Cabinet Shelves: How to Add Shelves in Kitchen Cabinets

Simple Woodworking Tutorial for Kitchen Organization

Kitchen cabinets can never have enough shelves. Whether you have a pots cabinet with no middle cabinet shelves, or kitchen cabinets with only one shelf when you could really use two or three-adding shelves to your kitchen cabinets is easy, affordable, and a great way to customize your kitchen cabinets to your exact needs.

To Add Shelves to Your Kitchen Cabinets You Will Need:

  • Angle Shelf Supports
  • Wood planks (shelves)
  • Measuring tape
  • 2×4 lumber equal to the height of your cabinet
  • Drill

Steps to Add Shelves to Your Kitchen Cabinets

Measure for the Cabinet Shelves

Measure the top, middle and bottom of your kitchen cabinet for the length and depth of cabinet shelves that will fit in precisely. Don’t be surprised if the top and bottom of your kitchen cabinet measurements are a little different, and go with the smallest measurement.

How Many Cabinet Shelves

Decide how many cabinet shelves you wish to add to each kitchen cabinet. Take into account the height of the objects you will place on the cabinet shelves, and don’t forget that each cabinet shelf will be between 1 to 2 inches thick.

Cabinet Shelf Pin Holes

Most kitchen cabinets already have shelf pinholes. This line of holes will run from the top to the bottom of your kitchen cabinet on the right and left in two places. Your new cabinet shelves will be held in place with angle shelf supports that fit inside these shelf pinholes. To make sure you buy the right size angle shelf support either measure the diameter of the hole or press a little play-doh over the hole. Take the play-doh print to your home improvement store.

No Cabinet Shelf Pin Holes

If you have no shelf pinholes in your kitchen cabinets, you’ll have to drill them yourself. 2×4 lumber that fits from the top to the bottom of your kitchen cabinet is ideal for a measuring rod. Mark where you want the holes to sit, then drill into the lumber first, creating a shelf pin hole jig. Reuse this lumber jig on all sides of your kitchen cabinet to make sure your holes are aligned. And when you choose angle shelf supports, be sure to match the diameter with that of your drill bit.

Cut the Cabinet Shelves

Use your home improvement lumber cutting services to cut your wood planks to fit the measurements of your kitchen cabinets. Look over the shelving section at the store and search for planks that are deep enough yet inexpensive. Remember that you can always hang two planks side by side for a deeper shelf at a lower cost, rather than buy one deep shelf or plywood that will have to be cut down to size. However, when using two adjacent shelves, you will likely have to drill additional shelf pin holes to support the cabinet shelves in the middle.

Add the Shelves to Your Kitchen Cabinets

The fun thing about cabinet shelves that hang on angle shelf supports is the versatility. You can move the shelves up and down as needed and when needed.


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