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Thursday, February 14, 2013

DIY Vegetable Storage Cabinet

We've been seeing this trend appearing in the kitchen design world lately and yet have been completely unable to find a good source for DIYers. So here it is!

Most low to mid-level kitchen cabinetry is pretty much all made the same way and this is especially true when it comes to the doors, which makes them easy to disassemble for tricks like this as well as adding in glass which we will do in another tutorial.

Time: 1-2 hour
Cost: Grating $10 / Baskets $5-$20 depending on the source
Difficulty: Easy

Tools Needed:
Channel Lock Pliers
Jig Saw
Metal cutting Snips or Shears
3/8" drill bit
Spray Paint
Wood glue

Materials Needed:
(1) Aluminum/Tin Grating
(2) Wicker Baskets (Approximately 19"L x 9"W x 9"D) with substantial ridges/handle that will be used to support the basket
(1) Small miscellaneous block of wood
(1) Piece of paper

Recent home installations come with base cabinet slide-out shelving. This gives us the perfect vehicle to hold a basket and we don't need to buy drawer slides, etc.

First we need to remove an edge from the cabinet door so that we can insert our desired grating material. This is recommended so that the vegetables can have air circulating at all times.

Remove the door from its hinges and place on a flat surface. Laminate countertops are extremely durable, dont scratch easily and make a perfect spot for this step.


Turn the door front side down, place a piece of paper against the top edge of the door and with a medium amount of force, hammer the block against the top edge. The paper is just to protect the door surface from hammer abrasions. The door is glued together with a minimal amount of glue in just a few spots so you should see some movement with just a few taps. You may need to clamp or have someone to hold the door.

Dont worry it fits back together just as easily, thats how they make the door :)

Now we need to remove the middle panel. Take a pair of channel lock pliers (or regular ones), grab the unstained edge and pull, it should slide right out. You may need to flex the door a bit by holding it on the sides and acting like you are trying to bend the door. This is just to loosen the few tacks of glue that may be grabbing the panel--you may hear a small cracking sound, that is just the glue letting go.

Now we need to take our grating, snip it to size and paint it. Measure the length of the interior of the grooves from top-to-bottom and side-to-side, including the groove depth. Our grating will slide down in here.


Once the grating is dry, take your silicone and squeeze a small amount in a few places on each of the four sides. You dont need a lot, this will just serve to keep the grating from sliding. Insert and replace the top edge puzzle piece of the door with some wood glue, place aside and let dry.

Measure the bottom dimensions of your baskets and draw a template on the TOP interior side of your slide out tray. If your baskets get wider near the top where the handles are then you need to measure the top end UNDERNEATH the handles or top ridge. These baskets from Hobby Lobby were 21" x 9", perfect

Use your jig saw to cut the template out, you will probably need to drill a starter hole. The cut doesn't have to be perfect since it will be hidden by the basket edges but take your time and keep the lines are straight as possible. Rounding the corners to hug the curves for the basket will look cleaner.

You can always put drawer liner on the bottom if your imperfect cuts are visible


We found that the top rails fit nicely right below the top hinge and right above the bottom hinge and centered the rails that go in the middle

Now we need to figure out how many baskets we want and move the slide out tray rails that are attached to the cabinet to match our new basket heights. Our baskets are shallow enough to fit four, but were going with three. First remove the shelves, rails and rear support brackets (pry those off carefully so you dont break the clips. If you do you can easily get more from a home store.

After you remove the support brackets, you will see two holes, these holes are 1-1/4" apart. Because we decided on three trays, in order to get equal distances between the shelves, we needed to raise the bottom set of holes. So we created 4 more with the 3/8" drill bit exactly 1-1/4" above the other set.

Use your level!

Insert basket into shelf hole, force its sides in one at a time to get the look you desire, insert.



  1. Very creative! I don't know if I'm brave enough to take those doors apart!

    1. It really is as simple as it looks. with these cabs its just wood glue holding them together. Just gently tap with the wood block and youre customizing :)

  2. I pinned this. Haha. Great idea and super easy! I will definitely be tackling this once our Rome is built. Thanks!!

  3. You guys are ridiculously, outrageously CREATIVE!!

    Where is your dedicated blog and BOOK and talk show coming? Seriously!!

    I found this other blog called Young House Love and their blog has blown up!! Why not YALL??

    1. Awww ty! We stalk the YHL blog too and have been toying around with that idea. I think once we compile a bigger list of projects, it will be time to branch out a bit. We do have some goodies in mind :)

  4. What a great idea - thanks!

    Just don't store onions and potatoes in the same area - the onions will cause the potatoes to spoil.

    1. Ooo didnt know that, do you mean not in the same basket or not even in the same cabinet?