Introduction: Hidden Fridge Gap Slide-Out Pantry

In this Instructable, you will learn how to steal some much needed kitchen storage, and not take up any more room in doing so.

I live in a small apartment with an even smaller kitchen that is lacking in the storage department. So I needed a new cabinet, and since I do NOT have permission to put big holes in the walls for more cabinetry, I thought that the 4.5 inch gap between my refrigerator and the wall could work.

I am now able to just pull the pantry out and grab whatever I need and slide it back into hiding. I love how much storage it actually has and that it does not take up any additional space.

Oh and the process will be much faster and less sweat inducing if you have an electric saw and not just a hacksaw.

Step 1: Materials

The necessary materials that I used for this project are listed below, but you can easily vary the measurements.

  • (1) 24" x 48" x 0.75" wood board
  • (1) 5" x 8' x 0.5" wood boards
  • (6) 24" x 4" x 0.5" wood boards
  • (1) 24" x 4" x 0.75" wood board for the base
  • (1) handle with attaching hardware
  • (2) 3" caster wheels
  • (6) 25" x 0.25" wooden dowels
  • wood glue
  • wood screws (screws for wood, not sure wooden screw exist haha)

Step 2: Framing the Pantry

Thankfully I didn't have to do much cutting, I cut the big 5" x 8' x 0.5" board in half creating two equal 4 foot pieces. These two 4 foot pieces are the sides of the pantry, but they were too wide so it would not fit in the small gap. I had to cut them down to be 4 inches.

For the bottom shelf, use the 24" x 4" x 0.75" piece

For the top shelf, use one of the 24" x 4" x 0.5" pieces

Now that all of the wood for the pantry is cut, time to glue and join them with screws, which is pretty self explanatory.

Step 3: Shelving

With the remaining five 24" x 4" x 0.5" wood pieces, I spaced them out roughly like this:

(from top to bottom)







Then drill the holes for the wood dowels to slide through for each shelf, and cut the wood dowels to 25.5".

The space between the shelf and dowels depends on the content you plan on storing.

Step 4: The Finishing Touches

Let's start with adding the wheels first:

  • locate the center of the bottom board and space the wheels out evenly on the board.
  • since I didn't want the bolts for the wheels to show through the board, I used hot glue to apply the wheels to the board.

Now it's just the handle that is standing between you and your new sliding pantry:

  • stand the pantry up on the wheels and determine where the handle should be based on your preference/height,
  • once you have the height you want, locate the center of the side panel and drill 2 holes that align with the handle.
  • use the attaching hardware and attach the handle

Enjoy using your newly acquired kitchen storage.


kimotori (author)2016-08-04

Please, use a SI (International System of Units), or scientific metric mesurement, don't use a custom system of USA inch, arm, foot, leggings and so on....

dianna63301 (author)kimotori2016-08-05

wow, your comment is simply rude. He uploaded a useful project free for you to use. He doesn't need to comply to your standards if you use it you simply convert it. There are hundreds of free conversion apps on line. Same as I have to convert if I find a project that is metric. We use SI for its purpose the science community, this isn't science.

Odama1 (author)dianna633012017-08-04

You are far from science and any measurement it is a science in itself! If you use the SI metric system must have a reason I do not think that kimotori was rude but just funny to the point he is trying to put forward! Perhaps you are rude by calling other people rude!!!

Odama1 (author)dianna633012017-08-04

you are living in the dark ages!!! that the way the US always choose to live! Use your democratic power to liberate yourself from your slavery of your imperial system!

Beba165 (author)dianna633012016-08-25


Mick Gibson (author)dianna633012016-08-07

Why I understand metric, inches, feet, miles, and light year! So it do not mater to me!


I guess we can't blame Kimotori for his mentality - he's most likely
Japanese and I know from having worked there as an EaaFO teacher, all they know is compliance and "rules" (even the younger generation that seem to be "deviants" have strict social rules within their subcultures) - not all bad to be
fair to them, their manufacturing is world class, but any deviation
from "the rules" is treated as an anathema (unless accompanied with
Sake), that's why they have so little international cultural
integration, to mean they have an EXTREMELY small amount of non Japanese
living there as a life choice other than for work. They have a saying;
"the nail that sticks out, gets the hammer".


Racist comments not appreciated. What's 'rude' in once culture is not necessarily considered rude in another. The request was legitimate; however, most building materials are still manufactured using the old Imperial system of inches, etc. Be nice. It costs nothing to be open-minded.


