In this post: Learn how to turn a small closet into a pantry storage cupboard!

Ever wonder where to store all the extra supplies that come with having company during the Holidays?

closet before and after

Well, last month we made over one of our little hall closets with the help of our friends at Black+Decker.

The Hall Closet Before

So the hall closet at the top of the stairs was really just a dumping ground for all the things.

We already had a front hall closet and a linen closet, so I’m not even sure what the original intention was for this space. And since we really needed an extra storage spot for pantry-type overflow, we decided that we’d use this closet for that! 

Pantry Closet After

After only one weekend of work, the closet now looks like this:

closet after top WATERMARKED

How to Turn an Extra Small Closet into a Pantry


  • 1″ x 2″ primed mdf *
  • melamine shelving *
  • #10 2″ flat head wood screws *
  • BLACK+DECKER Matrix Combo Kit
  • glue or construction adhesive (optional)
  • paint and paintbrush (optional)

*Actual amounts will depend on your closet measurements.


1. Sand away existing materials

Remove any existing (unusable) shelves or rods. Sand the wall smooth using the Matrix sander attachment.

Dean sanding the wall

2. Measure and mark for shelves

Measure and mark where you’d like the shelves to be and how far apart you’d like them on the back and two side walls of the closet. This will vary based on what you’d like to have room to store. We left extra room on the bottom for large pantry pails. You may want to do the same, but for a vacuum or large cases of food. Our other shelves are equally spaced at 10″ apart. Spacing will depend on what you’d like to store in your pantry.

measure and mark for shelves

3. Mark to level shelves

Mark each shelf with a level and piece of wood (or just a large level if it will fit into your closet). 

mark each shelf with level

4. Find studs

Find and mark the studs along your shelf lines.

find and mark studs

5. Mark length for shelving supports

Mark the lengths for each of your shelf supports (back and sides). Then using a square mark a straight line for cutting. Repeat for all supports.

mark shelf support for cutting

mark straight line for shelf supports

6. Cut shelves

Cut along marked lines on shelf supports using Matrix jigsaw attachment. Repeat for all supports.

7. Mark stud location on shelf supports

mark studs on shelf supports

8. Pre-drill 

Pre-drill all holes for screws on shelf supports using Matrix drill attachment.

predrill shelf supports

9. Attach shelf supports to walls

Attach shelf supports to walls (back wall and side walls) using screws and Matrix driver attachment.

driver attachment

install shelf supports

10. Paint if needed

At this point, if your closet needs painting, paint the whole thing, including shelf supports. 

11. Measure and cut melamine

Measure and cut melamine to size for each shelf using the Matrix jigsaw attachment.

cutting shelves

12. Put shelves on supports

Put shelves on supports. Glue or screw into place if desired.

closet after bottom WATERMARKED

Now there is enough space for everything! 

To see how we finished the closet pantry and made it prettier, check out this post on making the closet pantry prettier!

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  1. Just found you. I am impressed that it is today the 22nd and you are still encouraging us. Merry Christmas! I’ll be following you in 2015.