Cabinet Space Saver

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Project by SawdustTX posted 03-04-2019 07:53 PM 1654 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I guess it’s actually a space user. It uses previously unused air space.

Cabinets were getting a little crowded so I made a mini shelf for the dessert plates to live over the dinner plates.

Sides are 1/4” tempered hardboard, shelf is 1/2’ pine.
Pin nails and glue join the two sides at the back corner.
Brad nails and glue join the shelf to the sides.

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t just add another full-width shelf. That was the original plan, but a shelf above the bowls does not leave enough space to reach in with your hand and lift a bowl out of the stack of bowls. You need almost 4” clearance for bowls, half that for plates.

Design factors:
- didn’t want to screw it into the cabinet walls, so the sides had to be long enough to prevent it from tipping if we push down on the front corner when getting plates. ie – a diagonal line connecting the outer edges of the sides has to be beyond the front corner of the shelf.
- maintain enough space for a hand to reach in with a full stack of plates, both under the new shelf and over it.
- keep it thin to take up minimal horizontal space
- be able to move it to other places in the cabinet without any hardware required.

Super simple. The funnest part – once I finished it, I showed my wife and let her try to guess what it was. For 4 days while the paint out-gassed before we brought it in the house, she never figured it out. Painted white it did look kind of like a nun hat. :)

8 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16328 posts in 3754 days

#1 posted 03-04-2019 08:20 PM

Cool idea…you hardly notice it, coloured white.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View ohwoodeye's profile


2512 posts in 4039 days

#2 posted 03-04-2019 09:49 PM

Clever, useful idea. Plus no one uses those dessert plates anyway so might as well get them up and out of the way.
Well done. Thumbs up.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Popsnsons's profile


440 posts in 3868 days

#3 posted 03-05-2019 01:27 AM

I like functional projects that serve a purpose. They are always rewarding.

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

View SawdustTX's profile


323 posts in 3210 days

#4 posted 03-05-2019 01:45 AM

@Pops -I agree, especially when they are this quick (took maybe an hour painting included), and make my wife happy. :)

View tyvekboy's profile


2059 posts in 3899 days

#5 posted 03-05-2019 02:21 AM

That is a great idea and a real space saver. And they look cool too.

I did the same thing a while back to increase the storage in our kitchen cabinets but I used plexiglas instead.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View SawdustTX's profile


323 posts in 3210 days

#6 posted 03-05-2019 03:32 AM

@Tyvekboy – nice!

Thanks for the comments everyone.

View Upgrayedd's profile


129 posts in 2069 days

#7 posted 03-05-2019 01:54 PM

.. It uses previously unused air space…

Great project. I may try a few.
Guiding principle. Don’t store air!!!

-- Upgrayedd - spelled thusly, with two Ds, for a double dose of this pimping.

View markgrogan1's profile


35 posts in 2226 days

#8 posted 03-13-2019 05:07 AM

That’s a beautiful half-shelf for storage! I reckon that I could implement this is in a lot of the other storage spaces in my house and not just limited to the kitchen cabinetry! I think under the sink in the toilets and laundry room could use that segregation for better organization of the chemicals and toiletries too!

-- Mark Grogan @

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