How was my comment racist? The Japanese ARE like that, they DO live their entire lives based around complicated sets of rules both socially and in their working lives that most non Japanese wouldn't be able to grasp (for example in speech they use a different term for a Japanese person living and working in Japan and those who are currently or have lived and worked overseas - the connotation being they they have somehow become "tainted" by westerners, this happens everyday, everywhere). I've lived and worked there - I personally witnessed several of my "pupils" call me Gaijin (instead of Gaikokujin the more polite term for "foreign person"), behind my back even though I was trying to teach them something to enrich their lives and make it easier for them to get international work (majority were over 16). The Japanese are extremely intolerant of other cultures and things that don't comply with how they live, it's just a FACT.



Odama1 (author)kimotori2017-08-04

Awesome! I love it!!!

Some people need to keep measurements close to their immediate needs and bodies such as foot, inches, stones, miles, pounds and etc.. because their brains will tilt or go insane if they go in SI. (I work with many Americans Civil and Mch Eng. in different parts of the world and many of them struggle with the (SI) metric system and some they hardly know how to use different units of measurement SI, and that it is the beauty of SI). Many of the comments that I read from US citizens here are useless because they are far from understanding SI since they are locked in the feudal medieval of the European dark ages which their "customary" system comes from (by way customary it means comes from costumes and traditions, they were different from different regions and countries, and still are in some cases, the only thing the US has done it was to bring a standard for that measurement to be same across the US, (eg US gallon it is different than English gallon, as well as English ton to US ton). Unfortunately, it is not their fault but the incompetence of their government through the poor education system that they have over that land - but that it is political colonial imperialism at its best, and US citizens generally believe they are the BEST(whatever that it means). Sometimes Kimotori you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink and that applies to the Americans and English in this case! Their politicians prefer darkness to light and as you may know, when you see the light you never want go back to the darkness ever again since you only see is shadows whatever you looking at, that applies in this case to the metric system (SI) vs the Imperial system whatever name they may apply to look pretty and intellectual!

By the way the project it is interesting for such small space and perhaps would be nice if could incorporate some breathing holes. Thanks to share with us!

tquer (author)kimotori2017-05-30


dbusuioc1 (author)kimotori2016-08-06

Allow me to simplify things: 1 inch =25.4mm. There, now we can all get along. And inch is not custom, is US Customary Standard (USCS or USC), not to be mistaken for Imperial. The transition to metric has happened in most Engineering fields, but not yet in woodworking. Using USCS fractional is actually easier than metric, as everything is based on halves and halving of halves: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32. You say tomato, we say tomato. There, are we all happy?

kimotori (author)dbusuioc12016-08-06

The US "Customary" Standard, is a custom measurement ... in other state use USCS? NO!
Also, every user, CAN speak in other languages?

The standard is the solution, for all users. Please use standard... not for me, for all users!
dbusuioc1 (author)kimotori2016-08-16

Kimotori-san, customary does not mean custom; it means commonly used, practiced or observed, as established by custom (where custom means tradition). It's OK, English is an easy language to learn, but hard to master, as it is full of homonyms.

So, Mr. Boston09, out of the goodness of his heart, posted this project. As you don't live in the US or Canada, it is very likely that you will not find the dimensional lumber and screws he is using. For example, the 3/4 inch ply or wood will most likely be 19mm and 1/2 inch will be either 12 or 13mm. He would have no way of knowing what your standard lumber sizes would be.

Had you been posting your build and stated to use 19mm dimensional lumber, someone in the US will do a quick calculation and realize that you're talking about 3/4 inch...

Lastly, even countries that use the metric system still sell things by the old Imperial or French system; you still buy a pint of beer, a lb of jam (454 grams) or a bottle of wine 755ml (a fifth of gallon). Old habits die hard...

sipek (author)kimotori2016-08-16

They cant understand that non-metric is used by only 3 countries.. There are USA and 2 small countries that uses inches,feet etc.
So pretty much everyone else but USA uses metric system. In EU I havent seen those USCS products anywhere. Its a pointless system that costs Americans billions of USD a year

mrskorba (author)kimotori2016-08-06

Hey Hun, since this was posted over a year ago, I highly doubt he is gonna come back on here and make the adjustments you are asking for, you might just want to try and find a way to convert it, also on the right hand side there are a few other designs similar to this one, they may have the measurements you are looking for, but since I haven't looked at them I'm not 100% sure.

kimotori (author)mrskorba2016-08-07

Thanks friend, but the focus, is not conversion, is the 'democratic use of the SI system


Inches is valid - and the usual sytem of measurement for the USA - and
the USA is NOT the only country to use them, so get used to it or,
y'know, learn how to convert.

