The pantry sees a lot of action. It opens and closes all day for snacks, meals, and in our case the cat, too. Our two-year-old’s fascination with kitty food doesn’t tire, so it needs to be able to be concealed. The door ends up being open a lot of the time, and I got tired of looking at our mess.
My first solution was to put in baskets (from the dollar store) with labels (leftover from this project) about a year ago and we’re still using the same system. The organization they provide is great, but they do get caught on the wire shelves and sit awkwardly.
The wire shelves themselves are, well, ugly. I’d love to get rid of them altogether, but that’s not an option at the moment. I figured I’d just have to live with them, but saw a blog on iHeart Organizing (which I completely heart!) on pantry reorganization that inspired me. She brilliantly covered foam board with shelf liner and put it on top of the shelves. Yes! I can do this. No saws, no nails, no asking my husband to partake for 100th time. And I thought I could add a piece underneath to cover the side of the ugly wire, too.
I ordered shelf liner for $12 off Amazon — they have a bunch off fun prints to choose from — and bought 5 foam boards at the dollar store. That’s it, $17. Here’s how it went down:
1. Measure your shelves. Then cut your foam board to fit the top and side of the shelves with a utility knife.
2. Cut your shelf liner with plenty of space to wrap around the sides.
3. Peel the back off the shelf liner just a few inches and stick it to the foam board. Unroll the peel-away sheet slowly as you press down. Try to smooth out any bubbles along the way.
4. After you’ve wrapped the two pieces in shelf liner, use some duct tape (fancy, I know) to put the two together. Hint: Leave just about 1/4″ lip for the top part to hang over. Just looks a little nicer.
It’s a pretty big difference for little time and money invested.
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13 thoughts on “$17 wire shelf makeover”
What a neat idea! I was wondering though..how did you stick the foam shelf to the wire shelf after you put the contact paper on it? Maybe I misunderstood the directions. Thank you for your time!
Jenna, I actually didn’t stick the foam boards to the wire shelf. It stayed in place nicely without it, especially once items are placed on it. Hope it works for you!
I love this idea. I want to try it in my laundry room. I understand the foam board on the shelf. However I am unsure about the overhang to cover the front part of the wire shelf; is this where you use duct tape on the backside to connect it to the larger piece?
This is a seriously awesome idea and so much cheaper than buying shelf covers. Thanks for sharing!
I like this idea. Thank you for sharing my question to you is what about pantries that have shells with Center braces. I assume that you can’t have the overhang or you have to cut it to fit on both sides of the center brace.
Hmmm. I’m not sure. I guess you’d have to cut it to fit, though I know that doesn’t sound like much fun!
This is wonderful! So glad I stumbled across this post. I wanted to ask how this is holding up many years later. Specifically, did the duct tape hinge for the front piece stay okay? Hoping to do this in the next couple of days. Thank you!
Hi Bethany! So let’s see, we moved from the house the following year, but they were still in fine condition when we left. I left them for the new home owner. So you’ll at least get a year out of your investment!
Thank you for your reply!
Thank you for this great idea. I dislike my wire racks 😖
You’re welcome! Hope it works well for you :)
I did this using tempered hardboard rather than foam boards and it looks amazing!! Great idea and thank you for sharing!
Oh that’s such a great idea! I bet it looks great