Crates (you could stain or paint color of your choice)
Option #5: Chalkboard Panel Crates
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