PLUS, inches is actually MORE ACCURATE for everyday woodworking (which I do), because 64th's are smaller than milllimeters. Metric was introduced to use base 10 same as normal numbers for SIMPLICITY (for simple people) NOT accuracy.


not comment.....

Karenlaura (author)kimotori2016-08-06

Pay no attention to the ignorant; you can speak English and most can't speak Japanese, nor understand cultural difference.


That is truly amazing how one could get offended by a simple request of sticking to international standards. Instructables is read and written to all over the world, not only in the US.

What would you say if I was writing an instructable in my native language? And then claim, that my language is much better than English because it has a free-form sentence structure, rich punctuation, and everything is written exactly as it sounds?

As for accuracy, there are more precise rulers with each millimeter halved – what can you say about that? :)

Regarding your offending "simple people" comment: using an unnecessarily complicated measurement system is not a sign of being smart – it's just suboptimal.


Look - I wasn't offended, I was stating that the person who wrote this 'ible is in the USA, ergo he used his native measurement system that happens to be
different from others but is NO LESS VALID. There is an SI because there has to be for international manufacturing - such as when plane parts get made in 6 different countries - otherwise we get the FUBAR that NASA managed to pull off with their martian probe doing a spectacular faceplant into the ground because they had failed to convert the numbers.

You are not a manufacturing person in league with the 'ible writer to mass produce this item and neither are any of the other readers who have or EVER WILL HAVE read this 'ible, so demanding SI compliance has no place here.

He used Imperial because that's what he is familar with, and you and the others have absolutely no rights to request ... nay, DEMAND, anything else from him.

If you wrote an 'ible in your native language I'd look at the pictures, and try to figure out what was going on, but under no circumstances would I request you change your standard method just to suit me or anyone else, because that is sheer arrogance of the kind that starts wars.

Oh and the only types of rulers or other measuring devices that have greater than millimeter or 64th splits are for precision work like engineering or cabinet making - you won't find them on a DIY standard tape measure - (I know because I've looked for one), which is all he used and all that was needed to proceed; thus in that scenario, inches and its sub divides are more accurate.

Imperial is not "unnecessarily complicated" it's just different and it's obvious some people have difficulty grasping it - why do we still have yards / furlongs / stones and a bunch of other units of measurements regularly used in the UK (a metric country) that are also not ruled by base 10? (the answer is: "because they are still valid units")

Why not just say "thanks for the i'ble" and move on with your life? I'm guessing because there are more metric users than Imperial, you feel compelled to make him comply; the arrogance.

You'd stand a better chance of making him say aluminium correctly.


Hey austin.hall.129794, I totally agree, that kimotori's comment was a bit inappropriate and certainly does not comply with "be nice" policy. That's why I would choose not to react at all.

I was just amazed how you tried to offend metric system users (a group of people) in response to an offensive comment from one person. You thus violated the "be nice" policy as well. This is how Internet pages and resources deteriorate. I am just trying to make Internet better a bit.

There was no intention of mine to debate you – I just wanted to show how one can argue without offending others.

NYT1 (author)kimotori2016-08-05

...because 1X4’s are in stock at Home Depot; 25.4mm X 101.6mm's are special order!

tekettle (author)2017-04-21

I love this! This is one I'm going to have to incorporate into my kitchen. This and some toe-kick drawers

lucanmadman (author)2017-02-02

Nice, simple instructable. If holes were allowed, it could be improved by adding a ball bearing drawer slide between the shelves and wall (did this for a sliding shoe cabinet in my bedroom)

mad_b (author)2016-12-30

Usually refrigerator manufacturers recommend leave a few space ~50 millimeters or more on all sides of the equipment, to allow air to flow; however, if one does not decides to fill ALL space around the refrigerator, things should not post a problem. But is good to pay attention in case a particular refrigerator niche is relying on all the space around it in order to function correctly. In practice heat goes up, so upper space is the most important anyway. I have seen below some comment(s) and noted by experience that in fact, region around the refrigerator do get moist and hot. And as such, the wood would need a good paint/finish to avoid a quick dirt and fungus buildup, and in the spices not hermetically sealed as well.

