After having a cheap metal pot and pan organizer for years, we decided it was time to upgrade to something a little more sturdy…and something that could hold more than 4 pans!
Hence this simple DIY pots and pans organizer was born. We designed it to be inserted into a cabinet so that you can take it with you if you move. You also don’t have to drill into any cabinets this way!
We’re using ours for pans and cuttings boards, but you can use it to organize vertically anything.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Circular Saw
- Nail Gun
- Kreg Jig (if you don’t have a Kreg jig, you can build the whole thing with a nail gun instead)
What You’ll Need:
- ½ x 4×8 sheet of plywood (we used maple and there’s enough leftover to make this DIY cookie sheet organizer and a couple of pull-out drawers out of the same sheet)
- ¼” x 4×8 sheet of plywood
- ⅝” nails
- 1.25” nails
- 1” Kreg screws (if using pocket holes)
- Wood glue
- Spray Poycrylic
How to Make a DIY Pots and Pan Organizer
STEP 1: DETERMINE YOUR MEASUREMENTS
Our final organizer ended up being 26.25” wide, 15” tall, and 12” deep. I’ll provide the cut list we used below in case that works for your space.
If that’s not going to work for your space, that’s okay. The beauty of DIY is being able to customize things to perfectly fit your space.
Start by measuring the cabinet. If you don’t have full overlay cabinet doors, be sure to measure the distance between the hinges/door rather than the inside of the cabinet box. This way you’ll be able to slide yours in without taking off the hinges.
We opted to make ours 15” tall because we had a shelf in the upper part of the cabinet that we wanted to be able to access, and 15” was still enough room for our pans.
To create your cut list, follow the formulas below. W = final desired width, H = final desired height, and D = final desired depth. “X” in this case means by, not multiply.
- (2) pieces at W – 1” x D for the top and bottom
- (2) pieces at H x D for the sides
- (10) pieces at H – ½” x H – 1 ⅛” for the dividers
- (2) pieces at 2.5 x W – 1 for the back supports
- (?) at 1 x D – ½” for the slots
- To determine how many slots you need to cut, divide your total width by 1.25”
Our cut list:
- (2) at 25.25 x 12 for the top and bottom
- (2) at 15 x 12 for the sides
- (10) at 11.5 x 13 ⅞ for the dividers
- (2) at 2.5 x 25.25 for the back supports
- (40) at 1 x 11.5 for the slots
STEP 2: CUT YOUR WOOD
Cut everything down according to your list. The dividers and slots will be cut from ¼” plywood. The rest is cut from ½” plywood.
STEP 3: ATTACH SLOTS
Okay, you’re not really attaching slots, you’re making slots with the 1” pieces that you cut down in step 2. But because I don’t know what else to call them, the 1” pieces will be referred to as “slots.”
Use glue and ⅝” nails to install the slots to the top and bottom pieces. The first piece will be placed ½” from the edge. One end of the spacer should be flush with the front, the back will have a ½” gap. Grab one of the 1” piece of wood to use as a spacer between slots.
When using it as a spacer, leave a small gap between the spacer and the new slot you’re installing. This will allow you to slide the dividers in and out to customize the organizer based on your needs.
Once you complete the first board, line the edge up with the second board to help guide your spacing. Place your spacer on both boards to ensure things stay lined up.
Note: I realized after installing all my spacers that I should have flipped the top board so that the side where the slots were flush was at the top, not the bottom as pictured here. Luckily my dividers still slide, but they would’ve worked even easier had I made that adjustment.
Also, we were a few slats short which is why ours do not go all the way across. In the cut list, I modified it so that you would have enough.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE BOX
Line the sides up with the bottom of the bottom and secure with glue and 1.25” nails.
Then attach the sides to the top, making sure that the side with the ½” gap is on the same side as it is on the bottom.
STEP 5: INSTALL BACK SUPPORTS
Using the ½” settings, drill two pocket holes on either short end of the back support pieces.
Using glue and 1” Kreg screws, install the back supports between the two sides. They should rest on the top of the slots and be flush with the back of the organizer.
STEP 6: PROTECT WITH POLYCRYLIC
I don’t know how necessary this step really is, but we decided to seal our dividers and organizer with 3 coats of Polycrylic. We had the matte sheen in stock at our house, so we used that, but I would really recommend a semi-gloss finish so that it’s easier to wipe down if needed.
Note: We sprayed it and let it dry for a few days before bringing it inside.
STEP 7: INSTALL THE DIVIDERS
Place your organizer in the cabinet and install the dividers wherever your heart desires…aka where they make the most sense for what you’re organizing.
There you have it! Now you know how to build a sturdy DIY organizer perfect for pots and pans!
If you’re looking for more kitchen organization ideas, check out these posts: