Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Rotating Can Storage Racks

I’m so excited to tell you about my latest project. I have been making rotating can racks for my canned foods. They have been a fun project and are helping me rotate and inventory my canned foods. The best part of all is the only cost for them has been a couple of bottles of Elmer’s Glue (one of which I already had).

These can racks are made from cardboard and will sit on my shelves. The cans are loaded from the top and roll to the bottom and most will hold 12 or more cans, depending on the size of the cans. You can paint them if you want; right now, because of the nasty weather outside, I’m just making and filling them and may paint them when summer comes and I can do it outside. I also still need to add labels to the boxes when they are painted.

I’ve seen the large can racks that you can buy at Wal-mart and thought they were nice but the thing that I didn’t care for was that first of all they are expensive, they take up a lot of room and don’t store many varieties of cans unless you have multiple racks and I don’t have room for that. I’ve seen homemade wooden varieties which are great and I’d love if I had a customized food storage area which I don’t. I guess the biggest drawback for me is that I have seen people who have a limited food storage budget spend a lot on racks that they could have spent on food to put on them.

With these homemade can racks, all your money can go towards the canned food to put in them. Also, another plus for me, is that I can see at a glance what items I am low on and need to restock, and how many I need to buy on my next shopping trip.

I have made 20+ of these shelves so far and one thing I’ve found is that as I make them, I think of things I’d like to have in my storage but don’t, so I figure that by making a rack for that item, and seeing it empty, I’ll be encouraged to start buying some cans of that item when I shop.

The original idea for these racks comes from the blog Pantry Panel and the details and instructions were further explained on the blog foodstoragemadeeasy.net which you will see when you visit the above link. There is a blueprint for these racks found here. As I have made many of these, I’ve made a couple of changes to the storage bins. Check out these pictures and see if you are interested. I can answer any questions you may have and help you get started if you wish.

When I first started making these, (and I thought about it a very long time before I started) I decided to just make one and see if I liked it – I had a hard time believing they would actually hold heavy cans. I made one and loved it so I made a couple more and have not been able to stop since. These racks will fit on most standard shelves. The sizes given are for vegetable size cans (I adapted this size to also fit mandarin orange, sweetened condensed milk and tomato sauce size cans), Fruit size cans like 20 oz. pineapple cans, and soup cans which I adapted to also fit canned milk.

Check out the above pages for instructions and more information. I think it is a great help to organizing and storing your canned foods. Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to hear back from any who try making these.

Below is another picture of my assembly line making 7 of these boxes at once. It's kind of funny to see. Good luck with this project, it's a good one!


Jenni said...

Have you ever thought to use a hot glue gun. Dries extremely fast, and makes a very sturdy seal. :D

LeAnn said...

Do you happen to have the plans? The link is gone.

Gina D. said...


I found this one here : )

Gina D. said...


and one that doesn't use glue or tape.... cool method i think.