KeithA28 (author)2016-11-06

Great idea , easy to make and wife approved. Off to the lumber yard , I have 5" of space beside the fridge to fill . THX

pgagen made it! (author)2016-09-15

I made one nearly the same as yours. The idea came from your project anyway.

spice rack.jpg
nodiaque (author)2016-08-26

Problem is spice shouldn't be stored in a hot place. Side of refregirator do get very hot and humid, this will ruin most of the spices and oil

kimotori (author)2016-08-05

I think that... istructables is international, also unit system measurement...
inch is custom. not international.
I apologize if I was rude, but I'm tired of reading custom measures

ESaungikar (author)2016-08-05

Great idea! I'd use it for canned goods...would bungie cord work instead of dowels? Easier to get stuff in/out and a bit more flexible as to width?

NYT1 (author)2016-08-05

Tough crowd on here! Lighten up Francis! Let's keep this on track with the "Be Nice Policy" of praise, suggestions, possible improvements, or ideas that derived from this one!

NYT1 (author)2016-08-05

Excellent DIY project! I'm trying it!

tintinmilou (author)2016-08-04

As someone else already mentioned, I'd worry about pulling it out too far and having it fall over. One option would be to stick a stop on the floor, to let the rear caster bump into it. Or else stick rubber bumpers on the fridge so that the trailing edge catches on it as you pull it out. That might keep you from exposing the whole shelf, but it's better than disaster. As far as marks, you could stick felt bumpers on all corners, front and back and a few along the way. On all the discussion of heat, if you read your refrigerator owner's manual, they recommend you leave space behind and above your fridge for proper ventilation. Sides are not an issue. The fridge in our apartment is actually wedged into the space with not a millimeter to spare on the sides. It is not an issue.

austin.hall.129794 (author)2016-08-04

If I had a space like this I'd totally do this, geat work!

Lolaemma (author)2016-08-04

great idea! Very useful.

soireadthisbooktoday (author)2016-08-04

Love it! I will be trying this!

sharpstick (author)2016-08-04

Nice piece of extra storage! I did a similar thing with two Ikea bookshelves. I had about thirteen inches extra on both sides of our new fridge. I couldn't put the fridge to either side because it has double doors that have to open on both sides past the width of the fridge itself.

Some things I noticed that are relevant to this project:

- My floor is vinyl with foam underlayment. This made it harder to roll the unit out, especially as heavy as mine is when loaded.

- Caster size: The bigger and harder the wheels, the easier it rolls.

- Protecting the shelf, wall and fridge from scraping: i put a plank of thin plywood against the side of the fridge and an extra small caster mounted sideways that rides on that plank. Another one on the other side rides on the baseboard. These casters are at the back end of the shelf unit and keep it spaced about 1/5 inches from either side.

- On your design, I fear what would happen if you pull it out too far! To prevent this from happening, I would fasten a length of rope to the rear and attach it to a screw eye in the wall, or somewhere around the back of the fridge, just long enough to prevent the shelf from coming all the way out.

jelgonitis (author)2016-08-04

Sounds like a good place to store bakeware if you're worried about heat.

SandiM10 (author)2016-08-04

this is not a good idea for certain products. as the heat from side if fridge n tight space will make herbs n other products go off quicker be carefull what you store there , just a thought :)

skyspy4514 (author)2016-08-04

I would assume the heat coming from the refrigerator you would have to watch what you put in the slide out pantry

Thmusby (author)2016-08-04

This is great - I just bought a new house with a small kitchen and can't wait to try this out. Any recommended edits now that you've had it for a year? I may try a sliding track, rather than casters, but otherwise you've a great design. Good work!

terrefirma (author)2016-06-02

I'm surprised at some people posting. Usually Instructable contributors are offering helpful advice, alternative solutions, or asking for clarification. Note: be nice policy.

diy_bloke (author)2016-04-25

just wondering. If it is on 2 wheels, isnt there a chance of it falling? or did i miss something? Is something stopping it from opening all the way?

Katie5757 (author)2015-02-26

Check out the manufacturers recommendation about ventilation round your fridge, and ensure you dont have heat dissipating in to the contents of your pantry. It could be an incubator for bacteria and mould in other than dry goods.

godson1952 (author)Katie57572015-03-02


gulonraid (author)godson19522016-03-03

godson1952, the fridge will not produce enough heat to cause a fire. Even basic untreated wood has an ignition temperature of around 450-500 degrees.

Katie5757 (author)godson19522015-03-03

I felt the sides of my fridge, and they are both much warmer than the room temperature. Not a good storage area for other than dry goods. The temperature however is no where near threatening of fire, except if the top isnt ventilated. It is more likely that your fridge just implode with the loading.
It is worth double checking what the manufactuer advises.
Well I am in the great south (New Zealand) and I expect physics is the same in the Great North. You have fridges up there??

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